FIA Formula 3 European Championship enjoys impressive media coverage
The outstanding performances delivered by the young drivers that were on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid in 2016 attracted interest by a wide range of media as well. Be it print media, web portals or TV stations – all of them were keen to cover the events that saw the international junior stars take another step on the road towards Formula 1. Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) crowned himself FIA Formula 3 European Champion in 2016 and, as a result, secured a cockpit with the Williams F1 Team in motorsport’s top category. But there were other drivers that impressed last season as well, including Vice European Champion Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) and Joel Eriksson (Motopark), the best rookie of the year. Following the publication of an interim report last September, the media facts for the full 2016 season are presented now.
The teams and drivers of the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship travelled through seven different countries in Europe in the pursuit of finding their champions. Nearly 55,000 visitors on average turned out at the total of ten race weekends, marking a slight increase compared to 2015. The largest crowd flocked to the finale at the Hockenheimring in Germany where 142,000 people cheered on the campaigners. Another crowd-puller was Nuremberg’s Norisring where 123,500 spectators turned out for a live experience of the on-track action of the motorsport talents and got to see thrilling racing. That the FIA Formula 3 European Championship enjoyed tremendous popularity with racing fans in other countries as well was shown by the 65,000 visitors that watched the FIA Formula 3 European Championship races at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
Yet as in previous years, there was no need to actually attend the events in 2016 to intensively follow the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. From January to October 2016 nearly 1,900 hours of FIA Formula 3 European Championship television coverage was aired around the globe. Europe, the home continent of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, with over 1,400 broadcasting hours, accounted for the lion’s share. Worldwide, more than 133 million fans used the opportunity to watch nearly 6,500 broadcasts provided by a total of 200 TV stations in 212 nations.
The key live TV partners of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship were the German news channel n-tv, Ziggo Sport Racing in the Netherlands and Motors TV in the UK and across Europe. Combined, these channels alone aired about 55 hours of live coverage, reaching more than 2.3 million live viewers. In order to provide even deeper insight into the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Eurosport during the week following the respective races again broadcast its Formula 3 Magazine, a 24-minute programme exclusively dedicated to the junior racing series. Summaries of the three races, background stories and features about thrilling topics gave viewers the opportunity to take diverse and exclusive peeks behind the scenes of the racing series. Nearly two million fans watched the magazine on the two channels, Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2, in 2016.
First-hand information around the clock is also provided by the FIA Formula 3 European Championship’s official website that has been sporting a new and more modern design since 2016. Nearly 500,000 visits were recorded by the homepage from November 2015 to November 2016. Integrated live streaming showed all of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship races with English-language commentary and was used by nearly 6,000 viewers per race weekend.
The official Facebook page of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship had nearly 15,000 followers at the end of 2016, almost 4,000 fans more than the year before. On Twitter more than 10,000 people followed the activities of the young motorsport talents at the end of the year, equating to an increase of nearly 3,000 followers compared with the prior year. Plus, on YouTube, where the FIA Formula 3 European Championship maintains a presence of its own as well, more than 8,000 subscribers were recorded at the end of 2016. From November 2015 to November 2016 this number increased by more than 2,000. All subscribers combined on average watched more than 27,000 videos. The extensive offering on YouTube includes full-length coverage of all races, highlight clips of the individual events, background features and the magazine previously aired on Eurosport.
The traditional print media, as well, again carried numerous reports about the young racing drivers laying the groundwork for their careers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. In the European core markets of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom more than 1,600 texts were published from November 2015 to October 2016 with a circulation of more than 190 million copies. This amounts to about 40 million copies more than in the same period the year before and underlines the continually growing importance which the FIA Formula 3 European Championship enjoys with print media too.