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SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 24: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes and Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes going into the first corner at the start of the race prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on September 24, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202309240060 // Usage for editorial use only //

Are UK Gamblers Interested In Formula 1 betting?

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 24: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes and Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes going into the first corner at the start of the race prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on September 24, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // Are UK Gamblers Interested In Betting On Formula 1?// Usage for editorial use only //

According to research, around 75% of people in the UK who watch the sport are interested in Formula 1 betting.

This percentage is lower than for audiences of other sports-related content, such as horse racing (97.4%), boxing (86.4%), tennis (81.1%), golf (81.1%), and football (76.6%).

Given this starting point, it seems that UK gamblers are not as interested in Formula 1 as they are in other sports-related betting. But is this really the case?

To answer this question, it’s important to consider Formula 1 in the correct way, as a sporting series rather than a sport in itself. To put this into context, Formula 1 is a series of competitive races in the world of motor racing in a similar way that the Premier League is a competitive series of matches within the football world, and Royal Ascot consists of a series of races with the overall sport of horse racing.

So, taking a closer look at audience levels and betting interests in Formula 1, the Premier League, and Royal Ascot gives us a more accurate comparison.

UK audience figures for Formula 1 compared to the Premier League and Royal Ascot

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 09: Red Bull Racing fans show their support from the stands during the F1 Grand Prix of Austria Sprint at Red Bull Ring on July 09, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

When you compare the audience figures for these three famous sporting contests that involve a series of games or races; the Premier League easily comes out on top.

According to viewing figures provided by the Premier League, nearly 27 million people watched live coverage of games during the 2020-21 season. This is not the full story as it does not include figures for other broadcasters. However, it still represents around 40% of the UK population.

In comparison, across all Sky Sports coverage, around 1.59 million people watched 22 live Formula 1 race broadcasts during 2021.

Looking at the viewing figures for Royal Ascot provided by ITV Racing shows that each of the five days of racing had a viewership of around one million.

These figures suggest that Formula 1 attracts fewer viewers compared to similarly high-profile events in football and horse racing. However, viewing figures for Formula 1 have increased by 60% since the current exclusive Sky Sports deal began in 2019, so there is reason for positivity in this area.

How many UK residents bet on F1 compared to the Premier League and PGA Tour

Translating the viewing figures for these three sporting contests using the percentages from the start of this article shows the following:

  • Around 1.19 million people bet on Formula 1.
  • Around 20.68 million people bet on the Premier League.
  • Around 4.87 million people bet on Royal Ascot.

These figures are an approximation based on research, not an exact representation. However, they do suggest that interest in Formula 1 betting in the UK lags behind interest in betting on contests in popular sports such as football and horse racing.

The lower viewing figures partly account for this. It’s also often harder to find good Formula 1 betting content on betting sites that often concentrate their action on areas such as football and horse racing.

Some fans look to UK casinos not on gamstop to counteract this as these sites are based offshore and cater to a more international focus, which is less influenced by UK sporting preferences that lean towards football and horse racing.

The growth in viewing figures may impact betting on the sport in the future. More people watching should translate to more people wagering. If this happens, more UK-based casinos and sportsbooks are likely to enhance their focus on Formula 1 betting and provide a wider range of bets for enthusiasts to choose from.