Channel 4 says it reached a peak of 3.2m viewers during the Bahrain Grand Prix, its first live broadcast of an F1 race.
The channel, which has taken over the rights to show F1 on terrestrial television in the UK from the BBC, has invested heavily in its production, while its presenting team includes the likes of David Coulthard, Karun Chandhok, Susie Wolff and Mark Webber.
According to Channel 4, the broadcast – the first of ten live races it will show in 2016 – averaged 2.3m, with a peak of 3.2m. It added it was the most watched channel in its time slot.
By contrast, Sky Sports F1 – which shows every race live on its pay channel - is known to average just over 600,000 viewers per race, while BBC's live coverage averaged around 3 million in 2015.
Channel 4 will show F1 in a part-live, part-highlights package format in 2016 having taken over from the BBC when it ended its contract early.
Channel 4's deal is for three years, though FOM has already confirmed that Sky Sports F1 will get wholly exclusive live rights from 2019, a move that has been heavily criticised by fans unhappy at the move to an entirely pay TV model.
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