Best race of ’05 had fewest viewers

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren-Mercedes, Suzuka, 2005The Japanese Grand Prix – easily the most exciting race of 2005 – had the fewest live viewers, according to television data monitors Intitiative. Just 24.5m people saw Kimi Raikkonen’s stunning last-lap pass on Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso’s amazing move on Michael Schumacher at 130R.

The most-watched race was the Canadian Grand Prix, with 52.8m viewers. 49.6m watched the Spanish Grand Prix which was dominated by Raikkonen, though interest in the race was surely boosted by Alonso. The least-watched races were, unsurprisingly, those that are broadcast at inconvenient times for Europeans: Japan, China, Malaysia and Australia.

In terms of national audiences, German and Italian audiences plummeted by 3.2m viewers combined due to Michael Schumacher and Ferrari’s poor season. The Spanish audience grew by 1.9m and a further 0.7m French fans tuned in to support Renault.

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