It will be difficult to do better than the finish of the Formula 1 world championship of the season which has just ended, when the title was disputed in the last lap of the last grand prix, between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, on December 12, 2021. A final lap also synonymous of success for Canal+ which, that day, had peaked at 2.5 million viewers in the decisive moment of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.
In MotoGP, where the Niçois Fabio Quartararo won to become world champion, the races gathered an average of 800,000 subscribers, an increase in audiences of 92% since 2019. Figures that the direction of the motor sports of the encrypted channel would like maintain as the Qatar MotoGP grand prix kicks off this weekend, when Formula 1 resumes on March 20 in Bahrain. For Canal+, the season will revolve around two axes: immersion and expertise.
With more than 450 hours of live on the menu (23 F1 Grand Prix, 21 in MotoGP), the channel will be able to send itself to the four corners of the world after two seasons marred by the health crisis. On the side of MotoGP, which will begin its fourth season on the channel, changes should be noted since Laurent Rigal, usually on the comments on Moto 2 and 3, will comment on the GP alongside the house consultant Randy de Puniet, Antoine Arlot officiating , therefore, to the comments on the Moto 2 and the Moto 3.
A club of F1 experts
Formula 1, a big piece including the Netflix series Drive To Survive has made it possible to attract new speed enthusiasts, will also be reinforced in its treatment with the arrival of Pauline Sanzey, a regular in the sports department of the encrypted channel, to support a team already well in place.
Around the races, we will always find the duo Julien Fébreau-Jacques Villeneuve on commentary with Margot Laffite and Romain Grosjean as reinforcements. Jean Alesi will not be very far either.
The channel has also innovated with an « Experts Club » made up of a historic F1 voice, Jean-Louis Moncet, in particular for vintage sequences but also of Jennie Gow, a British radio journalist, a former team boss (Lotus and McLaren) with Éric Boullier and a former race engineer with Julien Simon-Chautemps, who notably worked with Kimi Räikkönen. What to dissect, according to the news, each Grand Prix in order to bring a real expertise.
Another novelty: a tablet myReplay which will allow an actor to comment on his race a posteriori. For this great premiere, which will be broadcast on March 12 at 6:20 p.m., it is the French driver Pierre Gasly who will return and comment on his last Azerbaijan Grand Prix, during which he finished third. Moreover, the channel will offer several documentaries around the world of motor sports, including one on Max Verstappen but also behind the scenes of the next French motorcycle Grand Prix (May 15) and F1 (July 24), another on the Alpine team and a film on Jean Todt, former boss of Ferrari and recently retired from the presidency of the FIA. Formula 1, which will be on the air three weekends out of four for nine months, has become a real added value for the channel, particularly in terms of audiences since they have increased by 52% in two years.
But Canal + will not stop there since the WRC world rally championship, Indycar, a category in which Frenchman Romain Grosjean leads, as well as the women’s single-seater world championship, will also be on the menu. Something to satisfy speed lovers.