Record crowds light up the first night race of the F1 season

Sebastian Vettel during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in  Bahrain

BIC, Sakhir: Record crowds and action-packed racing are the highlights as Sebastian Vettel won the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix under the stars in Sakhir.

Nearly 100,000 fans flocked to the floodlights of the Bahrain International Circuit over the weekend, with families making up 1 in 5 racegoers.

The racing action was as hot online as it was in the Middle East, with fans across the globe enthralled with the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship® so far.

Over the weekend there have been 138 million impressions across all of Formula 1’s social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which drove 11 million video views.

A video of Kimi Raikkonen walking through the Bahrain desert after suffering engine failure was the most popular video on Facebook and Twitter, with the video, which resembled a western movie, reaching more than 2 million fans on Facebook and generating 780k impressions on Twitter:

An impressive night-time photograph of the dazzling Bahrain International Circuit was the fans’ favourite on Instagram, with the post generating 1.3 million impressions:

“It’s always exciting to watch Formula 1 under the stars, and we’re delighted to have been able to share that special experience with so many children and families watching from the sold out stands today,” Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations, Formula 1, said.

“Bahrain was the first racing destination for Formula 1 in the Middle East, and across the weekend you could feel how the enthusiasm for the sport and the drivers has grown in the region since 2004.

“Fan engagement and excitement hasn’t just been limited to the track however, with millions of people across the world using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get closer to the action.

“It’s our aim to make the sport more accessible and engaging for fans at the track and at home, and we look forward to the next few Championship races in Europe.”

The 2017 Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix is next on the calendar, with practice, qualifying and the race taking place between Friday 28th April and Sunday 30th April 2017.

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