Alonso’s maiden IndyCar outing was meant to be a private test, but because his Indianapolis 500 outing is such a huge story, it was livestreamed with a studio, broadcast panel and behind-the-scenes access.
Yep, even F1 and IndyCar legend Mario Andretti was part of the stream and a lot of people tuned in to watch his first laps of Indianapolis.
The test was organised by McLaren, Honda and Andretti. Earlier on Wednesday, Alonso’s bright-orange, retro livery and Indy 500 helmet design were unveiled.
Andretti driver Marco Andretti then shook down the car, before Alonso completed running, passing rookie orientation and reaching 110 laps (with a top speed of 222.548mph).
That’s the most laps he’s managed in years…
The live stream of his test was distributed on Facebook and YouTube, with a combined audience of over two million people.
It was clearly a hot topic. According to Autosport, there were peaks of 70,000 simultaneous viewers at times, 950,000 views on Facebook and 1.2 million on YouTube – combined to make 2,149,000 views.
The YouTube video on IndyCar’s channel was also one of the top ten trending videos of that day, which is quite something for a motorsport-related clip.
In terms of the number of viewers, it’s absolutely huge. Sure, some clips from F1 or MotoGP get many more total views, but these are often on smaller videos.
This is a livestream, and a long one at that. It’s also a big number compared to IndyCar’s usual viewing figures.
It also shows the power of Alonso and what a huge story it is. Because a mid-week test session with just one driver and car managed to reach such a massive viewing figure.
Not only did viewers get on-track action (including Alonso running over two birds), but also expert opinion, chats with those related to the Indy 500 outing and behind-the-scenes access.
We’d love to see more of this in the future across many motorsport series and it perfectly illustrates the building hype for Alonso’s Indy 500 run.
Were you one of the two million who tuned in? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!