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Formula 1 buoyed by rising attendances

Fans gather under the podium after the 2019 British Grand Prix (by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Formula 1 has announced record attendance figures for its 2019 season, with Silverstone’s British Grand Prix emerging on top for both weekend and race day attendances.

The figures, based on data supplied by race promoters of the motor-racing championship, show that 4,164,948 fans attended at least one of the 21 grands prix on the 2019 calendar, with a 1.75-per-cent increase compared to the previous season.

F1 noted that this came despite the Saturday cancellation of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka due to Typhoon Hagibis. F1 Paddock Club attendance also rose 7.15-per-cent year-on-year to 80,118, meaning that average total attendance per race was 202,146, an increase of 1.85 per cent.

Three grands prix had an attendance of more than 300,000 spectators over the race weekend – Great Britain (351,000), Mexico (345,694) and Australia (324,100). These three events, at Silverstone, Mexico City and Melbourne, all extended their race deals over the course of the season.

The most significant increases compared to the 2018 season came for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal (14.69 per cent), Shanghai’s Chinese Grand Prix (10.34 per cent), and the Australian Grand Prix (9.86 per cent).

Sunday-only overall attendance was 1,771,106, up four-per-cent year-on-year. Five tracks welcomed more than 100,000 spectators on the race day, with Silverstone (141,000) once more topping this list, ahead of Mexico City (138,435), and Austin’s US Grand Prix (128,000).

Six races (China, Austria, Belgium, Singapore, Japan and USA) posted a double-digit increment over the previous years. The most significant was the 30 per cent registered at the Shanghai International Circuit on the day F1 celebrated its 1000th grand prix.

In October, F1 and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) revealed the set of new regulations that will seek to overhaul the championship from the 2021 season, headlined by the introduction of the sport’s first cost cap.

Commenting on 2019’s attendance figures, Sean Bratches, the outgoing managing director of commercial operations at F1, said: “2019 has been an incredible season and we are already looking forward to next year when Hanoi and Zandvoort will join our 22-race calendar and when F1 celebrates its 70th anniversary.” Bratches is set to leave his role following the conclusion of the 2019 season, with no replacement having been announced yet.