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Formula One thrills Spanish fans 05 May 2003

Big crowds in the grandstands.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, 4 May 2003

Motorcycle racing has been a phenomenon in Spain for years, thanks to the efforts of stars such as Alex Criville and Sete Gibernau. But now this enthusiasm is spreading firmly to Formula One.

On Friday 46,000 spectators flocked to the Circuit de Catalunya to cheer local hero Fernando Alonso, with another 86,000 filling the grandstands and hillsides on Saturday.

And on raceday the official figure was 96,000, boosting the total for the three days to 228,000. Alonso did not disappoint, finishing an excellent second less than six seconds behind winner Michael Schumacher.