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Spectators flock to Shanghai race 17 Oct 2005

Fans desperate for Jordan driver autographs.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, 15 October 2005 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) Jordan signs autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, 15 October 2005

The second Chinese Grand Prix proved a huge hit with motorsport fans as well over 200,000 visited the Shanghai International Circuit.

On Friday, 31,000 turned out to see the weekend’s opening practice sessions, while on Saturday 60,000 were present to witness qualifying. Of those, 6,000 also packed into the circuit’s vending area to attend an autograph session with the drivers.

Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were first on stage to sign and chat to fans. All the drivers were received with open arms, but it was arguably BAR's Jenson Button who caused the greatest furore, with fans literally throwing themselves at him as they fought their way onto the stage. "Thank you all for coming out here today - we didn't expect such amazing support but are delighted you are all here,” he said.

That support continued on race day, with 120,000 people present to see Fernando Alonso clinch victory and with it take Renault to their first world championship double. That figure brought the spectator total for the three-day weekend to an impressive 211,000.