Spanish drivers pull in mammoth crowds 09 May 2005
The popularity of Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa provoked an enormous turnout for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
No less than 25,000 spectators attended on Thursday when, although there was no Formula One track action, there was a pit lane walkabout, allowing the fans to see the cars and drivers up close.
That was followed by 59,000 on Friday, when de la Rosa thrilled the crowds by topping both practice sessions for McLaren, and another 102,000 on Saturday when Alonso narrowly missed out on provisional pole.
On Sunday 115,900 turned out to see the Renault star finish second behind Kimi Raikkonen to consolidate his lead in the drivers championship. That figure brought the total for the meeting to a massive 301,900, verifying the huge popularity that Formula One racing now enjoys in Spain.