F1 race weekends attended by over four million fans in 2018
Over four million spectators (4,093,305) attended at least one of the 21 Grands Prix on the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar, with an average attendance of almost 200,000 per weekend (194,919).
Seven Grands Prix, a third of all events, attracted crowds of over 200,000: Great Britain (340,000), Mexico (334,946), Australia (295,000), USA (263,160), Singapore (263,000), Belgium (250,000) and Hungary (210,000). The average attendance per race weekend was up over the 2017 figures by 2.7%, while four events saw an increase of over 10%: Azerbaijan (+31.6%), Austria (+27.6%), Japan (+20.4%) and Canada (+11.4%).
Isolating the Sunday figures, overall attendance was 1,702,959. On average, 81,093 spectators applauded the skills of world champion Lewis Hamilton and the other 19 drivers on race days this year. Once again, it was Silverstone that led the way, where 140,500 spectators watched Sebastian Vettel win, while 135,407 celebrated Hamilton take his fifth world Championship title at the Mexican Grand Prix. The USA Grand Prix drew an estimated crowd of 111,580 on race day, with six tracks posting a double figure increase over the previous year: Azerbaijan (+29.1%)†, Austria (+25.2%)†, Bahrain (+22.1%)†, Canada (+21.4), Japan (+19.1%) and Hungary (+10.1%).
The two races added to the calendar in 2018, France and Germany, drew a total crowd of 315,000 – 150,000 at Le Castellet and 165,000 at Hockenheim, more than making up for the 110,604 lost with the disappearance of the Malaysian Grand Prix. According for the adjustments made to certain 2017 attendance figures subsequent to the release of last year’s attendance results and the increase from 20 to 21 to the total number of events, the overall increase in attendance from 2017 to 2018 is 7.83% in absolute terms.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations, Formula 1 said: “With nearly 200,000 spectators at each Grand Prix, and more than 80,000 packing the grandstands for Sunday’s races across the season, it demonstrates that these big numbers compare favourably with other major sporting events, thus confirming a trend for growth. We are particularly pleased with the results and research carried out through the season regarding satisfaction levels of spectators, as they prove that our efforts to engage fans are working well. The whole show of a Grand Prix weekend - the Formula 1 race, all the support series and the activities around the track - constitues a great experience for the fans, as the attendance and research figures confirm. We strongly believe that Formula 1 has great potential which still hasn’t been fully exploited and we are fully committed to improving the fan experience in the future.”
The average of 81,093 spectators for each Sunday race day is almost double the number of those who watched the Bundesliga (average per match 44,657) and the Champions League (av. 46,630) in their 2017/18 season. Formula 1 race days had a better average attendance even when compared to the NFL, which registered an average game crowd of 67,405 in 2017/18, and the most important sports event this year, the Football World Cup in Russia, which averaged 47,371 per game with a peak of 78,011 for the final in Moscow.
In conjunction with Netfluential, over 50,000 spectators were canvassed in 2018, before and after they had attended a Grand Prix. Over one hundred in-depth interviews were carried out and over three hundred comments were received via a special app. A large amount of data was exhaustively analysed by Formula 1’s Research Department looking at satisfaction levels of spectators who attended a Grand Prix.
In 15 of the 16 events where the research took place, 70% of the spectators judged the experience ‘very enjoyable,’ with a peak of 90% at the British Grand Prix and 85% in Austria. These two races, along with those in Belgium, Hungary and Italy produced the sharpest increase in spectator satisfaction, rising between 4 to 14% compared to last year. The research also confirmed that an average of 65% (+3% compared to 2017) of the spectators felt that the experience provided during a race weekend was ‘very or quite good value for money’. The race at the Red Bull Ring showed the biggest increase over last year in terms of value for money, with an increase of 25%, while for Monza it was up significantly, by 11%, and at Spa-Francorchamps it increased by 8%.
† Race day attendance extrapolated from total weekend attendance figures.