F1 attendance record ‘smashed’ in 2023 despite cancelled race

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Spectators at a sold out F1 Grand Prix

Whilst Max Verstappen’s dominance meant there was no real battle for the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship title, that didn’t stop spectators parting with their hard-earned cash to go and see the F1 in person.

I’ve pulled together the fan and spectator attendance numbers from all of the Grand Prix on the 2023 F1 calendar and the results are in. It’s been a record-breaking year for F1 race attendances with numerous sell-out events.

The 2023 season promised the most jam-packed calendar any Formula 1 campaign has ever seen, with a total of 23 races on the line up. This was one more event than the 2022 calendar, with the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix being the 2023 addition.

Las Vegas grandstand at the Sphere

Unfortunately the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy, scheduled to take place in May this year, had to be cancelled due to horrendous weather and flooding. So that brought the number of F1 events back down to 22 for 2023.

Despite that, F1 fans donned their favourite team and driver clothing, packed their ponchos and their sandwiches and headed to the tracks in numbers which have never been seen before.

2023 F1 title 'race'

Unfortunately the 2023 Formula 1 title ‘race’ was more of a title ‘walk in the park’. Max Verstappen and his Red Bull were dominant right from the start and never looked like being beaten, much to the delight of Dutch fans.

Dutch grand Prix main entrance

By the end of the season Max finished on over double the number of points of the second place driver, his team-mate Sergio Perez. He could have actually won the title twice over.

This has led to a notable downturn in enthusiasm from the newer (non-Dutch) fans of the sport. Analysis by Buzz Radar showed that the number of new followers, mentions and overall reach of F1 on social media was way down compared to the year before.

But it turns out the sport’s core fanbase of die-hard motorsport fans were still very much engaged, enthusiastic and willing to turn up.

2023 Formula 1 Race Attendance Figures

So, just how many F1 fans went to watch the races in 2023? Below are the number of spectators who attended each of the 2023 Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Grand Prix Weekend Attendance
Britain 480,000
Australia 444,600
Austin - USA 432,000
Mexico 400,600
Belgium 380,000
Canada 345,000
Vegas - USA 315,000
Dutch* 305,000
Monza - Italy 304,100
Austria 304,000
Hungary 303,000
Spain 284,100
Miami - USA 270,000
Brazil 267,000
Singapore 264,100
Japan 222,000
Monaco* 200,000
Abu Dhabi* 165,000
Saudi 150,000
Qatar 120,000
Bahrain 99,500
Azerbaijan* 95,000
Emilia Romagna - Italy CANCELLED
Total 6,150,000
Table showing number of fans who attended each Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2023

* The data for the Dutch, Monaco, Abu Dhabi and Azerbaijan Grand Prix is not confirmed and has been based on figures from the previous years. Attendance figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

Based on these numbers, we can fairly accurately estimate that the total number of fans who attended Formula 1 races in 2023 was 6,150,000. That’s the first time in the sport’s history that the total attendance figure has passed 6 million, and is a massive 400,000 more than the 5.7 million who attended in 2022.

A number of the Grand Prix in 2023 were sold out. Bahrain, Spa, Zandvoort, Singapore and Abu Dhabi were just a few circuits to be completely full on race day. 

So why did even more fans head to the track this year to watch the races if it was always going to be a Verstappen-fest without any contest?

Well F1 are doing more and more to make a weekend out of it. Sprint races are becoming more popular and a lot of F1 venues are now including concerts from some of the world’s biggest artists with their GP tickets, like the Foo Fighters at the Abu Dhabi F1 concert and Robbie Williams at the Singapore GP concert.

Despite the Las Vegas Grand Prix infamously not selling out, the new event saw a pretty huge crowd of 315,000 fans (me being one of them), much bigger than the attendance would have been at the Emiliga Romagna Grand Prix that was cancelled.

Las Vegas F1 fan zone

2023 F1 attendance compared to 2022

Using this data of the 2022 F1 attendances we can compare the figures between this year and last year.

Grand Prix 2023 Attendance 2022 Attendance % Change
Britain 480,000 401,000 20%
Australia 444,600 419,100 6%
Austin - USA 432,000 440,000 -2%
Mexico 400,600 395,900 1%
Belgium 380,000 360,000 6%
Canada 345,000 338,000 2%
Vegas - USA 315,000 N/A N/A
Dutch 305,000 305,000 0%
Monza - Italy 304,100 337,000 -10%
Austria 304,000 303,000 0%
Hungary 303,000 290,000 4%
Spain 284,100 277,800 2%
Miami - USA 270,000 243,000 11%
Brazil 267,000 236,000 13%
Singapore 264,100 302,000 -13%
Japan 222,000 200,000 11%
Monaco 200,000 200,000 0%
Abu Dhabi 165,000 165,000 0%
Saudi 150,000 141,000 6%
Qatar 120,000 N/A N/A
Bahrain 99,500 98,000 2%
Azerbaijan 95,000 95,000 0%
Total 6,150,000 5,700,000 8%

The British Grand Prix saw the biggest year-on-year increase, largely thanks to McLaren’s return to form, a couple of extra grandstands and an even better chance of seeing one of the three British drivers on the podium (and in the end we saw two of them up there).

Spa Francorchamps was up by 6% year-on-year and having been at the race myself I can attest to fact the whole circuit was packed.

The Singapore Grand Prix saw the biggest decline in attendance between 2022 and 2023 with a 13% drop, mainly down to the closure of the Bay Grandstand – the largest grandstand at the circuit – which seated around 50,000 people.

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza also saw a 10% reduction in attendance. That was partly down to the poor experiences fans had at the 2022 race, and partly due to  Ferrari’s lacklustre form not pleasing the Tifosi.

Sources

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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Tom

Your obviously stretching the truth for some reason. Thought you had written an interesting article until you said Miami was full on race day. What were you smoking !?

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