Formula One is on a steady attendance rise, and, surprisingly, the North American market is proving itself a pretty important part of the fanbase. A recent attendance report shows that two of the three North American races are some of the highest-attended events of the season.
The numbers in F1's report don’t lie. While the British Grand Prix had the largest single-day, with 141,000 people, the top three most attended is rounded out by the Mexican Grand Prix (138,435), then the US Grand Prix (128,000). And while it didn’t make the list of the largest crowds, the Canadian Grand Prix did see 14.69 percent increase in spectators,
This is some pretty huge news. Even though F1 is an international series, the North American fanbase has long been an afterthought—especially as the series begins to focus on expanding its growth into Asia and the Middle East. I mean, the ongoing attempts to secure the Miami Grand Prix’s fate show that the series is paying attention, but the US GP’s fraught recent history (the tire wars in Indianapolis, or COTA’s rained out grand prix weekend) always keeps me on the edge of my seat, never totally comfortable that I’ll be able to guarantee a North American GP in the future.
Thankfully, it seems like I’m not the only one willing to gather together all my friends and camp out hillside on Turn 1 at COTA.
Here are some other big numbers worth paying attention to:
As in 2018, more than four million spectators (4,164,948) attended at least one of the 21 Grands Prix on the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship™ calendar, with a +1.75% increase compared to the previous season, despite the Saturday cancellation of the Japanese Grand Prix due to Typhoon Hagibis.
Three Grands Prix had an attendance of more than 300,000 spectators over the race weekend – Great Britain (351,000), Mexico (345,694) and Australia (324,100). It is also worth noting the 90th edition of Italian Grand Prix registered its highest ever weekend attendance with 200,000 spectators.
You can read the full report here if you want to find out which other markets are booming (I’ll give you a hint: it’s the event that hosted the 1000th Grand Prix), but the North American news is what’s really worth paying attention to.