Formula 1 has confirmed a weekend attendance of 120,000 at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix. The second race to be held at Lusail Circuit attracted 40,000 more fans than the inaugural 2021 event.
Formula 1 returned to Lusail Circuit for the first time since 2021 for the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix. The sport’s second outing at the circuit – which has been significantly revamped in the two years since the inaugural race – attracted a reportedly sold out weekend crowd of 120,000.
The figure is up by around 40,000 on the weekend attendance figure from the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix. It was reported that 80,000 fans were in attendance over Formula 1’s inaugural race weekend at Lusail Circuit two years ago.
Historic 2023 Qatar Grand Prix Weekend for Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen claimed his third title over the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, doing so as a result of Saturday’s Sprint race. It was the first time a title had been won on a Saturday since Nelson Piquet secured his third and final title on a Saturday (as a result of an injured Nigel Mansell withdrawing from the race) at the 1987 Japanese Grand Prix.
The newly-crowned champion went on to secure his 14th victory of the year in the Grand Prix on Sunday, followed home by Sprint race winner Oscar Piastri and McLaren team-mate Lando Norris, which saw McLaren pass the milestone of 500 podium finishes in Formula 1.
One of the Lowest Attendances of the Season
With a weekend attendance of 120,000, the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix has one of the lowest attendance figures of the season so far. Nevertheless, the event was a sell out according to Formula 1. The circuit has a relatively low capacity of 52,000, with grandstands located only between Turn 16 and Turn 3. According to RaceFans, the Saturday on which Verstappen was crowned champion saw the lowest attendance of the weekend, at 38,725. 39,503 attended on Friday, with 48,168 watching the race at the track on Sunday.
Only the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix – which took place at Bahrain International Circuit, situated less than 80km from Lusail Circuit – had a lower weekend figure. The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix had a confirmed total attendance of 99,500, which is one of the highest attendances in its history. Race day attendance in Qatar was around 12,000 more than that at the Bahrain Grand Prix earlier in the season.
The 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix also likely had a lower attendance figure than the Qatar race, but official figures for the Baku race have not been released. The last official figure released for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, back in 2019, was 85,000. Attendance is understood to have increased at the event since then.
Qatar Will Feature on the F1 Calendar Until 2031
The Qatar Grand Prix joined the F1 calendar on a ten-year deal, which runs through to 2031. The 2024 Qatar Grand Prix will take place later in the year, on December 1. The change in date should help drivers avoid the extreme temperatures in which they competed over the 2023 race weekend.
Qatar Airways was the title sponsor of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, following the signing of a deal to become Formula 1’s global airline partner in February 2023. This was the third race weekend at which the airline company was the title sponsor, after the cancelled Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Bruno Mars Pulls Out of 2023 Qatar Grand Prix Concert
On Sunday, race organisers announced that the Bruno Mars concert, scheduled to take place after the race, had been cancelled “due to circumstances outside of [the circuit’s] control”. Mars was forced to pull out of appearing at Lusail Circuit having cancelled a show in Tel Aviv earlier in the week amid the ongoing conflicts in Israel.
As a replacement, DJ Snake headlined the post race concert. Alesso and Amr Diab were the other headline acts who performed over the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix weekend. A number of other famous faces were in attendance at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, including David Beckham, Mo Farah and Sonny Bill Williams.
Five Races Remain in 2023
Confirmed Formula 1 attendance figures in 2023 have now reached over 4.2 million. That’s not including races in Azerbaijan and Monaco, for which attendance figures have not yet been revealed.
Four races in the Americas are up next, beginning with a triple header of events comprising the United States Grand Prix, Mexico City Grand Prix and the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. The Texas race at COTA is expected to be the best-attended of the five races remaining this year, with COTA hoping to better its record weekend attendance of 440,000 from 2022.
The highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix takes place two weeks after the triple header on November 16-18, before the 2023 season comes to a close in early December at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.