Formula 1 has confirmed a weekend attendance of 345,000 at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix. It’s the largest official attendance number in Montreal’s F1 history and an increase of 7,000 on last year’s figure.
The 2023 Canadian Grand Prix saw the largest official attendance figure in Montreal’s history on the Formula 1 calendar. Over the race weekend, 345,000 fans packed into Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The capacity crowd witnessed Max Verstappen continue his domination of the 2023 season, securing a milestone 100th victory for the Red Bull team.
Lance Stroll was able to pick up points in front of his home fans, scoring a ninth place finish having started down in 16th. The Canadian-owned Aston Martin team also picked up a podium result thanks to Fernando Alonso, who continued his impressive form to finish as runner-up to Verstappen.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of Formula 1’s most enduring circuits. It has hosted the Canadian Grand Prix 42 times since 1978. The 2023 Canadian Grand Prix saw the track overtake the Nurburgring as the venue which has hosted the fifth most Formula 1 races. The circuit’s namesake, Gilles Villeneuve, was honoured over the weekend, with Charles Leclerc running a tribute helmet featuring the Canadian racer’s iconic helmet colours.
2023 Canadian Grand Prix attendance grows by 7,000 compared to 2022
The weekend attendance figure at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix grew by 7,000 compared to the 2022 figure. Last year, the event was the sixth best attended of the season. The 2023 Canadian Grand Prix currently ranks as the second best attended of the year, behind only the 2023 Australian Grand Prix. The Melbourne race attracted an audience of 444,631 over the four days of the weekend.
While 345,000 is the official record for the largest attendance at the Canadian Grand Prix, the 2017 event was originally reported by the race promoter to have had an attendance figure of 360,000. However, when F1 released the end of year figures in December 2018, F1 retrospectively changed the attendance figure for the 2017 race to just 180,000.
As always, the city of Montreal embraced Formula 1’s presence with a range of festivals and events for motorsport fans. Fan festivals, Grand Prix-themed parties and driver appearances took place across the city in the days leading up to the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.
Friday action interrupted by CCTV issues
Fans experienced frustration on Friday at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix when the first Free Practice session was red-flagged just four minutes after it had begun. The scheduled 60 minutes of practice did not resume due to issues with the local CCTV.
The lack of up to date CCTV images meant that the session had to be abandoned due to safety concerns. It was later announced that the second Free Practice session would be extended by 30 minutes to make up for the lost time in the first session.
Formula 1 heads back to Europe for the summer
Formula 1 now returns to Europe for four races before the summer break. The 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, next on the schedule, is expected to attract over 300,000 fans over the weekend for a second year in succession. The 2023 British Grand Prix, which follows one week later, could have an attendance figure as high as 480,000, thanks to the addition of new grandstand seating.
Another double header of races, in Hungary and Belgium, follow before the traditional summer break in August. The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix occupies an earlier slot than its usual late-August date and is currently set to be the last F1 race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The season resumes with races in the Netherlands and Italy before heading further afield for a series of flyaway Grands Prix in destinations such as Singapore, Qatar and Japan.