The 2023 Australian Grand Prix had a record-breaking weekend attendance of 444,631 – the largest in Albert Park’s history.
Organisers of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix have reported a record-breaking four-day attendance figure of 444,631 at Albert Park. The figure is the largest in Melbourne’s history of hosting Formula 1, breaking the previous record of 419,114 at last year’s event.
The total attendance falls just short of the all-time record. The record attendance for a Formula 1 event is 500,000 at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix. That was the final race held in Adelaide and, like the Melbourne event, was held over four days.
The 2023 Australian Grand Prix attendance figure exceeds the highest attendance seen in the 2022 season. The record last year was 440,000, which is how many fans attended the 2022 United States Grand Prix weekend at Circuit of The Americas.
Verstappen storms to 2023 Australian Grand Prix victory in red-flagged race
Max Verstappen claimed his second win of the season, taking victory in the 2023 Australian Grand Prix. The race was interrupted by three red flag periods; the most ever seen in a Formula 1 race. This was Verstappen’s first victory at Albert Park, seeing him add a 23rd different circuit to his winning collection. He finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard claiming his third podium finish in a row.
There was joy for the home crowd as McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri picked up the first points of his Formula 1 career with an eighth place finish. Piastri’s manager – fellow Australian Mark Webber – also picked up the first points of his career at Albert Park, back in 2002.
Record-breaking 2023 Australian Grand Prix attendance
60,832 attended the circuit on Thursday, with that figure more than doubling to 122,927 on Friday. Around 129,000 watched qualifying on Saturday, while 131,124 were at the track for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Sunday attendance was just under 3,000 more than in 2022, when a cap of 130,000 fans was introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the second-best Sunday figure in Melbourne’s history, beaten only by 1996’s 154,000.
The attendance figure compares favourably to the other two races held so far in 2023. Race day at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix saw 36,000 in attendance, while the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix reportedly had a total weekend attendance of around 150,000.
Formula 1 tickets remain in high demand in 2023, with many races having already sold out. Tickets are already on sale for every race except the Qatar Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix. Tickets for those two races are expected to go on sale in May.
How the Australian Grand Prix attendance figure is calculated
Unlike most other races on the Formula 1 calendar, Australian Grand Prix tickets are sold for four days. Support race action took place on Thursday this year, with Supercars and Porsche Carrera Cup both racing before the Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 action began on Friday.
As with all Formula 1 races, weekend attendance is calculated by accumulating the number of people in attendance on each day of the weekend. If a fan attends all four days of the race weekend, they are counted four times.
In addition to ticket-holding fans trackside, some races include competitors and event staff in their attendance figures, which can positively boost the total attendance figures by thousands.
Australian Grand Prix “open minded” about night racing
The 2023 Australian Grand Prix was the final Albert Park race overseen by Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott, who has been in his position for 15 years. In 2022, Westacott oversaw the circuit signing a contract to remain on the Formula 1 calendar until at least 2037.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the future of the event, Westacott addressed talk of the Australian Grand Prix becoming a night race. Westacott admitted that the lengthy contract extension allows for experimentation with the Australian Grand Prix weekend format:
“The preference is in the sunshine, but what I would also say is, as you evolve the one thing that Victoria does well is innovate in major events. You’ve got to look at the 15-year horizon now and that’s why the Victorian government saw that this [new race deal] was important to secure – you can actually do things into the future. The great thing is we’ve had a partnership with Formula 1 since 1996 and therefore you can do these things with a very strong relationship. So be open-minded is probably the simple answer.”
In 2008, it was reported that then-CEO of Formula 1 Bernie Ecclestone was keen for the Australian Grand Prix to be run at night. The Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s refusal to become a night race allegedly put the race’s long-term future in jeopardy.