RANKED: The Highest Attended F1 Races of All Time

As Formula 1 attendance figures continue to rise across the globe, we take a look at which Grand Prix weekends were the best-attended in the sport’s history and which events have had the largest F1 race-day crowds.

Formula 1 attendance figures have been on the rise in recent years. A large number of events have attracted record crowds in the three seasons since races re-opened to fans following the coronavirus pandemic. The rise in audience numbers can be attributed to a number of factors, not least the continued success of the Netflix series Drive To Survive, which has introduced an entirely new audience to the sport.

In 2019, the final full season of racing before events were held behind closed doors due to the ongoing pandemic, 4.1 million fans attended the 21 races that year. In 2022, the first season in which every race was open to the public since the pandemic began, 5.7 million fans attended the 22 races, an increase of 39%. That number grew even further across the 22 races held during the 2023 season, to over 6 million. In the space of four years, the average weekend attendance rose from 195,000 to over 270,000.

With interest in attending Formula 1 races continuing to grow and tickets continuing to regularly sell out, there’s every chance the record attendance figures below could soon be broken.

What is the best-attended Formula 1 race weekend of all time?

With a four-day weekend attendance of 520,000, the 1995 Australian Grand Prix is the best-attended Formula 1 race weekend on record. 1995 marked F1’s final visit to the popular Adelaide street circuit and fans turned out in force for the final of 11 Formula 1 races in Australia’s fifth most populous city. It is the only Formula 1 race weekend to have had a weekend attendance larger than half a million.

Adelaide hosted its 11th and final Formula 1 race in 1995. (Image: Anthony Cramp, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The final race of the 1995 season saw Damon Hill take victory by two full laps – the only occasion on which a driver has achieved the feat in Formula 1 history. Michael Schumacher, who had already won the title, retired from the race. It was his final appearance with Benetton before moving to Ferrari in 1996. Race day itself was attended by 210,000 fans. At the time, it was a new record for the biggest recorded race day attendance (more on the race day attendance record below).

According to our research, 25 races have had confirmed attendances of over 350,000 in Formula 1’s 74-year history. Of those, 13 have taken place in the last three years. Behind the 1995 Australian Grand Prix in second place on the list is the 2023 British Grand Prix. Silverstone had an attendance of 480,000 over the four days of the race weekend, including 160,000 on race day alone – both new records for the circuit which hosted the very first World Championship event in 1950.

The official weekend attendance figure at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix was over 440,000.

Both the 2024 and 2023 Australian Grands Prix rank in the top four best-attended Grand Prix weekends, having had a 4-day attendance figure of over 452,055 in 2024 and a weekend figure of 444,631 in 2023. The Albert Park circuit – which took over Australian Grand Prix hosting duties from Adelaide in 1996 – has two further appearances in the top eight best-attended F1 races of all time. Close to 420,000 attended in 2022, while the inaugural 1996 event attracted a reported 401,000.

Throughout its history, Formula 1 has struggled to find stability in the American market. Now, however, the series has had the confidence to add two additional races in the United States – in Miami and Las Vegas – thanks to continued growth in interest stateside. The United States Grand Prix, which has been held at Circuit of The Americas since 2012, remains one of the best-attended races each season.

Attendance figures at the United States Grand Prix are continuing to grow.

The 2022 United States Grand Prix weekend currently ranks as the fourth-best attended on record, with 440,000 passing through the circuit gates. The figure fell slightly in 2023 to 432,000 – a figure which still ranks sixth in the all-time list. COTA boss Bobby Epstein has ambitious hopes of United States Grand Prix attendances reaching 500,000 in the coming years.

The Best-Attended Formula 1 Race Weekends on Record

The table below shows the best-attended Formula 1 race weekend attendances on record according to official sources. Estimated race-day attendances are not included. More information about how Formula 1 attendance figures are calculated can be found below.

RankRaceVenueWeekend attendance
11995 Australian Grand PrixAdelaide520,000
22023 British Grand PrixSilverstone480,000
32024 Australian Grand PrixAlbert Park452,055
42023 Australian Grand PrixAlbert Park444,631
52022 United States Grand PrixCircuit of the Americas440,000
62023 United States Grand PrixCircuit of the Americas432,000
72022 Australian Grand PrixAlbert Park419,114
81996 Australian Grand PrixAlbert Park401,000
92022 British Grand PrixSilverstone401,000
102023 Mexico City Grand PrixAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez400,639
112021 United States Grand PrixCircuit of the Americas400,000
122022 Mexico City Grand PrixAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez395,902
132023 Belgian Grand PrixSpa Francorchamps380,000
142021 Mexico City Grand PrixAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez372,000
152006 Japanese Grand PrixSuzuka361,000
162004 Australian Grand PrixAlbert Park360,885
172022 Belgian Grand PrixSpa Francorchamps360,000
182005 Australian Grand PrixAlbert Park359,000
191994 Japanese Grand PrixSuzuka357,000
202019 British Grand PrixSilverstone351,000

What is the Best-Attended F1 Race Day of All Time?

The biggest ever single day attendance for a Formula 1 race came on race day at the 2000 United States Grand Prix. The race marked Formula 1’s return to the United States for the first time since 1991. 250,000 fans were in attendance for F1’s first race on a road course layout of the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the highest-capacity sports venue in the world. (Image: Kim, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The highest-capacity sports venue in the world, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has gathered large crowds for its annual Indianapolis 500 since the event was first held in 1911. The race was run as part of the Formula 1 World Championship between 1950 and 1960, though it rarely featured contemporary F1 drivers and was not open to Formula 1 cars. These events rank among the best-attended “F1” races. The best-attended Indianapolis races in this period were the 1952 and 1960 runnings, which had estimated race day attendances of 200,000.

The 2000 United States Grand Prix broke the record for the biggest race day attendance by 40,000. Before the Indianapolis race, the 1995 Australian Grand Prix had held the record for both the biggest weekend attendance and the biggest race day attendance.

Crowds line the track at the 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Before the 1995 Australian Grand Prix, the 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix held the record for the largest race day crowd. The first race behind the Iron Curtain, F1’s inaugural visit to the Hungaroring attracted 200,000 fans. Hungary has been ever-present on the F1 calendar ever since 1986, though Sunday attendance has never been as high since. The 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix attracted 303,000 fans over the entire race weekend.

A few other races have had estimated, but unofficial, race day crowds of 200,000 or more. Among them are the championship-deciding 1951 Spanish Grand Prix, at which Juan Manuel Fangio claimed his first championship crown. Estimates put race day attendance at the Pedralbes circuit at 250,000, which would match the 2000 United States Grand Prix if accurate. Some sources even cite the attendance at the 1951 Spanish Grand Prix as high as 300,000. Other races on longer tracks – such as the original layout of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps or the Nordschleife layout of the Nurburgring – also reportedly attracted similarly large estimated crowds.

Formula 1 raced at the Pescara Circuit only once, in 1957.

The 1957 Pescara Grand Prix and the 1970 Mexican Grand Prix are two other notable events with crowds upward of 200,000. Such was the scale of the Pescara street circuit – 25.801km to be exact – tickets were not sold for the event. The 1970 Mexican Grand Prix, meanwhile, became a victim of its own success. Crowd control issues almost saw the race cancelled before it began. The trackside problems led to Formula 1 dropping Mexico from its calendar, eventually returning some 15 years later.

We have not included a full list of the biggest race day crowds in Formula 1 history as official single day figures are not as widely reported as the larger weekend attendance numbers, therefore making a definitive list impossible to put together.

How are Formula 1 attendance figures calculated?

The attendance figures in this article have been gathered from numerous sources, including FIA documents, official attendance numbers released by Formula 1 and race promoters, plus contemporary news reports.

It should be noted that reported attendance figures are not always accurate and the method by which attendees are counted can vary. A famous example of inaccurate attendance figure reporting came at the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, when the reported attendance figure was retrospectively halved from 360,000 to 180,000.

Furthermore, the method by which attendees are counted can differ by circuit. Some promoters will include all operational staff, team members and holders of free tickets in addition to paying ticketholders in their attendance reports. Such practices can inflate the true attendance figure by tens of thousands.

For weekend attendances, fans who attended on multiple days of the weekend are counted for each day that they attended. The weekend attendance figure of 520,000 at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix, for example, does not mean that 520,000 different people attended – it could be as few as 130,000 who attended all four days of the race weekend.

3 thoughts on “RANKED: The Highest Attended F1 Races of All Time”

  1. The 2000 USGP at Indianapolis had more than 225,000 people on Sunday and more than 500,000 for the 3-days. Wikipedia says they drew 250K on Sunday alone. The only GP that could have topped it over the 3 days was 1995 Adelaide. Adelaide may not have even topped it at all. As you noted, Indy beat Adelaide by about 40,000 people on race day. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where one GP draws 160K for Sunday and 360K for the other two days, while another GP pulls 225-250K on Sunday but fewer than 300K for the other two days.

  2. Rubbing Is Racing

    How does the article that came out in Aug. 2023 know the attendance figures for the COTA race that happened in October 2023?

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