Formula 1 has released its fan attendance figures for the 2017 season which showed an 8% increase on the 2016 numbers with a total of 4,071,400 fans at the 20-round campaign.

The fan numbers indicate an average of 203,570 in attendance per race weekend with a race day average of 76,722, while 16 out of the 20 races reported an increase in attendance compared to its 2016 numbers.

Numbers complied by each race promoter show the biggest improvers are the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with a 58.01% increase in fans closely followed by the Austrian Grand Prix with a 41.38% jump (both compared to 2016 numbers). While the Baku city numbers were off the back of the new race in just its second season, Verstappen's rise in F1 is credited for a chunk of the boost for Austria with its close proximity to his homeland.

Similarly, the Italian Grand Prix saw a 20.27% rise in fans attending compared to 2016 thanks to Ferrari’s resurgence as a title contender in 2017. The Japanese Grand Prix saw the sharpest decline in attendance of 5.84%, with Russia enduring a drop of 5.33% and USA 4.61% on the year previous.

But with a total rise of 8% in fans attending Formula 1 races, commercial managing director Sean Bratches sees strong positives having enjoyed Liberty’s first year in charge of the sport since taking over from Bernie Ecclestone. Bratches says more fan attractions are planned for 2018 to continue the increase from this season.

“The 2017 season was a great spectacle, on and off track, thanks to drivers, teams and, most of all, fans, the beating heart of our sport,” Bratches said. “An attendance of more than 200,000 per event means that for 20 weekends per year, the population of a medium-sized city visits a race track to watch to a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Our duty is to make each of these events even more entertaining to unleash what is the greatest racing spectacle on the planet.”

Here is a breakdown of the top ten most popular F1 rounds of 2017 followed by a summary on all 20 races.

1. Canadian Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Event attendance: 360,000 fans (+16.69% on 2016)

The city park circuit comes out on top as the most attended race on the 2017 Formula 1 calendar with 360,000 over the entire race weekend in Montreal. A key market for new owners Liberty which was remembered for a dominant Grand Slam by Lewis Hamilton with victory, pole position and the fastest lap. The pole position saw Hamilton equal his F1 hero Ayrton Senna’s all-time pole position record and was presented with one of Senna’s helmet with blessing from the Brazilian’s family. Hamilton was emotionally hit by the gesture and said he’ll treasure it over all other trophies he’s won in his career.

The Canadian Grand Prix will remain a firm fixture on the F1 calendar after he new deal this year to keep the round until at least 2029. Race organisers celebrated a 16.67% increase in fans attending the race compared to last year, a jump of 60,000 fans in total, to take top spot for 2017.

2. British Grand Prix, Silverstone

Event attendance: 344,500 fans (-1.6% on 2016)

While the British race’s future remains in doubt the event still keeps its top billing status despite slipping to the second-highest attendance for 2017. A fractional slip of 1.6% in fans over the race weekend won’t be a major cause for concern as 344,500 visited Silverstone where Hamilton claimed his second Grand Slam of the season to add extra gloss to his fourth consecutive British GP win.

But trouble is on the horizon for the British race after Silverstone owners the BRDC active a break clause in its F1 contract meaning unless a new deal can be secured the final British Grand Prix at the Northamptonshire circuit will be in 2019. The clause was used as a reaction to spiralling costs to host the race in a deal initially secured with Bernie Ecclestone.

3. Mexican Grand Prix, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

Event attendance: 337,043 fans (-0.87% on 2016)

Another highlight of the season for Hamilton, an occurring theme at the top of this list, as he sealed a fourth F1 world title in Mexico with the race effectively matching its total attendance from 2016.

Held around the Day of the Dead festival, Mexican GP organisers are determined to retain its calendar spot despite calls from the US race to split the two up give their close geographical proximity. 337,043 fans over the race weekend is likely to dissuade any pressing changes for the future with the Mexican race returning to F1 in 2015 after two decades away.

4. Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park

Event attendance: 296,600 fans (+8.36% on 2016)

The season opener appears to gone from strength to strength with an impressive increase on the 2016 crowd figures, while this year’s race hosted the debut of the new-look F1 cars and tyres. At the end of the Australian summer and in the centre of Melbourne provides a potent combination plus the emergence of local driver Daniel Ricciardo as a fan favourite.

5. Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps

Event attendance: 265,000 fans (+11.80% on 2016)

One of the races potentially profiting from the ‘Max Verstappen effect’ with an increase of 11.80% in fans over the race weekend, also boosted by home hero Stoffel Vandoorne on his F1 debut at the iconic circuit. Heavy rain on Friday, a typical hallmark of a Spa race weekend, didn’t put off fans and the nicer weather returned for race day to welcome a healthy crowd.

6. Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit

Event attendance: 260,000 fans (+15.77% on 2016)

Singapore celebrated its 10th year of hosting Formula 1 in style thanks to a bumper crowd which increased by 15.77% on 2016. Fans were treated to an thrilling start in the first wet night street race as Sebastian Vettel collided with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen before turn one, allowing Lewis Hamilton to maximise a surprise advantage.

7. United States Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americas

Event attendance: 258,000 fans (-4.61% on 2016)

Aimed as Liberty’s best chance to demonstrate its changes to Formula 1, personified by the boxing-style driver walkouts, it’s perhaps surprising to see a small dip in crowd numbers on last season but a healthy 258,000 at the entire event ensures it remains one of the best attended races. Another round where Hamilton dominated as he edged closer to the 2017 F1 world title as a crowd favourite with no local driver to cheer on.

8. Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo

Event attendance: 200,000 fans (no change on 2016)

Another sell out for the jewel in the F1 calendar sees the Monaco race retain its top 10 status as the principality is transformed when the sport comes to town. Rarely Monaco provides an all-time classic race due to the twisty and narrow track layout but the glamour and high-life of Monaco guarantees plenty of fans.

9. Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring

Event attendance: 199,000 fans (+11.56% on 2016)

The final race before the mid-season summer break was another to enjoy a huge increase in fan numbers from 2016 with an 11.56% jump as it narrowly missed out on breaking the 200,000 barrier over the race weekend. A relatively low-key race but just a short journey outside Budapest at the height of the European summer clearly provided the pull to the Hungarian capital with temperatures above 30c all weekend.

10. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit

Event attendance: 195,000 fans (no change on 2016)

The F1 season finale became the crux of the 2016 season with the world title duel going to last lap between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Despite all titles being wrapped up the glitz of Abu Dhabi ensured the fans returned to the race with no recorded change in crowd numbers year-on-year to see it keep its top ten spot from the resurgence of the Spanish and Italian races.

A full rundown of the 2017 F1 fan attendance figures (all numbers supplied by Formula 1).

 

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