Spectators have been returning to F1 races in small numbers over the past year but attendances have been strictly limited since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the majority of events taking place behind closed doors.

15,000 fans were welcomed at Paul Ricard on each day of running at the French Grand Prix. Spectators are expected to return in greater numbers at this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring before full capacity is permitted at the Austrian Grand Prix a week later.

It is also understood that Silverstone has been given the green light to host a capacity 140,000 crowd for next month’s British Grand Prix after being added to the UK government’s list of pilot events.

“It’s been great to see the reaction of our drivers to the fans, cheering with them, it has been really great,” Domenicali said after the French GP.

“Already in Austria, there will be crowds, second Austria will be full crowds, and then hopefully, provided that we respect all the safety requirements of the countries, we are going to see more crowds in the next races.

“This will be a game-changer for the incredible season that we are having this year.”

Domenicali insists F1 remains determined to hold 23 rounds as planned this year despite the postponement of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, and the cancellation of races in Canada, Turkey, and Singapore. There are also doubts over several races in the second half of the season.

“The plans are [to have 23 races] as we discussed with the teams, that’s the target and we will fight down to the end to make sure that this is happening,” he stressed.

“Because with a season like this, you don’t have to miss any one.”