2023 Australian F1 Grand Prix Attendance Forecasted To Be Biggest Yet
Visual media company, Getty Images, has revealed why the upcoming Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix (AusGP) event could be the biggest spectator attendance event yet, attributing a large part of the motorsport’s popularity to Netflix’s Drive to Survive series.
After a surge in motorsport interest at the bookend of COVID implications, last year’s Australian circuit drew a record four-day attendance of 419,114, with AusGP Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott, projecting this year’s spectacle could break that record.
Additionally, December 2022’s initial release of tickets saw an instant sell-out for the Sunday race, with a crowd of up to 130,000 expected to grace the Albert Park circuit for the last day of the week-long event.
However, according to Getty Images and iStock head of creative insights Asia Pacific, Kate Rourke, it is Netflix’s F1 docuseries that has shifted what was once an exclusive sporting event reserved for car enthusiasts into the mainstream, attracting new target audiences in younger fans and women.
Now in its fifth season, the wildly successful Drive to Survive series offers viewers unseen access to the world of F1 drivers, providing audiences a glimpse into the lives and personalities of the athletes as they compete in the high-stakes global tour.
Following the docuseries’ release, the AusGP Corporation reported an increase of 24 percent–48 percent in female attendees between the 2019 and 2022 Grand Prix in Melbourne, which Rourke explains as “echoing trends of sports fandom in the country”.
Explaining how Drive to Survive helped F1 build a diverse fanbase, Rourke said: “The dramatised and behind-the-scenes elements make viewers feel a wide range of emotions that drivers experience when they race.”
“By revealing intimate details on their personal lives and journeys, the show helps to create a human connection that makes fans invested in F1 as a sport and as a way of connecting with their sporting heroes, and appeals to a broader audience,” she said.
Getty Images’ VisualGPS insights support this, citing a growing shift towards young fans following the sports for individual athletes.
Getty’s statistical data found that:
- Searches on Getty Images and IStock for the drivers themselves are trending higher than they were in 2022 in Australia, with the current most popular searches being “Daniel Ricciardo”, “Max Verstappen”, and “Charles Leclerc”.
- 48% of Australasian consumers say their top motivators to follow athletes is to be inspired by their mental discipline, and 31% say to see the struggles they overcome, which are highlighted in the series.
- Over half of Australasian Gen Z (56%) and millennials (41%) say their favourite athletes are the primary reason why they engage with sports.
The series’ audience impact has influenced sports brands and marketers to follow suit, with Netflix launching similar docuseries following professional tennis and the PGA Tour in ‘Break Point’ and ‘Full Swing’.
Heading into the 2023 Australian F1 Grand Prix this weekend, motorsport fans can expect to headline record attendance and broadcast figures, in addition to the local debuts of F2 and F3 formats in Australia.
This news comes after the Australian Grand Prix 2023 announced a partnership with Optus to enhance fan experience.