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F1 reports eight percent rise in track attendance through 2017

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Formula 1 has reported an eight per cent increase in track attendance figures across the course of the 2017 season as more than four million fans enjoyed a live grand prix in the last year.

Thirteen grands prix recorded a rise in attendances through 2017, with five seeing a dip in the number of fans coming through the gates. Two races – Monaco and Abu Dhabi – reported no change in their gate figures.

The highest increase came courtesy of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, with a 58 per cent rise following its inaugural race in 2016. Austria, meanwhile, benefitted from the Max Verstappen boom to report a 41 per cent increase.

Races in Russia, Great Britain, Japan, the USA and Mexico all saw falls in their attendance figures compared to 2016. The race at Suzuka had the highest percentage drop of 5.84 per cent.

“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,” F1 commercial chief Sean 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.”

The full list of race attendances as per F1, including year-on-year changes, is listed below.

Formula E: Vergne outlasts di Grassi for Punta del Este victory

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Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.

Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.

The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.

Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.

Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.