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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.

F1 races in Austin, Mexico City hitting financial rough patches

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AUSTIN, Texas — Two of Formula One’s three races in North America are facing financial issues that are raising concern about their future.

Organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix won’t get at least $20 million from the state of Texas for the 2018 race after missing a paperwork deadline set by state law. And new questions lurk about the future of the Mexican Grand Prix after the country’s new president suggested the government may not spend on the race like it has the last four years.

Both races have been popular with drivers and fans, and have enjoyed key dates on the F1 calendar. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched season championships in Texas in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018.

Officials in Formula One and at the Circuit of the Americas, host of the U.S. Grand Prix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.