HERE’S one for the statisticians.

The blokes who run Formula 1 went to great trouble throughout the year, counting the fans at each meeting and getting feedback on their likes and dislikes.

The results are pretty impressive:

More than than four million spectators (4,093,305) attended at least one of the 21 Grands Prix on the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar, with an average attendance of 194,919 each weekend.

Seven Grands Prix, a third of all events, attracted crowds of over 200,000: Great Britain (340,000), Mexico (334,946), Australia (295,000), USA (263,160), Singapore (263,000), Belgium (250,000) and Hungary (210,000).

The average attendance per race weekend was up over the 2017 figures by 2.7 per cent, while four events saw an increase of over 10 per cent: Azerbaijan (+31.6), Austria (+27.6), Japan (+20.4) and Canada (+11.4).

Isolating the Sunday figures, overall attendance was 1,702,959.

On average, 81,093 spectators applauded the skills of the 20 drivers on race days this year.

Once again, it was Silverstone that led the way, where 140,500 spectators watched Sebastian Vettel win, while 135,407 celebrated Hamilton take his fifth world Championship title at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The US Grand Prix drew an estimated crowd of 111,580 on race day, with six tracks posting a double figure percentage increase over the previous year: Azerbaijan (+29.1)†, Austria (+25.2)†, Bahrain (+22.1), Canada (+21.4), Japan (+19.1) and Hungary (+10.1).

The two races added to the calendar in 2018, France and Germany, drew a total crowd of 315,000 – 150,000 at Le Castellet and 165,000 at Hockenheim — more than making up for the 110,604 lost with the disappearance of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

According to the adjustments made to certain 2017 attendance figures subsequent to the release of last year’s attendance results, and the increase from 20 to 21 to the total number of events, the overall increase in attendance from 2017 to 2018 is 7.83 per cent in absolute terms.

“With nearly 200,000 spectators at each Grand Prix, and more than 80,000 packing the grandstands for Sunday’s races across the season, it demonstrates that these big numbers compare favourably with other major sporting events,” Formula 1’s Sean Bratches said.

“The whole show of a Grand Prix weekend — the Formula 1 race, all the support series and the activities around the track — constitutes a great experience for the fans.

“Formula 1 has great potential which still hasn’t been fully exploited and we are fully committed to improving the fan experience in the future.”

There will be another 21 races for the 2019 season, starting with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17 and finishing with the GP at Abu Dhabi on December 1.

It should be a corker season.

New teams, new cars, new designs, and along with the French, Australians will be keen to see how the Renault Formula 1 car shapes up with Daniel Ricciardo at the tiller.

Renault has been working overtime on developing its new racer and says it will unveil it in early February.

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.