The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom – Autosport

Where once, just a few years ago, venues were covering up their grandstands with banners to disguise the fact that they were empty through a lack of interest, now things have flipped around and some promoters cannot sell enough tickets. But while the explosion of interest in F1 is great news for promoters who have faced huge losses during the pandemic and sometimes struggled to balance the books beforehand, bigger crowds come with extra headaches.
And last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix proved to be a case in point as organisers were caught on the hop by the combination of an unexpectedly large crowd on the Friday, a heatwave, and a level of interest perhaps not seen for decades. Social media was full of horror stories about traffic chaos, bad organisation around the gates, a lack of food and drink (especially water) availability, and horrendous queues for public transport away from the venue.
Jonathan Noble is Motorsport.com’s Formula 1 editor. Having graduated from University of Sussex Jonathan worked for sports news agency Collings Sports reporting on F1, F3, touring cars and other sports, with articles appearing in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Reuters, Autosport and other publications. In 1999 he moved to Haymarket Publishing to become a senior editor at Autosport Special Projects, and one year later he became Autosport’s grand prix editor. In 2015 he moved to Motorsport Network, becoming the F1 editor for Motorsport.com. He is also a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and sits on the FIA Media Council.
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