The Silverstone race – which still does not have a deal in place beyond 2019 after circuit bosses activated a break clause – had a weekend attendance figure of 340,000, with its race day figure 140,500 also the highest of the season.
The Mexican Grand Prix was a close second on both weekend and Sunday numbers, recording 334,946 and 135,407 respectively.
F1’s announcement of its figures said 4,093,305 fans attended at least one race this year, with an average attendance of 194,919 and seven races attracting weekend crowds of over 200,000 – Great Britain, Mexico, Australia, USA, Singapore, Belgium and Hungary.
“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, thus confirming a trend for growth,” said F1’s commercial operations managing director Sean Bratches.
“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, as the attendance and research figures confirm.
“We strongly believe that 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.”
F1 reported its 2018 numbers represent an increase of 7.83% compared to 2017, adding that the two races returning to the calendar – France and Germany – both outperformed the Malaysian GP’s final event in 2017.
The races with the biggest increase in attendance compared to 2017 were Azerbaijan, Austria, Bahrain, Canada, Japan and Hungary.
F1 sporting director Ross Brawn said this week that any efforts to hold a race in London would not be intended to act as a replacement for Silverstone, suggesting a street race could “complement” the venue that has hosted the British GP every year since 1987.