The Singapore Grand Prix – considered one of most challenging circuits in the Formula One (F1) auto racing calendar – returns for its 14th edition this September 15-17 with a shorter layout but increased number of laps.
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, the annual night race along the island-state’s Marina Bay has generated more than S$1.5 billion in incremental tourism receipts since its debut in 2008. Last year’s race drew a record crowd of 302,000 race goers (of which 49% were foreign visitors and 51% Singapore residents).
In this article, we explore how popular F1 motor racing has grown in Singapore: what proportion of F1 fans have ever attended the race in person? And turning a spotlight to the 2023 edition, what has most drawn fans to get tickets for this year’s race – and why have other fans decided not to? Finally, which F1 drivers and artistes at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix boast the largest fan bases?
How popular is F1 motor racing in Singapore?
Latest research from YouGov Surveys reveals that more than one in three (36%) Singapore residents follow F1 motor racing. Compared to other birth cohorts, Gen X has the highest proportion of F1 followers (41%). Men are also more likely than women to be F1 followers across all generations, but especially among Gen Z.
When asked if they had attended the Singapore Grand Prix in person before, about half of F1 followers in Singapore (49%) say they have yet to catch a trackside view of the race.
When asked about this year’s Singapore Grand Prix, about a third of F1 followers in Singapore (32%) say they will be watching the race on-site.
Notably, about a fifth (18%) of 2023 Singapore Grand Prix attendees are attending the race in-person for the first time.
What are the top reasons drawing F1 followers to attend the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix in person this year?
About three in five (59%) of this year’s race goers say the opportunity to meet up with friends to watch the race together has drawn them to attend the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix in person, while 57% say they generally enjoy a trackside view of the race.
About half (49%) of race goers also cite being a fan of one or more F1 drivers who will be competing in this year’s edition as one of the reasons they are getting tickets, while two in five (39%) point to being a fan of one or more artistes who will be performing at this year’s entertainment lineup.
Most first-time attendees – three in five (62%) as well – also cited meeting up with friends to watch together as the most common reason for catching a trackside view of the race.
Close to a third (31%) of first-time attendees said being a fan of one or more F1 drivers who will be competing in this year’s edition, the next most common reason, while a fifth (21%) point to being a fan of one or more artistes who will be performing at this year’s entertainment lineup.
What are the top reasons other F1 followers aren’t attending the race in person this year?
Close to three-fifths (58%) of F1 followers who aren’t attending the 2023 race in person say ticket prices are out of their budget this year. Notably, ticketing costs are by far the most common reason among past attendees who are not catching the race on site this year as well (52%).
Over half (54%) of F1 followers who aren’t attending the 2023 race also cite preferring catching the race via television broadcast, as do almost two-fifths (38%) among past attendees.
The next most common reasons, following at a distance, are not being able to secure race tickets in time and not being interested in this year’s entertainment lineup / performing artistes.
Who are the most popular F1 drivers at this year’s Singapore Grand Prix?
Data from YouGov Surveys also shows that Britain’s Lewis Hamilton enjoys the largest fanbase among F1 followers in Singapore. The Mercedes driver came out tops when fans were asked to select their three most favourite drivers competing at this year’s race, and again when fans were asked to rank their number one driver.
Spain’s Fernando Alonso is next most popular in the top three favourite drivers ranking, but comes in third in the most favourite ranking, while the reverse is true for Netherlands’ Max Verstappen – indicating that the Aston Martin driver has slightly broader appeal, while the Red Bull driver has more fans for whom he is their top favourite.
Other drivers with broad appeal, but are a top favourite among noticeably lesser fans, include Mexico’s Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Spain’s Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg (Haas F1).
On the other hand, Finland’s Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) and Britain’s Lando Norris (McLaren) have more niche appeal, and rank noticeably higher in the most favourite ranking compared to the top three favourites ranking.
Who are the most popular artistes performing at this year’s Singapore Grand Prix?
Robbie Williams is the most popular artiste performing at this year’s Singapore Grand Prix. The English singer, formerly of pop group Take That, came out tops when fans were asked to select their three most favourite entertainment acts at this year’s race, and again when fans were asked to rank their number one most favourite artiste.
Hong Kong rapper-singer Jackson Wang is next most popular in the top three favourite artistes ranking, but comes in third in the most favourite ranking, while the reverse is true for US rapper-singer Post Malone – indicating Wang has slightly broader appeal, while Malone has more fans for whom he is their top favourite.
Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.
- Sign up for monthly insights on the Leisure & Entertainment, Travel & Tourism, Agencies industries here.
- Read YouGov’s latest intelligence on the Leisure & Entertainment, Travel & Tourism, Agencies sectors here.
- Explore our living data – for free.
Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online in August 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1,022 adults (aged 18+ years) in Singapore, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, and ethnicity to be representative of all adults in Singapore (18 years or older), and reflect the latest Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.
Photo from singaporegp.sg