“It’s just been a magical week for Melbourne,” said Brodie Harper, a 41-year-old television presenter.
“Melbourne shines. You get to feel the grandeur of what Melbourne is.”
Friday was the release of the fifth season of Drive to survivethe Netflix Formula 1 documentary has been called “one of the best sports marketing devices of all time” and is part of the explanation for its surge in popularity.
“Since the series started it has changed from the men who go to Formula 1 with their friends to their partners and girlfriends who want to go. I don’t think it’s more of a men’s sport,” Harper said.
Women will soon be driving in Formula 1 competition, she predicted. “It is fantastic to see emerging female drivers competing for positions in Formula 1 and it will be fascinating to watch over the years. When it happens, it will be great.”
Eleanor Baillieu, 29, daughter of former Prime Minister Ted Baillieu, attended her first Grand Prix with her father as a child.
“I appreciate my dad for getting me involved. It was definitely a male-oriented audience coming to Formula 1, a lot of my girlfriends weren’t sure about it,” she says.
The increased popularity was due to several factors, she said, including women’s growing prominence in sports such as cricket and the AFL.
“It has become more common for families to be involved,” Baillieu said.
“In the last 10 years, I’ve started to see a lot of younger kids coming in, especially with their dads.”
The Australian Grand Prix, the third on the global calendar, runs from March 30 to April 2.
In 2022, it recorded an estimated attendance of 419,114 over the four days, setting a global record, although local Save Albert Park campaigners dispute how the numbers are calculated.
Last year, Victorian taxpayers spent a record $78.1 million hosting the event. The 2022 race, the first after two years of cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, generated $75.1 million in revenue but cost $153.2 million to host. The state government said the race increased Victoria’s gross state product by $171 million.
This increased number of women attending has had an impact on their attitudes about buying cars, Stamoulis said.
“We are seeing more and more women running their own businesses and their car becoming their second office, so it is very important that they have a car that suits their busy lifestyle.”
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