Apr.25 (GMM) A respected specialist publication has questioned the official spectator figures published by the organisers of Sunday's highly controversial Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing passing an empty grandstand
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing passing an empty grandstand

Photo by: xpb.cc

The Sakhir circuit said 28,000 paid for tickets to the country's first Grand Prix since 2010.

"It looked like fewer," said Reuters' Alan Baldwin.

The facility's capacity is 46,000.

In a summary piece by journalists Bianca Leppert and Michael Schmidt, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claimed the grandstands were so empty on Sunday "each driver could have shaken the hand of every spectator in the grandstand half an hour before the race".

Baldwin agreed: "When Formula One drivers performed their usual parade around the circuit on the back of a flatbed truck ahead of the Grand Prix, they waved at rows of empty seats".