Expect purer, easier to understand racing, with more of a focus on digital media, and a greater emphasis on democracy
Formula 1’s new owners, Liberty Media, have ambitious plans to grow the sport’s audience and revenues by making major changes to many aspects of its organisation. New F1 motor sports MD Ross Brawn, 62, has talked about making F1 “purer” and easier for viewers and spectators to understand. Although he is regarded as one of the greatest tactical engineers in the sport’s history, Brawn has confessed to nding races difficult to follow when watching on television in recent years.
“I want a fan to be able to turn on a race halfway through and know what’s happening, because, at the moment, unless you’ve followed it from the start, you don’t,” Brawn said. He added that he “already has ideas of things we should study and perhaps introduce in 2018 or ’19”.
Brawn has dropped several hints about areas he wants to look at. He has described the DRS overtaking aid as “artificial” and has bemoaned “short-term, knee-jerk reactions” that shape poor rule-making. The double-points nal in 2014 and the asco over changing the qualifying format in 2016 are obvious examples.
F1 chairman Chase Carey wants to enhance the amount of promotion given to the sport. Sean Bratches, former ESPN executive and F1’s new commercial chief, said he wants to strengthen the core European races and make race attendance more of an occasion. He will also look to establish new races in “iconic US cities”, and in Asia and Latin America. Bratches’ other mandates include better use of digital media to engage fans and promote F1’s personalities, and a more democratic decision-making process.
Carey said: “I have been hearing the races are too predictable, they need to be more competitive, that the rules have gotten too complicated, that the engines need to be louder and faster and cheaper. I hear that the engineers have overtaken the drivers. They are complicated issues, but our job is to wade into them. We have a great sport and we start from a great place, but clearly we can make it much better than it is from those perspectives.”
Brawn: “I want a fan to be able to turn on a race halfway through and know what’s happening”
New F1 motor sports MD Ross Brawn is no fan of DRS, having described it as “artificial”