Some Musings

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
I have just read a tweet from Alex Wurz, which made me think.

He said, that maybe F1 should approach things more like Football, or other sports, and focus on the marketing of the sport to improve poularity rather than changing the shape of the sport to suit the latest whim of the casual viewer.

Personally, as there has been so much noise over the gimmicks which have been introduced to "improve" the spectacle of F1, I was wondering if this would actually work. I mean, what clever marketing tricks could be used, without employing rule changes like DRS, tyre use, ERS limits and an increasingly complex set of regulations?

I think that there is some middle ground to be had, but F1 is not like many other sports, as there is a huge element which is highly complex, and difficult to sell to the mass market, however, there is inherent mass market appeal, whether this is down to the sheer scale and scope of F1 or the human desire to push the limits, or at least watch others doing so.

In short, I would appreciate a bit of stability without the regulations constantly being tweaked to improve the spectacle, but I am not sure that clever marketing would achieve the necessary level of penetration that would be needed.

Maybe there are avenues which could be explored though?

Any thoughts?
As a rule I would tend to think that the very worst and most gimmicky thing of them all F1 could do would be to borrow anything at all from other sports.
It would be a much better and more straightforward policy for F1 to draw on its own past, earn lessons from it, promote what was good about it and phase out what wasn't so good.
F1 an elite sport that costs a fortune to participate in BUT it shouldn't cost a fortune to enjoy.
Also, there needs to be more interaction between teams / drivers and fans.
Finally, make it transparent... Bernie's ridiculous statements may raise headlines but for all the wrong reasons. Both the FIA and Bernie should learn it puts people (potential fans) off the sport by taking attention away from racing - which is what people want to see.
First and foremost the directors and producers of the TV coverage need to be retrained. It took a long time for them to get rid of the annoying habit of just following the one or two guys at the front (1970's coverage would be absolutely intolerable today). Surely it's not beyond their capacity to have a "spotter" or two around the track who keep half an eye on the timing screens and tip them off about battles and impending overtakes so that more can be seen in real time?

It's all very well giving us a slo-mo replay of an overtake or other incident but what about the lead up to the action? The best example of how bad a spectacle that can be is when we get a replay of a DRS assisted overtake. Without seeing the work the overtaker had to do to get into that precious "under a second" zone the event is about as interesting as watching a cyclist ride past a pedestrian.

Then there is the annoying habit they have of cutting away from something happening to play one of the damn replays, or worse to cut to crowd or team reaction. Another gripe I have is with the excessive zooming in on one car and following it in a way that makes it look little more than a still shot. That is especially irritating when the car is one of several or more tussling for position.

Those are just several of the irritations with regard to the spectacle but there's also the "supporting show". The continual slide away from giving the viewer the technical background and toward the inane and decreasingly informative, presenteritis infested chit chat. The only good thing about those bits is that it gives me time to make a coffee or two and some lunch. Yes, F1 is high tech' but Martin Brundle demonstrated in his "Inside F1" tech' pieces (on another channel) that it can presented in a clear and informative way to the average viewer.

Finally, after such major changes to the reg's and what is turning out to be a pretty interesting season, is it not a good idea to have a little stability to see how it shapes up? Austria showed that whilst Mercedes got the job done yet again they didn't have it all their own way and their drivers are racing (for the moment anyway). I'm not sure F1 is broken right now and don't see a reason to fix it ...

... any more than it's fixed already;)
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Some really great points here, particularly about the horrible tv coverage, and the fact that the average family could not afford to attend a race nowdays.

When I was growing up, I actually got to meet (on more than one occasion) the likes of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Jochen Rindt, Jackie Stewart and on and on. As a result, they became more human to me a strengthened my love of the sport. It seems to me that driver interaction is almost totally a thing of the past now. The drivers today seemingly can't wait to head to either their at-track lodgings, or, when the race is over, their private airplanes and get away from the fans who, in the final analysis, are the ones that keep them employed.
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