Saturday, 26 July 2014

Briatore to be involved in group overseeing the improvement of Formula One for fans


Ex Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore is set to be involved in Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone's new working group which is being set up to help find ways to make Formula One more popular. Briatore was banned from working in Formula One following the 2008 Singapore 'Crashgate' scandal and was handed a life time ban from working in F1 however the ban later lifted.

Ecclestone met with team bosses in the Hungarian Grand Prix paddock on Saturday morning to inform the teams that he will be holding a series of summits in a bid to boost the sport's waning popularity. At the last race in Germany last weekend there were only 50,000 fans at the race on the Sunday afternoon. 

One of the idea's being proposed by Infiniti Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner is that fan's should be given greater access to Formula One such as 'behind the scenes access' like garage tours and greater access to the drivers.

It has also been suggested that the media in Formula One would get involved in the meetings. Speaking about the summits Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff revealed:

'Bernie expressed a wish to discuss with teams about how we can improve the show of Formula 1.It wasn't a negative meeting, we have seen some great racing and some packed race tracks, at Austria, Montreal and Silverstone.'

He went on to say:

'But then we have seen smaller audiences here and at Hockenheim - why is that? So we're going to come together and come up with ideas.'

McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier believes that Formula One as a sport needs to take responsibility for the current negativity in the sport saying:

'A lot of people in the paddock have been negative about the change and everything that F1 is trying to do, Obviously if we give you material to write negative then you will write negative, so we have to share the blame all of us.'

Formula One's TV audience's have dropped around Europe however in the UK it was revealed that the sport's TV audience has seen a huge increase this year and this could be down to the new regulations and the excitement surrounding the sport this season.

© Ben Johnston 2014

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