(© Ben Johnston 2015)
Formula One needs to look at changing the start times of Grand Prix in the future according to Williams Martini Racing’s Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams.
The sport has seen a sharp decline in television audiences across Europe in the last few years however when it comes to viewership in the United Kingdom it has increased over the years with both the BBC and Sky Sports F1 HD covering Formula One.
Speaking on last week’s #AskCrofty F1 show special on Sky Sports F1 HD Williams said that one possibility that could be looked at is that race start times are brought back to 4PM (UK time) as way of increasing the popularity of the sport due to the fact that with the current start times Formula One takes up most of a Sunday afternoon which means that fans don’t get to do much on a Sunday afternoon and as a result they don’t watch the sport.
However Williams says that if the sport has later start times fans can go out for the day and then come home and watch a Grand Prix event and she believes that this will increase the popularity of the sport.
Williams said that she found it surprising and disappointing that the German Grand Prix has been taken off the calendar for the 2015 season.
Formula One used to be primarily based in Europe with Grand Prix in France, two in Italy, two in Germany, Spain, the UK, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and of course Monaco. Today there are just seven European rounds on the Formula One calendar.
The Italian Grand Prix could also follow the German Grand Prix off the calendar according to the Formula One Supremo Bernie Ecclestone as the contract for the event is up for renewal at the end of next season.
Formula One now has more fly-away Grand Prix on the calendar which is a huge expense for teams as they continue to look for ways to reduce the cost of operating in Formula One. Lotus, Red Bull Racing, reigning world champions Mercedes AMG PETRONAS, Williams Martini Racing, the Sahara Force India Formula One Team, the Manor Marussia F1 Team and the Haas F1 Team all have bases in the United Kingdom.
Scuderia Ferrari and Scuderia Toro Rosso are both based in Italy. Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli are also based in Italy. Engine manufacturer’s Mercedes and Honda are also based in the United Kingdom with Mercedes based in Brixworth while Honda are based in Milton Keynes along with their main HQ in Japan.
Renault Sport F1 are also based in Europe in France.
© Ben Johnston 2015