Interesting development in this one - Vettel said today he would probably disobey team orders again and that his move was "indirectly" based on Webber's past lack of support. This doesn't sound like something Horner and the team would want Vettel to be going public with, admitting there is a rift between the two drivers and that one thinks he is above the other and the team in many ways. Questions of how Horner can gain control of the team are heightened further with this development
Surely it's a case of supply and demand? The British GP doesn't seem to be struggling to attract a strong crowd each year. Seems to me that the races are all fairly sensibly priced to maximise revenues from their local market.
I hardly think the Monaco GP comparison is a realistic one: the level of access and viewing Silverstone provides by the nature of a permanent circuit vs a street circuit is entirely different and much superior at this price point. I'd be interested to see a comparison of the cost of a pint and some chips at these races!
In my view the entire eco-system is out of wack, by design. Gone are the days of dreamers and garagistas, which is good and bad.
When one considers the logistics involved with taking the races across continents, it seems that 20 would be the maximum that is feasible. Ideally, between 15 and 20 quality venues seems appropriate. And I believe it is imperative to keep the blue riband venues aka Monaco, Spa, Monza, and Silverstone on the schedule.
Too many vested interests for this to happen, in my opinion.
I watched Rugby Union try to enforce a cap, which was so open to abuse.
Great idea, but flawed!
At TTXGP we have taken electric racing to Daytona, Assen, Le Mans, and many more, we are aiming for some form of presence in Asia in 2014. Electric bikes can now do 20-30 miles at speeds topping 170mph, with lap times that would mean an electric bike would qualify about 9th on a MotoGP grid.
Asia is a big market for technology & renewable energy, and many Asians ride bikes, less can afford cars. So I think the draw for the electric motorsport is sponsorship based, and the attraction of high net worth individuals who may invest in teams.
Consider that Lewis' career was "born" at McLaren and that he's been groomed in their system; consider also that Sergio Perez came from a Ferrari-based culture and now needs to meld into McLaren's way of doing things.
It's my personal belief that Hamilton felt the culture at McLaren had become stale for him and he needed a change - considering how well he knows the Mercedes-Benz engine, how well respected Ross Brawn is as a driver mentor (see Schumacher, Michael - early days - for such a scenario) this could be a good move for Lewis.
But then again, I guess we'll all have to wait and see.
I do thing Norberg Haug felt the need to secure a true No. 1 driver and the best one out there for Mercedes was Lewis Hamilton.
Unfortunately what we are witnessing with Lewis Hamilton is the classic early-phase career conundrum that many before have endured. Witness Jenson Button's torrid time in the early 2000's after the initial euphoria created by his entrance to F1. Early adulation and huge earnings have a habit of limiting clarity of thought, and the only difference for Hamilton over Button is that he has had the benefit of driving a winning car and tucking up a championship title early on.
Whatever advice Hamilton is getting, whether from Simon Fuller's XIX Management or contracted manager Didier Coton, a move away from McLaren makes no sense if racing-to-win and simultaneously earning substantial rewards are your dual focus. This is a team which has won 25% of all the races it has competed in since 1966 and has a portfolio of commercial partners to die for.
The lure of even more money, flexibility of the number of personal appearances he has to make or opportunity to take on significant personal endorsements can be very attractive. Especially to a management team. For such a competitive man, however, I cannot believe these baubles can lure him away from the chance to be the best in the world every other Sunday.
What the Ferrari President is showing is the realisation that Formula One, and car racing in general, is failing to attract the young audience it once did. As companies like Honda are finding in previously key-automotive markets like Japan, young men aspire to own the latest in gadgets, entertainment and computer equipment rather than cars.
In addition, we can see that what young audience there is for F1 is choosing to follow Formula One in quite a different way thanks to the ability to download races, or highlights, and use media players to focus only on the key points - the start, the accidents, the pit stops and the overtaking. It is possible to self-edit a 2-hour Formula One race into no more than 10-12 of the key moments.
Montezemolo's thoughts about shortening the races probably highlight the concern that the younger audiences won't sit through hours of racing. An interesting point when one considers the blanket coverage offered by channels such as Sky Sports F1 with pre-race build up starting 1.5 hours before the race and last for a long time afterwards. Does anyone sit through 4.5 hours of F1? I don't and I work in the industry!
From my perspective the bigger opportunity lies in the technology available in F1, and already used to some extent. Witness the Sky Sports F1 multi-channel offering whereby you can watch the entire race from one cockpit or swapping camera views from pit lane to cockpit to live-feed. This should be taken further and packaged with an interactive element; there is no reason why the individual car's telemetry cannot be streamed - confidentiality issues aside - and potentially for gamers to race 'live' on-line during the actual race on the same track. The continued success of the F1 game on Playstation evidences the fact that young audiences enjoy participation.
Interaction using the amazing technology within the sport would be a better solution than the blunt instrument of limiting the event with the reduced benefit that brings for fans, media and sponsors. Formula One is helping to develop the connected-car which will ultimately benefit us all; perhaps time to create a fully connected fan.