Formula E boss sounds alarm: Verstappen reign pushing fans away

Jeff Dodds, the new chief executive officer of the electric motorsport series Formula E, has issued a stark warning regarding the potential decline in Formula 1’s fan base due to Max Verstappen’s ongoing streak of unchallenged victory. Despite Formula E’s previous positioning as a contender to Formula 1’s popularity, the traditional motorsport category continues to enjoy a surge in interest thanks to Liberty Media’s enhanced focus on F1’s entertainment aspects. However, Dodds believes that fans’ patience for competitive racing has its limits.

Speaking to Spanish sports publications during the latest Formula E event in Sao Paulo, Dodds highlighted his series’ competitive edge, “We’ve had eight different champions in nine seasons,” noting the close contests, “Most of them have been decided in the last race.” He stressed the importance of competition, “Fans love competition, and when competition begins to disappear, the fan base begins to disappear too.”

In a stark contrast, Red Bull’s Formula 1 team clinched victory in 23 out of 24 grand prix races last year, setting a new record with a 96 percent win rate. This dominance has sparked concerns, as Dodds remarked, “Now the question is whether Max will be able to win all 24 races on this year’s calendar, and we don’t want to be that kind of sport,” referencing Verstappen’s flawless start with two wins already this season.

Amidst F1’s pre-season testing in February, Dodds proposed a charitable wager of $250,000, betting on Verstappen’s continued success to clinch the 2024 championship, underscoring the prevailing expectations of Verstappen’s ongoing dominance within the sport.

-GMM

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