Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is an excellent example of a race that lacks excitement, and it is one reason why the sport needs to change, Formula 1 boss Chase Carey admitted.
Talking during the BRDC Awards on Monday, Carey emphasised that even the F1 teams realise the importance of a tighter competition and the need to encourage better racing. But they may disagree on how to carry out that goal.
“Abu Dhabi puts on a great show and a great event,” Carey said. “But the race in Abu Dhabi was not what we want in the sport today.
“And I think there’s broad-based agreement amongst the teams.
“Obviously on specifics there’ll be differences, but there’s broad-based agreement on things we need to do to make the competition better, make the action better, make the sport more captivating, have other cars have a chance to win, have the unexpected happen, and have events happen on the track that really live up to what makes F1 so special.
Carey took the opportunity to plug their 2021 plan which focuses on reducing engine costs, bringing budget caps etc. to make the racing more competitive.
“Everybody knows the initiatives we have in terms of engines and costs and rules and the like. We’re all driving to achieve that.”
Carey admitted that it would be hard to get the long-term fans to accept changes they are planning to implement.
“Probably the people who have been with it the longest, and are the hardest core fans, probably they’re the ones that have liked that what they’ve grown up with,” he added.
“They are the foundation of the sport, so our historic fans are tremendously important.
While appreciating the hard-core fans, Carey is keen to bring new fans to the sport and increase its popularity. Changes are necessary to accomplish that, he added.
“But we want to bring new fans in, and to bring new fans in we have to continue to find ways to respect the history and what’s made the sport special, but also find ways to entice and engage new fans. We’ve got to bring in a new generation.
“It’s a great sport, with great stars, a great brand, great heroes. It is an incredibly captivating sport which combines competition with state-of-the-art technology that I think shocks and awes fans. It’s great, but we can make it much better.
“And it starts with the sport on the track. We can make the competition better, the action better, and then around it, we want to make sure it’s a sport that captures everybody’s imagination, an event that captures people’s imagination.
“We’ve used the word spectacle, and it should be.”