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NASCAR to inspire 'fan-friendly' USF1.

USF1 team principal Peter Windsor has admitted that the Charlotte-based operation could learn a few lessons from its NASCAR neighbours, particularly when it comes to breaking the F1 mould for dealing with the outside world.

Amid speculation that the FIA is to force drivers to spend more time meeting the general public, and increase the sport's use of the internet for promotion, and teams' realisation that, particularly in financially-straitened times, they need to embrace the fans a little more, the former Williams team manager claimed that USF1 would be more open than many of its rivals.

"Something I've learned over the last year-and-a-half here in Charlotte is just how good a job NASCAR teams do for the fans," he noted, "We are in the entertainment business. We've been reminding each other of that from day one. We want this to be entertainment. We want this to be a TV-led Formula One team if you'd like."

Using his personal experience of working with America's Speed channel, for whom he has acted as F1 analyst for many years, Windsor insisted that his latest venture would be very much focused on interacting with those following the sport.

"We are going to be [TV-led] by definition, being so close to Speed, [but] we're also going to have our own television production facility inside of our headquarters," he revealed, "We are going to make this very fan-friendly, not only here in the United States, but globally.

"We are going to design the fan route. Fans are going to be welcome to come to our headquarters - there will be a tour they can take, they can look at the car being designed and built, they can touch and feel a Formula One team for the first time and it will be a lovely experience to come here.

"We'll have a state-of-the-art facility that will be as good as anything you see in Europe. It won't be McLaren [and] it won't be Ferrari because, obviously, we don't have the history, but we'll do it our way, [a way] that's compatible with being here in the United States.

"If you look at guys like [NASCAR owner-driver] Michael Waltrip, the way they operate their teams, that is a case study on how to make motorsports [fan-friendly]. The way Formula One teams present themselves in America has always been very difficult for the fans to grasp what Formula One is all about. It is very technical, there is lots of money, but nobody ever talks about it. You can't see the technology and then they go racing and maybe five cars race or maybe 26 cars race. Then they all disappear again. Obviously, we have an opportunity here to sell Formula One to our fan base - and we have a lot of Formula One fans here."

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rob - Unregistered

February 25, 2009 3:54 PM

F1 teams mingling with the fans. Revenue sharing that is fair. Sponsors other than manufactures. Bernie is probably rolling on the floor reading that. Two years from now it will be a spec series. It is already heading that way with all the rule changes.

Bob - Unregistered

February 25, 2009 8:32 PM

Finally Peter W has something to sink his very able teeth into rather than keep interviewing the rear two thirds of the F1 grid. Sadly though I don't think he will have the ability to stand up to Bernie. But somebody needs to soon!! Between he and Max never was so much money scooped by so few and in such a ****y beligerant and arrogant way. In my opinion!!

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