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Whitmarsh: F1 needs to sell itself

Martin Whitmarsh says F1 needs to sell itself more to fans and not become complacent
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has said that F1 needs to do more to sell itself and not become complacent about its popularity.

The Chinese Grand Prix proved to be one of the most exciting in recent seasons after Lewis Hamilton hunted down Sebastian Vettel through the final laps to take his first win of the year.

However, the race was played out in front of a large number of empty seats in the grandstands around the circuit and Whitmarsh said it was a prime example of why the sport needs to do more to make sure its popularity doesn't wane.

"Formula One is used to going to venues that know and understand Formula One and want us," he was quoted by Reuters. "I'm not blaming anyone because we're all part of it, but we're not good at promoting our sport in new territories and I think you've got evidence of that not just in China."

"We've got to work harder at it. Fortunately we still have a fantastic worldwide television audience but we need to work harder at circuits that are in new territories to promote the sport.

"If you go to downtown Shanghai and look for all the promotions going on for this event, I suspect you would struggle to find very much. I'm not a sports promoter, I'm just someone who works for a Formula One team but it strikes me that we've got to do much more to promote our sport, develop it, invest in its promotion than we do."

With the United States set to return to the grid next season, Whitmarsh said the race at the newly-named Circuit of the Americas would be an ideal opportunity for the sport to show what it can do to engage with the fans.

"The USA does not need Formula One, we need the USA, and I think if we just plonk ourselves down there and believe that America is going to reignite its enthusiasm for Formula One, I think we are wrong," he said. "I think we've got to work harder than traditionally we've had to.

"I think we (FOTA) have got to engage better with the commercial rights holder to accept that we've got to do more than we've done in the past."



Related Pictures

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26.03.2011- Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
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Frank - Unregistered

April 18, 2011 1:20 PM

A good place to start Mr Whitmarsh would be to ban corporate speak and allow drivers to say that the car is **** when it is ****, and that the team made a balls up when the team made a balls up and to stop all this positive spin. F1 is just plain dull. The press conferences are just so awful. The team owners and principals are just dull. However, the press is also to blame as they print the dull stuff instead of actually writing interesting provocative articles. Come on crash.net write something containing an opinion and don't worry about not getting a free lunch.

Nick636

April 18, 2011 12:14 PM

How about not charging a country $800mil to host it, then said countries don't have to charge an arm and a leg for tickets, stands will automatically fill quicker and stronger. eg. WSB 2010 at Kyalami, South Africa, we had to pay 450 rand (Only about $45 to the 'mericans) but it's A LOT of money for one person in South Africa. I shudder to think what F1 tickets would cost IF we ever get the Cape Town plan on the roll.



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