Echoing the prior claim of his driver Lewis Hamilton that Formula 1 can become 'boring' in the absence of overtaking, Ron Dennis has stressed the need to retain the interest of its supporters who are the lifeblood of the sport in such uncertain times.
With a package of cost-cutting measures having been agreed between governing body the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), the next focus is on improving the spectacle, with a number of suggestions in the pipeline to spice up the show.
These include Bernie Ecclestone's desire to see an Olympic Games-style medals system implemented in the top flight, and possibly even points for qualifying and reverse grid formats. McLaren team principal Dennis is adamant that something must be done if fans are not to follow teams like Honda and Super Aguri in abandoning the sport.
“Within a few days, we will get the results of a global market research into the perception of F1 by the public, by the audience,” the 61-year-old revealed during a speech at the Autosport International
show, noting of possible changes: “It might mean by varying the qualifying format, it might be varying the race format, or it might be by changing the accessibility of F1.”
The Briton confessed that whilst he is a motor racing purist, he is ready to back even radical changes if they have a 'positive' impact upon F1 – as long as the essential 'DNA' of what is a globally popular sport is not altered.
“I am pure,” he argued, “but it can be pretty boring – not to me, but it can be pretty boring for you guys if the race is a procession.
“We have to be mindful of the fact that those people who are captured by F1, their interest is maintained.”
Last summer recently-crowned world champion Hamilton caused a media furore when he suggested that F1 can be 'boring' and 'a bit dull' [see separate story – click here