Formula 1 bosses are aiming to expand its Fan Festivals globally following initial success over the past two years with ‘six to seven’ targets next year.

Liberty Media’s arrival as F1 owners saw the conception of Fan Festivals in city centres to show off the sport to both current and new fans, which began in 2017 with ‘F1 Live’ in London’s Trafalgar Square during the build-up to the British Grand Prix.

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Similar events have followed this year in Shanghai, Marseilles, Milan and this weekend in Miami with car demonstration runs, team presentations and fan activities.

F1’s managing director for commercial operations Sean Bratches has backed the impact of the Fan Festivals and revealed more will be rolled out across the world in 2019.

“We’ve enjoyed great success with the Fan Festivals this year and we’re looking to create a broader programme next year,” Bratches said.

“At the present time we are looking at an expanded schedule of six to seven events. We’re targeting a second festival in Shanghai, as like the US, we see great potential for F1 in China. That will also dovetail with our 1000th race, which gives it even greater resonance. Together with the race, it should be an amazing experience.

“Beyond that we are looking to visit Tokyo and Milan, and we are aiming to put on events in Germany and the USA, though the locations there are yet to be confirmed. We are also exploring two other destination cities.

“We’re in the early phases of planning for 2019 but, as mentioned, even though we are still evolving the concept of the festivals, we’ve had great success with this first year’s programme and we’re looking forward to bigger and better in 2019.”

Bratches also says the Fan Festivals will be tweaked for next year to suit all parties with F1 teams facing tight commitment schedules while the main focus will be on F1 car demonstration runs on city streets.

“I would say that we’re in an evolutionary phase with the Fan Festivals and that we’re still exploring the right solution for how we can best reach out to people,” he said. “I think the two-day event we had in Milan was a great success and so far that has proven to be the best balance in terms of audience engagement and the availability of Formula 1 personalities.

“It’s important to say that the key element for us is for people to see these incredible machines in action.

“However, realising that is not always easy. We work closely with the teams, who have a lot of competing demands on their time, as we want to ensure that wherever possible centrepiece of our Fan Festivals features cars being driven by elite race drivers. It’s why the festivals are mostly staged in cities close to a grand prix. We want to bring current F1 cars, current F1 stars to people.”

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