McLaren CEO Zak Brown would like to see greater involvement from fans to help shape Formula 1’s rules in the future, saying the sport needs to “pay more attention” to its target audience.

F1 bosses are currently in the process of finalising the overhauled technical and sporting rulesets for 2021, as well as introducing a revised commercial structure, all of which is intended to improve the on-track spectacle and increase its appeal to fans.

The latest meeting in Geneva on Tuesday saw officials from F1 and the FIA meet with teams to discuss future plans, with the drivers being represented by Romain Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel.

Asked by on Friday at Hockenheim about driver involvement in forming F1’s future, Brown said that while he was pleased by their input, he felt a greater onus needed to be placed on listening to fan feedback.

“I think it’s good to see the drivers involved. I’d like to see fans involved,” Brown said.

“One of the things that Formula 1 has done is a lot more consumer research, and I think we need to pay more attention to that consumer research.

“You end up having in these meetings 10, 20 people that have a long history in the sport, so we all have our views, but I’m not sure we’re the target customer for the future of Formula 1.

“Any consumer products company would go out to the market place and find out what their customer wants, and would design that new product around what the consumer wants. You wouldn’t have 10 guys sitting back tasting their own food saying: ‘This is what I like, but the consumer research says something different.’

“I think we need to listen to the fans and react to the fans more, so when you get into things like qualifying, and we talk about the purity of qualifying… well, says who? If the new fans want to see qualifying in a different format, isn’t it the new fans who we’re trying to attract?

“So maybe we should try something new. I think we need to pay more attention. I think it’s great that the drivers are more involved, and I’d like to see more fan counsel.”

F1 has stepped up its fan feedback initiatives since its takeover by Liberty Media in 2017, most notably through its F1 Fan Voice community that runs regular surveys to gauge fan opinion.

The 2021 rules are set to be finalised in October after a postponement was agreed last month to waive the initial deadline of June 31.



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