Formula 1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey was impressed by the "incredible passion" shown for motorsport during his visit to the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend where he was honoured as the official race starter.

Carey took over from Bernie Ecclestone as F1's ringmaster in January when Liberty Media completed its takeover of the sport, leading a new management team also featuring commercial boss Sean Bratches and sporting chief Ross Brawn.

Under Liberty, F1 appears more open to working with other series instead of competing directly against them, with Carey's appearance at Le Mans as the official starter being a symbol of that.

Carey was impressed by what he saw during his visit to the Circuit de la Sarthe, speaking warmly about the event that surrounded the race.

"In many ways it shows the incredible passion that exists for automotive sports in general, and the ability for them to be at the centre of something that is bigger in sport," Carey told reporters at the FIA Sport Conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

"Sport is there, but in many ways it seemed to be a weekend celebration, people who were just having a good time, enjoying it.

"Obviously it's a very special experience, people sleeping in fields to be part of it, or sleeping on the side of the roads. The volume of people, the way they participated in it, the breadth of that experience, I think was great."

As with any sporting event, Carey said that there were things F1 could learn from Le Mans, particularly when it comes to making it a lasting experience for fans to remember.

"If I go to a Super Bowl, you go to a heavyweight fight, you go to an event like this, you go to a World Cup final - in any of them, good and bad, you can look at, 'I would have done this', 'I would have done that'," Carey said.

"I think it's somewhat unique, because it's a 24 hour event, so a lot of people aren't sitting in a seat for 24 hours, they sit and watch and go and then do something else, so there are a lot of other things to do that become part of the weekend experience.

"It's really a weekend experience with the race at the centre of it. Clearly people are enjoying themselves and doing things beyond just watching a race. I don't want to diminish the importance of the race, but it's something that is a bigger experience, a more memorable experience, than just going to watch a race and going home."



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