Carey’s conundrum: targeting new fans while preserving F1’s base

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey believes the sport needs to attract a whole new generation of fans in the coming years while also catering to its historical base.

As Formula 1 embarks on a new dawn under the guidance of Liberty Media following the long reign of former supremo Bernie Ecclestone, transformation is underway.

A new regulation platform which is in the process of being devised shall come into effect in 2021, but the sport’s managers are also focused on lifting F1’s global profile with the aim of attracting a new contingent of followers.

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“It’s probably the people who have been fans from the beginning who liked what they grew up with,” Carey explained to French weekly Auto Hebdo.

“They represent the foundation of the sport. These fans are essential,” Carey added.

“But we want to interest a new audience, and for this we must find solutions that respect the historical element – what made this category so special – while attracting new people at the same time.

“We must interest a new generation,” he said.

Liberty’s stratagem for enhancing the pre-race show for fans was given a test at Austin this year. But the glitzy Indy 500-style fanfare and intro hardly got the fans and insiders’ unanimous approval.

Carey says the sport will press on with its desire to boost the side show on race weekends however. But he also insists the focus will remain first and foremost with what happens on the track.

“It starts above all with the show on the track. I use the word ‘show’ because that’s what it should be,” said F1’s boss.

“We can make the competition better — improve the action. Around that, we want to make sure we capture the public’s imagination.”

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