The second pre-season test of the 2015 Formula 1 Season is upon us. And while pre-season testing form is almost impossible to predict, Rishi and I tell you what you could expect when the Formula1 circus tests their act in Barcelona.
Era of Title Sponsors Over?
Is the era of ‘title sponsors’ in Formula1 over? I think not, but Ron Dennis does think so. I am not sure if this is entirely his way to make peace with himself, his shareholders and his fans given that Mclaren is the only top team on the grid that is entering it’s second season without a top sponsor. A case of ‘sour grapes’, as Rishi calls it. And if Dennis was disappointing in his views, Flavio Briatore, one of the smartest minds in the sport, has come up with an even more radical thought, one that could define the business of the sport in the future.
More Changes for 2017
And I wonder what’s it with teams gunning for radical changes in 2017. I am for changes that make the sport more viewable and understandable, but not if they’re some 24 months away! It would be rude to expect the existing and new fan to wait till the sport ‘corrects’ itself, so to say. And on that note, we offer our views on the ‘Future of F1′ concept by Ferrari.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton Contract
Also, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton need to stop talking about their impending contract and sign it. Yes, this story does have global interest given the stakes involved, but they’ve overdone their PR on this subject already. Does Hamilton have other options at the moment? And in that case, Mercedes certainly does seem like they do, or will.
Audiences Have Dipped Globally
Lastly, the TV viewing audiences have dipped globally which is directly related to pay-per-view and subscription led broadcast as opposed to free-to-air strategy that the sport followed until not too long ago. The good news is that the audience that remains is expected to be more ‘sticky’ and relevant, and overall, USA has shown an increase in numbers, which will be interesting as the sport is strategically inclined to growing in that market. And of course, a BIG thank you to our listeners from the USA, you guys really have helped put our podcast on the top of the list! Keep Racing!
Kunal Shah is a former single-seater racer who now works in the Motorsport industry as a sports marketing professional. He maintains a personal Formula1 blog on kunalsf1blog.com and is also the co-host and co-producer of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, a weekly show on the sport.
Image Source: F1 Fanatic