Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I read an interesting article today written by Keith of F1Fanatic. I always reads his blog and his views are quite on the spot of things F1. The article was about F1 attendance figures at the live races, on track. We know as F1 fans that attendance figures have dropped due to many factors. One of the fan favorite and most enduring factor is cost.

Every F1 fan would like to attend a live F1 race at least once in their lifetime or maybe even a few. But sad to say the price of admission has prevented us from going. Yes we can buy the cheapest ticket but that is reserved for the hardcore fan who doesn't mind the heat or cold or rain.

Keith commented that:
It’s an unfortunate fact of Formula One that merely being well-attended is not enough for a race to keep its place on the calendar. So many races are now subsidised by governments that promoters cannot expect to cover the hosting fees Ecclestone demands by selling tickets.
A case in point is the United States Grand Prix, which returned to the F1 calendar in 2012 at the newly-built Circuit of the Americas. Despite having had over a hundred thousands fans on race day on each of the four occasions so far, it emerged last year the promoters had fallen behind on their payments to Ecclestone.
The way I look at it and I think this is what many F1 fans think as well, is that the cost of watching F1 live and most of the things that go with it such as food, drinks, merchandise even parking rates are determined by how much Bernie makes from the circuit. I can't blame the circuit because they can hardly cover the race fees, much less make a profit to keep the place going. And Bernie just keeps squeezing every year.

How much does he plan to take with him to the grave anyway? If he made it cheaper for the circuits to hold races, it would filter down to everything and make F1 a more fun event to attend. Look at Nascar. They have so many more races than F1 in a year but every race is filled to the brim. It's overflowing with people. It's crazy!

Personally I've been to the Sepang and Abu Dhabi race live. Both was sponsored so I didn't have to pay. The grandstand seats are nice, much better than the open air, grass lined hills. But to be honest even with a USD1000 seat, I'm not really that interested to watch a race live at the track. Why? Because I'm the kind of fan that needs to know what is happening at every second of the race.

At the track, you only see the cars whizzing by for a few seconds and the positions changing on the leaderboard. The most you can watch on the big screen, which isn't very clear because the circuit can't afford a high tech one because they have to fork out most of the money to Bernie.

Watching at home I can have a high def feed plus live timing plus live chats with other fans worldwide plus telemetry data from some teams. It's nice, cool and dry. The sofa is not made of cement or grass. And I don't have to pay Bernie a cent!

Really I'm not sure how long F1 can go on like this. Sucking the sport dry and ignoring new media and new fans. Even my mad interest in F1 is waning. You can see this in the declining posts that I have on this blog. Some days I just don't know what else to say.

The good news is nobody lives forever.

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