F1 must not lose its 'magic' for fans and sponsors, warns Marussia
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer||Wednesday, February 5th 2014, 09:42 GMT|
Formula 1 must make sure it retains its 'magic' for fans and sponsors at grands prix, as well as television audiences, Marussia chief executive Graeme Lowdon has warned.
There have been concerns that F1 will lose some of its audio impact under this year's switch to quieter turbocharged V6 engines.
Lowdon believes this could have a particular effect on sponsors at grands prix, a group he says F1 can ill-afford to disappoint.
"I think on television the spectacle is set to be absolutely amazing, really truly amazing and I hope that's the case as the TV audience is obviously very large and very important to everyone involved," he said.
"What I hope is that we don't lose the magic that happens in the garage when you take the lucky few people into that environment.
"Where that's really important is that we take decision makers of large international companies who are funding this sport into that environment and you can see on their face that they're visibly moved when a Formula 1 car fires up.
"For a lot of people experiencing that kind of environment for the first time, it's another world. They cannot believe it.
"It's almost like a violent energy inside these cars, they're so powerful.
"I think it's important to have that texture in Formula 1 because it helps demonstrate that Formula 1 is different. We have to make sure that we maintain that somehow."
Lowdon said Jerez testing proved F1 had lost some of its volume.
"It's certainly quieter because you could make a phone call during the test at Jerez," he said. "I've never done that before, so it's certainly different."
He added that the new cars' behaviour on track would make for exciting television viewing.
"The small amount of running I've seen out on the track already suggests that on the TV it's going to be quite spectacular," Lowdon said.
"But, as ever with regulation making, it's a balancing act between making something that's appealing for the TV audience - and by far the greatest number of fans watch Formula 1 on television - and for the promoters to have that unique atmosphere of a grand prix.
"We've said all along that has to be protected."