Revealed: FOTA plans to improve show
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Thursday, March 5th 2009, 13:18 GMT|
The Formula One Teams' Association has vowed to improve the spectacle for the fans as part of their 'roadmap' for a better future for grand prix racing.
The teams' body announced several new ideas that will be studied and implemented in order to improve the show for the fans, both on television and on track.
With refuelling set to be banned from 2010, FOTA said it is aiming to "enhance the spectacle and entertainment by recording the performance of each pit crew member, identified by a number on the back."
Other ideas to get closer to the fans include "new forms of entertainment on the race venues involving drivers, against local heroes, joint running show car events and joint launch event (2010 onwards), and joint sponsorship and partnership programme involving all the teams and drivers," said FOTA in a presentation on Thursday.
FOTA is also aiming to increase the content offering both for TV and Internet, making team personnel and drivers more accessible for interviews, as well as offering more technical data, permanent radio communications and access to teams' back-offices for TV crews.
Improving TV coverage and on-screen data is also a goal for the teams' body, who unveiled several new ideas to spice up racing broadcasts.
"Historically Formula One has been a collection of secret societies and we haven't been able to work together sufficiently to share information," said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh on Thursday.
"It's quite interesting how interested fans are in the technology, in the tactics and in the strategy, and that's without us feeding it.
"I think there were some examples that we tried to illustrate today, where you look at other sports and how they've enhanced the show by providing more information. Like any sport if you can feed that information, fans can become more deeply involved, and interested, and intoxicated by it.
"So I think it's great news. Of course some fans like to see fights between the teams, and at the moment there are a few of those and maybe there will be fewer in the future. But ultimately you want sport out there on the track on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and you want us out there to be cooperating and releasing, making available, all of the radio transmissions while the cars are out.
"How many teams over the years have spent lots of money with encrypted radio systems to prevent that? That was a big, big initiative. There are lots of little one-liners, and I think in a year's time we'll take them for granted. I think in a year's time we won't have perhaps recognised the significance of some of the proposals that have come from FOTA.
"But I do think that the sport and the ability for fans to become involved, to buy into it, to understand it, and to enjoy it, will be greater."
He added: "I think anyone who's responsible for the commercial development of the sport has got to be ecstatic about the teams cooperating more fully with how we develop those things."
FOTA's proposals for TV coverage enhancement:
Gap and fuel load analysis
Cornering line comparison
Pit stop predictor