F1 urged to decide if it is 'sport or entertainment'

Formula 1's bosses must decide whether the series should be entertainment or sport before making any drastic changes, says Williams performance chief Rob Smedley

F1 urged to decide if it is 'sport or entertainment'

Formula 1's bosses must decide whether the series should be entertainment or sport before making any drastic changes, says Williams performance chief Rob Smedley.

F1 has suffered a drop in viewing figures with several races suffering falling attendances and there are plans for a rules revolution in 2017 to produce faster, wider cars with fatter tyres to spice up the show.

There are also discussions about introducing an alternative and cost-effective engine and balancing performance from 2017 in a bid to drive down costs and level the playing field.

But Smedley says the very nature of sport means every event cannot be exciting and he believes Formula 1 is currently striking the right balance.

"My opinion is we put on a good show," said Smedley.

"Formula 1 really has to decide what it is, like football has to decide what it is. Is it a sport or is it entertainment?

Is F1 letting down its best drivers?

"You have to ask yourself 'do we entertain people?' And the answer is yes we do. We put on some fantastic shows.

"Fundamentally what we have is a very good package, a really good platform for the fanbases and the markets that we serve, but we need to keep making it better.

"I'm a great football fan, and sometimes I watch it and I'm bored stiff by it, it's not very exciting at all and it doesn't really entertain me.

"I still love football at the end of the game and sometimes Formula 1 is like that.

"Sometimes we put on absolutely stunning races that are just naturally fantastic to watch and sometimes they're not. I think we strike the right balance."

Smedley said Formula 1 risked becoming predictable by moving towards a more entertainment-focused show.

"You can make it purely entertainment and introduce all sorts of falsities to the racing element," he said.

"But when you do that, you effectively make it a show and you have no sporting element to it at all and you lose the excitement.

"If the fastest driver is handicapped to be the same speed as the slowest driver you take away all the unpredictability out of it and the sporting element and it becomes quite tedious."

shares
comments
Jenson Button braced for tough winter with McLaren F1 team

Previous article

Jenson Button braced for tough winter with McLaren F1 team

Next article

Outgoing Manor F1 chief Graeme Lowdon: 'I've done the right thing'

Outgoing Manor F1 chief Graeme Lowdon: 'I've done the right thing'
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021