Formula 1 teams question high ticket prices

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says Formula 1 teams have dared to broach concerns about ticket prices being too high with the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone

Formula 1 teams question high ticket prices

As part of increasingly intense talks between teams and F1's chiefs to find out why interest in grand prix racing is falling away, one item that has been highlighted has been high ticket prices.

The extreme cost of attending some races is viewed as a turn-off for many, but lowering the price of tickets is difficult for many promoters because the high fee they must pay Ecclestone to host a race makes it hard to recoup income any other way.

Wolff says that teams are aware of the difficulties race promoters have, which is why they have mentioned the issue to Ecclestone, as well as making it clear that F1 cannot turn its back on traditional venues.

"We have dared to discuss ticket prices, and we discussed the impact and the importance of the traditional circuits like Spa, like Monza, like Hockenheim," explained Wolff about talks with Ecclestone.

"Races like that need to be part of the race calendar. This is a global sport.

"We need to go abroad and we need to conquer new territories and new countries, this always has been the case, but I guess it is pretty clear what needs to be done to fill the grandstands in the traditional races such as Hockenheim and Monza."

RESEARCH NEEDED

Wolff's comments come in the wake of McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis suggesting that F1 should do some market research to understand why some venues struggle to attract spectators.

The issue was thrust in to the spotlight at the German Grand Prix when Hockenheim could not fill it grandstands - whereas the three previous races in Canada, Austria and Britain were huge successes

Dennis said: "How can we go to Silverstone and Austria and it be absolutely full, and then we go to Germany and it's half full? There must be a reason.

"We can all guess, but that's not very scientific. We've really got to understand why these things happen.

"Is it ticketing prices? Is it national heroes etc? Whatever it is we have to address it."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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