Formula 1's missing eyes a worry despite knife-edge title fight

Poor spectator attendance at the recent Italian Grand Prix and rumours of F1 being for sale two red lights the sport needs addressing.

2021-09-23 10:31:00 AM

Poor spectator attendance at the recent Italian Grand Prix and rumours of F1 being for sale two red lights the sport needs addressing.

Poor spectator attendance at the recent Italian Grand Prix and rumours of F1 being for sale two red lights the sport needs addressing.

After two weeks of accusations and heated discussion regarding the Lewis Hamilton/Max Verstappen incident at Monza, we can hopefully watch the same two protagonists battle it out for the title, without the intervention of a safety car or recovery vehicle this weekend. We will wish for just good, hard, wheel to wheel racing in Sochi during the Russian Grand Prix. One aspect concerning the Monza weekend rose from the offices of F1 owners and the president of the FIA, Jean Todt. In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport he was reported as asking: “Why so few spectators at Monza? During...

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After two weeks of accusations and heated discussion regarding the Lewis Hamilton/Max Verstappen incident at Monza, we can hopefully watch the same two protagonists battle it out for the title, without the intervention of a safety car or recovery vehicle this weekend.

We will wish for just good, hard, wheel to wheel racing in Sochi during the Russian Grand Prix. One aspect concerning the Monza weekend rose from the offices of F1 owners and the president of the FIA, Jean Todt.In an interview withGazzetta dello Sport headtopics.com

he was reported as asking: “Why so few spectators at Monza? During Friday’s qualifying I was disappointed looking at the stands.”It appears the low attendance has placed the Italian round in doubt for future seasons, despite Monza holding a contract to host the event until 2024.

Todt continued: “I would be disappointed if there wasn’t at least one race in Italy on the Formula 1 calendar for the next few years. But it is a question to ask Stefano Domenicali.”Apparently Domenicali, F1 chief, responded: “We are discussing with the organisers precisely to understand how to relaunch the Grand Prix. I find it hard to think of an F1 without Monza, but events are also business and there must be an economic return that justifies them.”

So once again it’s all down to the money. Surely one must consider the current Covid pandemic and limitations on numbers of spectators enforced by the authorities, rather than a lack of interest from the world renowned fanatical tifosi.Perhaps even more significant is the cost of such fans attending the race. Gone was the general admission ticket allowing fans to gather on the grassy slopes around the historic circuit. This year was grandstand tickets only.

In 2019 a general admission ticket was around €100 (R1 725) for the three-day event. Now your three-day enforced grandstand ticket would cost between €410 (R7 075) and €650 (R11 217). Perhaps the fact the cheapest admission is over four times more expensive than the last visit is an even greater reason why the tifosi stayed away. headtopics.com

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While we are discussing finances it appears there is an air of discontent within the walls of F1 Headquarters and perhaps more importantly within those of Liberty Media, current owners of Formula One.Since purchasing the sport from CVC Capital Partners almost five years ago, it has not been an easy ride for Liberty. Many issues, including the pandemic, have adversely affected plans and predicted financial income for the new venture.

Moves to “improve” the sport have had limited success and many suggestions have not been well received by teams, fans and the company’s investors.Rumours are Liberty is negotiating for the sale of F1 with solid interest shown from potential investors in Saudi Arabia.These discussions have been under way for some time and could be finalised in a matter of weeks. Watch this space.

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