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Latest deal sees F1 bid to attract more celebrities

NEWS STORY
03/04/2019

Those of you who thought Will Smith's antics with Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi last year, when the actor 'swapped' places with the world champion to take his place on the grid, were all semi-spontaneous fun and games, may - or may not - be surprised to learn that it was in fact the opening move in a deal which sees the sport partner with the star's Westbrook Studios.

Formula One Management has announced that F1 has teamed up with Westbrook Studios and Apollo World Touring to "initiate a new broadcast entertainment initiative", which is due to hit screens next year.

The partnership is aimed at "enhancing the sport's entertainment", by means of attracting "a range of A-list celebrities, stunts and challenges, supported by live music performances in host cities over F1 Grand Prix weekends".

It is hoped that this will "bolster fan engagement by providing new outlets for supporters to come together and get involved while also generating commercial partners with new opportunities to collaborate".

"As we continue to build F1's entertainment and content offering, partnering with Will and Westbrook and the team at Apollo is an amazing opportunity to attract even more star power to F1 and the Grands Prix around the world, engaging with an even wider audience," said Sean Bratches, the sport's commercial boss."

The announcement comes ahead of the premiere of ‘Will Smith's The Bucket List', a collaboration between F1 and Westbrook first shown on Facebook Watch which depicts the actor bonding with his son Trey as they both drive on-track over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

"I've always been a massive fan of the Formula 1 world," said Smith, "and fell even more in love with the sport while shooting an episode of ‘Will Smith's The Bucket List' with Lewis Hamilton at last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"F1's commitment to creating engaging and inspiring content for its fans mirrors our mission at Westbrook Studios. The synergy of our storytelling is undeniable, and I'm excited for fans to join us on this wild ride."

And die-hard F1 fans signal their support for this exciting partnership in... 3... 2... 1.

Check out our Wednesday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by oldestmike, 04/04/2019 11:30

"I could get along quite nicely without the Grid Walk and all the so-called stars. They add zero to the proceedings, as far as I'm concerned. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 04/04/2019 4:35

"Looks like I cancelled my TV channel subscription just in time."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Uffen, 04/04/2019 0:03

"Looks like I left F1 behind just in time! I was put off by the few celebrities that were shown on TV in recent years, but this is laughable. "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Kkiirmki, 03/04/2019 21:03

"When are the actual "fans" going to benefit from any of this? Rich "celebrities" can buy their way into the paddock, pit lane, garages etc. most fans can't. Why not offer the "average" person something, that doesn't require having a large bank balance? Look at what IndyCar do with the fan ride (in a two seater IndyCar) before a race, or random draws from the crowd for access to the more inaccessible areas, why can't F1 do something similar?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by GarH, 03/04/2019 17:32 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 03/04/2019 18:24)

"I'm really out of touch with today's fans. Are they really that obsessed by celebs they'd pay money to see meet them? It appears some are, according to an article on the BBC website.

"Is it worth paying to meet your heroes?"

Fans of Lady GaGa are paying £1.5k to meet her. How much would you cough up to get a selfie with Kimi?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by F1nerd, 03/04/2019 16:02

"F1 the support race to a load of so called celebraties trying to make a name for themselves, what a joke. Leave Formula 1 alone, just get on with the racing and forget about the clap trap"

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Lapps, 03/04/2019 15:08

"Formula 1 already has enough celebrities. They have names like Lewis, Seb, Charles and Daniel. The focus on a racing weekend should be on them.

What Liberty seem to be aiming for is to put together an entertainment razzmatazz with actual racing as a small part of the overall programme. They will destroy F1 as just as surely as Bernie built it up.

Since they own it, the only way out would seem to be for the competing Teams to refuse to sign up after 2121. They could then start their own Series. The main problem would obviously be Venues, but I’m sure most of the current Franchises would be happy to escape as soon as their Contract Terms permit.

Come on Christian and Toto it is in your hands. (By the way, when are you two having your promised Race?)"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Greg, 03/04/2019 14:56

"@imejl99. Love the story. Only problem with it is that you have given LM another 'good idea' for them to implement. "

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9. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 03/04/2019 14:42

"How about simulator racing with a celebrity driver change, no travelling, no circuit fees, hell you do not even need a car!"

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10. Posted by imejl99, 03/04/2019 14:26 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 03/04/2019 18:24)

"On Friday evening at National Theater, Libery F1 Qualifying Draw Gala® gathered more than 50 celebrities from all walks of life. We spotted Ninja chatting with Elizabeth Swann among other hopefuls to get in a Libery F1 Qualifying Draw Gala®. F1 drivers and team principals seemed a little bit nervous, not that journalists helped with all sorts of questions. Some drivers seemed tired, as there was little time from FP2 to the evening event.

After few opening words, Will Smith of Westbrook Studios commenced the Libery F1 Qualifying Draw Gala®.
Of the 50+ celebrities invited, 20 will be paired with F1 car numbers. Needless to say, unselected celebrities are eligible for next race Libery F1 Qualifying Draw Gala®. Selected ones can enter Libery F1 Qualifying Draw Gala® after 25 days since selected.

Draw itself went somewhat awkward, but it is the first, so we give it a pass.

After Libery F1 Qualifying Draw Gala® was over and every F1 car got celebrity to qualify it for the Sunday race, most excited was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as he got car No.5 to qualify (Vettel`s Ferrari). We asked Formula 1 racing driver Roman Grosjean of his qualifying expectations from Emilia Clarke, "hope she wont get any penalty" he said, following with a smirk.

Photos from the Libery F1 Qualifying Draw Gala® will be available only on F1 social media.

"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by PaulButler, 03/04/2019 14:20 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 03/04/2019 18:24)

""enhancing the sport's entertainment" , here's a thought then. Improve the racing ....."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by klmn, 03/04/2019 14:03

"pathetic"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

13. Posted by Ro, 03/04/2019 13:48

"Its not F1 any more. Its a Circus full of clowns."

Rating: Positive (9)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

14. Posted by Burton, 03/04/2019 12:59

"I haven't watched qualifying in years, intentionally tune in for the race late enough that sometimes the grid formation lap is already on...this is just what I needed to get back on board!!!111!!11eleven!!"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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