Lopez hits out at F1's archaic management


Lotus boss Gerard Lopez believes that those at the very top of F1 are damaging the sport and holding it back.

Falling TV viewing figures and swathes of empty seats in grandstands are the obvious face of Formula One's failure to connect with current fans and attract new ones.

The knock-on effect is that sponsors, alarmed by the statistics, are unwilling to pay the high prices demanded, leading to the abundance of unfilled space on many of this year’s contenders.

Lopez is in no doubt as to where the blame lies.

"Formula One TV ratings are declining steeply whereas the show on track is exceptional, albeit still improvable," he told AutoHebdo. "The sport must reach out to the younger fans, namely engage them not only through TV but also and above all via the Internet and social media.

"What's more, F1 does not have any genuine marketing department," he continued, "which means there exists a significant untapped potential for commercial opportunities. According to the experts I meet regularly and who invest in other sports, Formula One remains the only activity offering a global platform likely to attract world companies. And yet, there seems to be some sort of blockage.

"Why do these potential sponsors never make the leap when they are not really undaunted by the amounts requested in F1. What's holding them back? Is it because of the sport's archaic management and organisation? While around $900 million are redistributed to the teams every year, the system keeps giving too much to the haves and too little to the have-nots.

"The gap is constantly growing, which in turn tarnishes the overall image of F1. Therefore, potential sponsors tend to show wariness when it comes to invest in the sport. All this could be fixed pretty easily but unfortunately none of the other teams shares the same vision, nor the same agenda."

Sadly, whilst his comments will strike a chord, particularly with the fans, they will fall on deaf ears when it comes to the likes of CVC and the man at Prince's Gate, not to mention those teams at the other end of the pitlane.

For its part, Lotus was one of the first to really take to social media, using it to connect with fans rather than merely using it as a tool to screw more money out of them.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 16/02/2015
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