International Sport > Formula 1 > MARCHIONNE: F1 NEEDS TO FIND 'HALFWAY HOUSE'


Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne believes Liberty Media needs to find a "halfway house" for Formula 1 in order to suit different markets in Europe and America.

Liberty fully acquired Formula 1 in January and has undertaken experiments this season, with the desire to expand in the United States regarded as a key ambition.

Marchionne, though, has warned Liberty against "sapping away the DNA" of Formula 1, and reckons the sport needs to find a balance between the respective markets.

"There is an opportunity here if we do the things right to make this a relevant sport in the US," Marchionne said at the launch of Alfa Romeo's Formula 1 comeback.

"If we do that it'll benefit the sport tremendously [but] I put a big proviso on this.

"As much as I love the country, and spend half my life there, the real issue for me is there's a tradition and a history of F1 that cannot be denied by this expansion.

"I think we need to be careful that this desire to make us attractive to the American public doesn't end up sapping away the DNA of a sport that…grew up as a something of a dignified gentlemen's sport.

"I don't think we should be doing anything to this that will take it away, we need to preserve it, we need to modernise it, in a way which Americans find relevant. That's the tricky part."

Marchionne reckons that the mixed reaction to the driver introductions at the United States Grand Prix demonstrates the different mindsets that Formula 1 has to satiate.

"If we go too far to try and appease… I think for example, I'll be honest, the performance in Austin, the way we arranged the show was not what I think a Formula 1 event ought to be," he said.

"But I think it's part of a trial and error exercise, I don't think it worked incredibly well, I think a lot of the Europeans were somewhat taken aback by what happened.

"We need to find a halfway house that somehow appeases and actually enhances the interest of the public on both sides of the pond, I think we can do this, but it takes time."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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