Formula 1 CEO fires shot at Bernie Ecclestone

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has claimed the sport used to be “too arrogant” to thrive in America.

Formula 1 has seen a significant spike in interest across America in recent years, in part, due to the popularity of the Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’.

The sport has been seeking to capitalise on this rapid rise in viewing figures and social media followers across America with new races in Miami and Las Vegas.

The total number of events across America has reached three, with a more US races potentially on the horizon.

While the US was traditionally a challenging market for Formula 1 to break into, Liberty Media managed to turn that around after taking the helm from Bernie Ecclestone.

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“The reason why we have always been there but were not a great success was because we were too arrogant to pretend that the American fans would understand who we were without really taking the time to explain with the right language, with the right narratives,” Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told Speedcafe.

“We’re going there for the weekend, three days, pretending everyone was really interested in us – big mistake.

“So we changed completely the other way approach.

“Of course, being an American company, we have the privilege of understanding better.”

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The recent Miami Grand Prix reflected the changing mindset within Formula 1, as they seek to adapt races in the US to reflect the demands from fans.

Although it received mixed reactions from drivers, a lively introduction with musical guests and dramatic introductions in Miami proved popular online.

Formula 1 has also made changes to the sport’s format to try and attract new fans, with a revised Sprint weekend format adding more action on the track.

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The format, rolled out in Baku, added a second qualifying session and reduced practice to a one-hour session to provide more wheel-to-wheel action.

“We need to stay focused on understanding that the American fans have a different way of living the events and talking about Formula 1,” Domenicali said.

“We have the opportunity, now we are capturing new fans, much younger, more diversified, to get into the details of explaining what Formula 1 is.”