The n Grand Prix Corporation is confident that it’s mix of sport, business, innovation and industry is exactly the recipe that Formula One’s new owners are keen to promote as they look to maximise their multi-billion dollar investment.
AGPC chief executive Andrew Westacott said this week that Liberty ceo Chase Carey and commercial operations manager Sean Bratches had been impressed by what Melbourne had to offer both on and off track.
Westacott said the Melbourne race at Albert Park would continue to provide a unique fan experience that brought together motorsport enthusiasts from around n and the world – which is Liberty’s core plan to grow the sport.
“In Sean Bratches’ case, he has been 27 years in ESPN and enviously he has been to 28 Super Bowls, but that was his first ever Formula One event that he’d been to in the world,” Westacott said. “And what he saw was something that absolutely fits with where they want to take Formula One.
“I’m not saying therefore that we get everything right, but what they saw they liked and they saw that we do what they want to do for Formula One, and therefore we can both grow together and there was a really good feeling of continued optimism of expanding our great event.
Westacott said Liberty was focused on making the sport more accessible for fans through face-to-face and digital engagement.
“It’s brought a new focus of ‘can do’ on the fan experience, elevating the Formula One brand and separately to that digital and partnerships,” he said. “So everything that Chase [Carey] and and [Sean] Bratches particularly talk about is partnerships and maximising the benefit for Formula One and maximising the benefit for the promoter.
“We loved having them out here, they had a great time, they saw a great event and we have really got 12 months of optimism and continued new ideas. If Melburnians and the world thought this year’s event was great, wait until we conjure up next year’s event.
And while the n race organisers continue to attract criticism for not providing detailed crowd figures, Westacott says there’s little doubt that interest from fans and corporate backers is increasing as Daniel Ricciardo continues to impress on the world stage.
“I felt that with what the team has done over the years we have had continued growth since about 2010-2011in terms of revenues, and the reason I see Melburnians embracing it is that it has now been here for 22 years and the expansion of the footprint of Formula One, it is not just a car race.
“It’s not just motor sport, it is industry and innovating. It is a way to do business in that unique way because corporate and the corporate world has to entertain and it has to do business and it needs to do business in ways that are creative and fun and interesting and Formula One and our event provides that in terms of networking opportunities, inbound trade missions and just business and technology coming together with sport.”
Westacott conceded Ricciardo’s poor weekend had been a dampener on the event, but said the wider story was that he was still scrapping.
“I didn’t have too many disappointments across the weekend, but unfortunately sport is sport and that is why we love it and you know if Daniel couldn’t get up and win, at least the Red Ferrari was there. We just have to be patient. People say Daniel expended too much time and effort into the PR activity. We are always very mindful of that, only Daniel knows that and his team. I think it was just unfortunate, just not a good racing weekend.
“I think what he continues to show that he is a very mature, level-headed, likeable sportsman and fantastic young n and he can drive.
For his part Ricciardo conceded ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix that he was not particularly happy with his fourth in China, but it was at least better than his woes at Albert Park.
“That was kind of what I felt was my first real race of the year. In Melbourne I didn’t really race. Didn’t get the real experience,” he said on his website DanielRicciardo苏州夜总会招聘.
“Obviously when you are close to the podium you always feel like … I wasn’t stoked with the result but definitely take something from it and it wasn’t a disaster by any means. Hopefully the races continue to be more exciting like they were in China.”