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Mixed reactions to Indy 500-style F1 spectacle

  • Published on 25 Oct 2017 12:20
  • comments 11
  • By: Rob Veenstra

The Indy 500-style spectacle before last weekend's US grand prix drew a mixed reaction from F1's insiders. Gerhard Berger, a fun-loving former F1 driver and team-owner, said watching Michael Buffer's 'Let's get ready to rumble!'-style driver introductions was "not for me". And Fernando Alonso, who raced in the actual Indy 500 earlier this year, said Sunday in Austin was a mere "imitation" of the real thing.

But self-professed extrovert and triple world champion Lewis Hamilton said: "It was unbelievable. For ten years it was boring but this was more like the Super Bowl," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. To accommodate the spectacle, the pitlane was opened earlier than usual and drivers were waiting in an artificially smoke-filled tunnel rather than on the grid before the race.

F1 purist Sebastian Vettel said: "For those who like that sort of thing it was nice. For me, I don't need it. I'm not a showman. I like to get in the car and drive." Kimi Raikkonen agreed: "Everyone knows what I would prefer. But it doesn't bother me as long as it's done in the right place at the right time."

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko thinks it was a "great show". "Clearly this was for the American taste, but our (race promotion) people in Spielberg will definitely look for some ideas for the race in Austria," he said. Christian Horner added: "We don't need that kind of show each time, but where it makes sense, I don't mind. It wouldn't work at Silverstone," the Red Bull boss added, "but it would be wrong to say we should leave everything alone. If we want to inspire new fans, we have to think of new ways."

Finally, F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn commented: "I'm proud of how the weekend in Austin went. "We are doing small things to improve the show and what we did on Sunday worked well even though you wouldn't do that everywhere. But what is particularly pleasing is that the teams are now seeing what direction we're moving in with formula one," he said. (GMM)

Replies (11)

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  • No Indy 500 things in F1. It just doesnt fit the style. By all means, make a show around it, but the Indy way is the wrong way for F1 to go. Let Indy retain whats special about their sport, and let F1 remain as F1.

    • + 1
    • Oct 25 2017 - 12:27
  • kngrthr

    Posts: 203

    super bowl is all spectacle and no sport. it's not a good thing to aim for

    • + 0
    • Oct 25 2017 - 13:27
  • Maybe they should introduce all drivers in Monaco fully dressed up in suits on a catwalk. The first one who gets changed to his racing overall, deserves pole position.

    ;-)

    • + 0
    • Oct 25 2017 - 14:18
    • Stripper pants with Vettel's race socks! Hardly a challenge

      • + 0
      • Oct 25 2017 - 14:30
  • It was staggeringly embarrassing and cringeworthy.

    • + 2
    • Oct 25 2017 - 15:44
  • PeteTirtle

    Posts: 16

    It was dreadful, we are F1 fans for the sport, the actual race, and watching the world's best drivers (in most cases) doing their thing. American "sport" needs the show as there is nothing else noteworthy going on.

    I can't help but think that F1 was more exciting decades ago. Qualifying being an open track for an hour with complete freedom to go out and put in a lap, and to react to what the opposition was doing. The circuits had proper incentives for not leaving the black stuff - no-one would contemplate going wide or cutting a corner if it meant their race ending.

    The most entertaining thing ever seen at Austin, apart from when the cars are actually out on track, were the antics in the pitlane during the deluge, and that couldn't have been planned in advance.

    Maybe I'll suggest to Liberty that F1 moves to an old-style Le Mans start with the drivers having to run to their cars, that should spice things up a bit.

    • + 1
    • Oct 25 2017 - 17:29
  • Barron

    Posts: 625

    Say goodbye to F1 as you knew it, this is the future, a totally Americanised soup with barely recognisable ingredients. I don’t think they care too much for the rest of the world to be honest...Drivers in a smoke filled tunnel? WTF?

    • + 1
    • Oct 25 2017 - 18:26
    • Thats exactly why it doesnt work in Silverstone. Apparently, it worked in Austin.

      • + 0
      • Oct 25 2017 - 18:37
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      I’ll bet they’ll try something next year though. Personally I think it demeans & cheapens the sport. Americans grow up with it via their college football but apart from DTM (who pull some cringeworthy pyrotechnic stunts) I can’t think of any European sport that behaves that way but saying that, RU & football have their moments too.

      • + 0
      • Oct 26 2017 - 11:54
  • PaulVH

    Posts: 1

    It was cheesy. For those fearing F1 is moving towards the WWWF model, here was further indication.

    • + 0
    • Oct 26 2017 - 17:29
  • RacetoWin

    Posts: 95

    Nico resberg was a great insight into the modern F1 driver and teams decisions over the race weekend, i believe having Rosberg as part of the SKY f1 group is a better way to promote F1 and its prestige.

    the us gp was good for pre race celebrations as it built up the tensions and expectations before the race, its was good for a first try but i think they are on to something going forward with making the race weekend a special event.

    • + 0
    • Oct 26 2017 - 20:02

GB F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Local time 

  • Friday weather-image

    Saturday weather-image

    Sunday weather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 3

    11:00 - 12:00

    Race

    14:10 - 16:10

  • Free practice 2

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GB F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    11:00 - 12:00

    Qualifying

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  • Sunday weather-image

  • Race

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    Fastest lap

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