Teams defend US GP presentations amid "bad copy" criticism

Team bosses say Formula 1 should not be afraid to try new ideas like the glitzy driver presentations ahead of the United States Grand Prix, even though the event divided opinion among fans.

Teams defend US GP presentations amid "bad copy" criticism
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India
Michael Buffer, Cowbows cheerleads
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber and Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber
Usain Bolt performs his lightning bolt pose prior to the start

F1 organisers drafted in famous boxing announcer Michael Buffer to announce the drivers to fans at Austin, with the pre-race build-up being extended by an extra 15 minutes.

While it was welcome by fans at the track, there was widespread criticism that it had gone too far from many at home, with Fernando Alonso suggesting the effort was a "bad copy" of what happens in the Indianapolis 500.

But although not everyone felt the idea was a success, team chiefs think that F1 needs to be braver in trying new concepts out at a time when it is trying to engage fans more.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "I think it's easy to criticise new things. We need to embrace change also. We have a great show and a great product and we need to try things.

"What they did in Austin was really great and fitted really well. There were so many great celebrities at the race, enjoying F1, with Michael Buffer, and the bands and everything. I think it was a success.

"Whether it is good at every race, probably not. We just need to identify what works in each of the country and add that little bit."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner concurred that while such intros may have been right for the US audience, it was not something that should be rolled out everywhere.

"It is America, isn't it?" he said. "We are under new ownership now and we have to be prepared to try new things. If that engages the American public then why not? It didn't detract from the race, and seemed to get the crowd excited prior to the GP.

"But I don't think it would be everybody's cup of tea. I cannot see that working well at Silverstone, for example. But it was an interesting introduction for this grand prix."

Race winner Lewis Hamilton said he enjoyed the moment of being called out, and felt that it had been one of the most enjoyable build-ups to a race he had been part of.

"That is the best start to a grand prix that I think I have seen," he said. "And if we can bring that more into F1 culture, I think it will be more exciting.

"It was neat coming out. I was waiting in the hallway and it was getting to be a bit long, because every driver was going out. But it was kind of cool coming out with the smoke and everything and I didn't know where I was going.

"There were hot ladies on the walkway, so that was exciting, and there was a mixture of sports excitement, sex appeal there. That is what has been missing for a long time really.

"It was cool to have Michael Buffer, and hear him call your name. It was so cool man. It was like going to a boxing fight before and wondering what it would sound like saying 'Lewis Hamilton'."

shares
comments
Gallery: Red Bull juniors who didn't get their F1 chance with Toro Rosso
Previous article

Gallery: Red Bull juniors who didn't get their F1 chance with Toro Rosso

Next article

Gary Anderson: Why F1’s treatment of Verstappen was a joke

Gary Anderson: Why F1’s treatment of Verstappen was a joke
Load comments
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022