FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the governing body in “indebted” to Liberty Media for their work to boost Formula 1’s popularity, though warns Netflix cannot be the only source.
Formula 1 has enjoyed a surge in popularity over recent years, to the point where arguably there has never been more eyes on the series than there is now.
The calendar will expand to a record 24 rounds for F1 2024, with the demand for F1 so high that this could easily be higher if the schedule were not deemed to be at capacity already.
FIA warns F1 Netflix cannot be only growth inspiration
This popularity boom can be traced back to the success of Netflix’s F1 docuseries Drive to Survive, though as the series continues its attempts to build further on this new audience brought into the sport, Ben Sulayem warned Netflix cannot be the sole focus.
“I think we cannot rely on our current success. We must always think about the future,” said Ben Sulayem, as per Motorsport.com.
“Formula 1 has existed for 74 years and during this time it has gone through many phases and crises, but it has always survived and today seems stronger than ever. And for it to continue like this, Formula 1 has to adapt.
“We can’t just rely on Netflix to attract people. The new generation wants to learn about motorsport. You can’t do things like before.”
Liberty took over the F1 commercial rights in late 2016, successfully guiding the series through the pandemic era and orchestrating its remarkable growth from there.
But, while the FIA will always be “indebted” to Liberty for this, Ben Sulayem stressed again that adapting is key.
“What they did during the pandemic was fantastic,” said Ben Sulayem. “I will always be indebted to them.
“We know that we are indebted to them , that is very, very clear, but Formula 1 will have to adapt to new challenges.
“The challenges of ten years ago are completely different today. We have to improve our business model and I am sure that this will survive for a long, long time, as long as the FIA is also strong.”
The F1 2023 debut of the Las Vegas Grand Prix was seen as a fresh breakthrough for the series under Librrty, F1 itself serving as the promoter for the event.