Brown: Fans are getting forgotten by Formula 1

Date published: January 16 2020

The provisional Italian Grand Prix grid Formula 1 fans

McLaren CEO, Zak Brown, feels Formula 1 is guilty of forgetting that the sport is predominantly for the fans, warning it would not exist without them.

When Liberty Media first took over from Bernie Ecclestone in January 2017, the higher ups were keen to stress that a fan-first approach would be taken as they attempted to modernise the sport.

However, Brown thinks that this key value is overlooked at times and the importance of the fans is sometimes forgotten about.

“At the end of the day, the sport’s for the fans, so it all starts with the fans,” Brown said at the Autosport International Show.

“If you don’t have lots of great fans from around the world, new ones, old ones, then you’re not going to have sponsors to pay for the racing.

“I think sometimes the sport has forgotten who we are doing this all for and I think at times we feel we are doing it for us. We are doing this for the fans.”

Brown went on to say that he was eager to let fans peek behind the curtain at McLaren and agreed to an Amazon Prime documentary series before Formula 1 created their own documentary, ‘Drive to Survive’, streamed by Netflix.

“This is sport entertainment, and so to me it feels quite natural to want to open up the team,” Brown added.

“I know being a fan myself, I love seeing what is going on in Formula 1, meeting the drivers, and seeing what is going on behind the scenes, so I think to deprive the fans of that is crazy.

“So, we have gone the other way when we started doing the Amazon film, and then obviously we were very early to participate in Netflix.

“I think without fans, we don’t have a sport.”

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