Formula One commands huge audiences around the world as the thrill of seeing sleek, technologically advanced vehicles and talented young drivers compete in opulent venues in Monaco, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates continues to ignite the interest of traditional fans and brings in new viewers on a yearly basis. F1 racing is the complete package in terms of high-end racing. “It’s about technology and pushing the envelope,” InVivo Media Group exec, Patrick Crakes says: “It’s about speed, danger and risk. And Formula One has that more than any other racing series.”
It is no surprise that many people want to see cars and drivers from Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and other iconic teams in person rather than on a screen. “The Formula 1 brand is very strong, and Formula 1 is very iconic – a lot of people have aspirations to attend a race,” Nielsen Sports exec Samantha Lamberti adds.
To ensure fans experience the unique thrill of races, F1 launched the Fan Festival in Barcelona earlier this year. The new initiative amplifies the excitement of race weekends by serving up numerous unique experiences including racing simulators, cutting edge Pit Shop Challenges and music from renowned local DJs. F1 also rolled out a dedicated TV channel at the same time to give fans the inside track on everything that matters, from exclusive live interviews to expert insights and rare footage. Many fans also like to have a bet on who will win a Grand Prix so they add to their enjoyment by making sports bets on Stakers.com.
“Formula 1 is undergoing a major evolution and the Spanish Grand Prix is a landmark moment in the brand’s history,” F1’s commercial managing director, Sean Bratches said earlier this year. “From the outset, we have focused on getting fans closer to the action and broadening the appeal of the sport. The launch of this weekend’s Fan Festival marks the beginning of this journey and we are excited about bringing races to life in this way over the course of the season and beyond.”
The stunning locales are very much part of the escapism that fans love about the sport as races often take place in hot and sunny climes surrounded by stunning scenery. The Monaco Grand Prix is arguably the most luxurious location, providing viewers with an incredible spectacle at every turn. However, F1 is eager for more people to actually attend races in person in countries around the world and experience the luxury of the sport first hand with its F1 experience initiative.
“The launch of F1 Experiences offers Formula One fans a fantastic opportunity to get closer to the action both on and off the track,” Bratches said ahead of the 2017 season. “We want people to experience the thrill of this exhilarating sport and that is what the F1 Experience program will deliver.” The new program combines official ticket, travel and VIP access for the most memorable short holidays at many of the 20 races held during the season.
In order to cater towards fans with every type of budget, F1 has tailored the experience packages with base access and VIP add-ons. A typical package comprises grandstand seats offering views of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel et al battling it out in both qualifying and the official race. Hospitality is then available as an extra, allowing fans to enter the elite Formula One Paddock Club, where they can get guided bus tours around tracks, plus exclusive welcome parties with a selection of the best drivers in F1 history. Luxury hotels and direct transfers can also be added.
To ensure the experience meets the highest possible standards, Formula One partnered with QunitEvents, which has experience with other profile sports events including the Kentucky Derby and the Super Bowl. “We have an intimate understanding of what corporate and individual fans want to see and do when they go to a Formula 1 race,” Quint Events President, Brian Ruede said. He added: “Through this partnership, we will deliver the new gold standard in fan engagement for a truly global audience.”
Tech and speed
While race day packages continue to improve the F1 experience, fans are still drawn to the sport regardless of the glitz and the glamour due to its incredible speed and the cutting edge tech that is on display every other week during the busy racing calendar. Spectators love the sense of danger and thrill when someone overtakes the driver in pole position at the first corner or when the race goes down to the wire and the checkered flag declares the winner by only a few tenths of a second. Formula One will endure simply because fans cannot get enough of the simple mechanics of fast driving around world class race tracks.