Ten… Jobs for Ecclestone to do

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bernie Ecclestone, Indianapolis, 2007 | GEPA / Franz PammerBernie Ecclestone is looking into buying football team Arsenal – one can only assume it’s because he doesn’t have enough F1 business to occupy his time.

Well I’ve got some good news for him! Having sat down and given it some thought I’ve easily come up with ten tasks for him to get on with to make F1 even better…

High-def advert-free F1

The state of F1 broadcasting on television is appalling. What other live sport is regularly interrupted by adverts? Only Ecclestone can change this by making it mandatory for F1 to be broadcast without interruptions. Without that, F1 television coverage will always be third-rate.

Last year’s football world cup was broadcast in high definition in Britain – but glamorous, colourful, high-speed F1 would benefit far more from that technology. Why not leave the adverts and interruptions to the standard feed, and let us real fans pay a few quid per race for an uninterrupted, high definition broadcast?

F1 online video

The official F1 website hasn’t got any video content worthy of the name, yet Formula One Management busy themselves ripping down F1 videos from Youtube. More needs to be done to harness the power of the internet in advertising F1.

Get short clips of footage available to view on the F1 site and let viewers subscribe to a live online video feed on race weekends.

F1 in America

How on earth has Ecclestone let F1 get into a position where it no longer has a race in one of the most lucrative and important markets in the world?

After the farces F1 served up in Indianapolis in 2002 and 2005 Ecclestone should be bending over backwards to get an F1 race in the States at a decent venue every year.

More teams

Assuming Prodrive gets on the F1 grid next year, and Super Aguri and Spyker don’t go under in the meantime, there will still be only 24 cars on the grid. That is pitifully small.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise more cars equals more racing and more money. There are plenty of talented drivers out there who deserve a shot. Given the enormous size of F1 tracks like Shanghai, it’s clear the venues can accommodate more cars.

Hit Mosley with the rule book

The sporting and technical regulation have grown ridiculously complicated in recent years. Qualifying is now wrapped up in refuelling strategy, which practically dictates who is going to win the race before it has started. Too much grip and too little power is making overtaking all but impossible in dry conditions.

So whack Max Mosley on the head with the rule book. That should focus his mind on trimming it back a bit…

Decent F1 racing game

Flogging the exclusive rights to the F1 game to Sony was a lousy decision – especially as the PlayStation 3 has failed to capture anything like the market share the PlayStation 2 had. There’s no sign of a 2007 game, and even if there was it would be shackled to a machine that has sold poorly in F1’s biggest market, Europe.

Besides which, the official game is rubbish and has been so for years. Let other developers produce F1 games so we can have arcade style racers and hardcore simulations for different groups of fans.

Sort out Silverstone

The preposterousness of a British billionaire whingeing every year about the lack of investment going into Britain’s Grand Prix track has gone on long enough.

If anyone can make Silverstone turn a profit while running the British Grand Prix, Ecclestone can. Hell, he’s doing it with Istanbul, he can do it with Silverstone.

Calendar with over 20 races and some regularity

Everyone knows when the football season begins and ends, everyone knows when the matches will be on. F1 needs that kind of regularity.

So lets have a decent sized calendar of 20 races as the absolute minimum (NASCAR has well over 30), with regular events happening at the same time each year, and no silly five-week gaps like there was at the start of this season.

Promote F1 and bring more fans in

In recent years F1 has been taken to far-flung countries that have no motor sports heritage and struggle to fill half a grandstand on race day. Meanwhile audiences in F1’s traditional heartlands plummet because the racing is terrible – this is not building a secure future for the sport.

Sort out the basic product first – then start selling it to people who don’t know they want it yet.

Succession plans

As much as he may hate it there will come a time when someone other than Ecclestone has to run Formula 1. It’s time that got sorted out.

Photo: GEPA / Franz Pammer

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