Romain Grosjean is optimistic the arrival of Liberty Media could signal a new era for Formula 1 in terms of fan-orientated entertainment and spectacle.
In a deal worth £6.4bn, it was announced last week that Liberty Media will become the controlling influence in F1 with many seeing the change of ownership as an opportunity for the sport to overhaul its image and place a greater emphasis on spectacle and fan engagement.
For Grosjean this can only be a good thing, the Frenchman – who races for the American Haas team – urging a push on using technology to demonstrate the physicality of the sport and giving viewers more perspective.
People that don’t know F1 don’t think it is a sport. It is G’s it is temperature and so on, but it is hard to translate it on TV. With new technologies to show that the drivers are having a tough time in the car, people will try to follow more. With all the technology, the platform they have… you could get fan engagement through every social media platform we have today.
“[Showing heart rate] could be fun. They do it in Tour de France with some of the riders. How many kilos you need to put on the brake pedal to stop the car… [showing] the G’s is great but for someone that doesn’t know what 5Gs in the braking, what does it mean? It is the same as downhill skiing… if you go to Kitzbuhl and you see the slope you say ‘f**k’, this is not f***ing around! It is hard to show it on TV.”
Indeed, with the American market considered key to ensuring F1’s global popularity – particularly in a commercial sense – , Grosjean suggests a second American event should be added to the schedule to allow it to be followed more consistently in the US.
“Americans know how to produce a good show if you look at Superbowl or NASCAR, I think for the audience it is something we can improve. A second GP in the US, maybe in the West Coast would be good. It is so hard to follow what is going on in F1 because most of the races are 3am or 4am so it is difficult to follow the race live.
“If Haas becomes more successful then people will start to follow more and it could be a great thing… I think it is great for F1, it is such a big market, so having them in F1 is a great thing.”