If I Ran F1: Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

This man has been responsible for setting up and operating several of the newer Formula 1 tracks in the emerging markets. Previously Operations Director in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and VP – Operations in India, Mark Hughes has set up his own company, Mrk1 Consulting. He now operates out of Bahrain and the company is available to advise anyone considering building a new track or helping operators of existing circuits to review their operational efficiencies. Mark tells us what he would change in the world of Formula 1.

The points

I’m not a fan of the introduction of more points for the last race of the season. What I would prefer to see are points for qualifying and fastest lap of the race.

This would incentivise teams and drivers to give it their all on Saturday and put in some blistering laps during the race even if they aren’t in the top 10. It would also potentially reward drivers even if they have a DNF during Sunday.

The next generation of high-end motorsport fans simply don’t sit at home in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon these days.

Social media

I know Formula 1 takes a lot of flack for its poor social media and this has to be tackled. The next generation of high-end motorsport fans simply don’t sit at home in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon these days. They all want data, live streaming, live team transmissions. I say give them as much data as possible even If this means the teams getting more information on each other. It may level the playing field a little.

Number of races

The teams complain that the calendar is getting too big but this is the pinnacle of motor sport and the WORLD championship. The more countries that have a Formula 1 race the better as it spreads the word and helps us find new fans, sponsors, drivers.

Pricing

The simple fact is that tracks price Formula 1 tickets high as it is one of their few revenue streams. In new markets, where the sport doesn’t have a strong fan base yet, this doesn’t encourage people to attend races and the new tracks are often criticised for a poor attendance. Formula 1 needs to support and encourage these venues so that every grandstand and piece of banking is full. Don’t price the masses out of the market when you need to educate and encourage them.

Driver & team access

I’d make the teams and drivers more accountable to the fans and have contractual commitments that make them do more autograph sessions, public appearances etc. NASCAR does this exceptionally well and they have even built it into the driver’s pay scales.




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