Events & travel entrepreneur, investor, CEO of GP Management and part-time adventurer Jonny Dodge gives us his take on how things would be different if he had the steering wheel of the whole sport.
Click here to subscribe to our print edition!
Needless to say, Formula 1 is all about the WOW factor. Its time to turn up the volume, literally! Mr Ecclestone has brought in some amazing developments to the sport to make it more exciting, and I love some of his mad ideas!
But Formula 1 should lead the way in its mix of sport and entertainment, because it’s the most glamorous sport in the world, and constant evolution is a must. It’s about bringing the entertainment to the race, every stop in the calendar should be like Monaco – celebrities need to be at the forefront with glamorous parties, concerts and festivals around the racing spectacle.
He is never the one to shy away from controversial ideas, so I look forward to seeing the next ones!
This year at GP Management we raced F1 cars through the streets of London; with support of the Mayor’s office and local councils we created a concept for an F1 street circuit in Canary Wharf, which many people have only dreamed of. It would be great to create these showcase events around the world to give Formula 1 back to the people, and we’re already looking into some other cities to do something similar and exciting.
We also created a festival of F1 cars and entertainment, together with our Grand Prix Ball. It would be spectacular to create a platform for bringing visitors into the country earlier in the week and giving them incredible events rather than just having them for the race weekend. This would mean more room nights and definitely more income for the country. International celebrities in glamorous events around the F1 weekend draw in more valuable guests.
We were approached by a particular circuit just this week and asked how can we bring the glamour of our F1 entertainment in Monaco and Abu Dhabi to their circuit. We absolutely love looking into new and exciting ways to create hospitality like no other sport can. Obviously, people come for the atmosphere and the stars as much as for the race itself. So the challenge is accepted and we are now taking that experience of ‘being trackside and lying on your sunbed on a celebrity-filled superyacht’ to the ultimate VIP beach club and dropping it into the middle of the circuit!
Making the sport more interactive is crucial – guests must have the chance to experience the thrills of being in a two-seater F1 car on Thursday or Fridays before the race. The drivers need to be real superstars, real heroes of the sport, helping to evoke the days of James Hunt – the response from the ‘Rush’ movie was huge, and we need a bit of that excitement back. It has been amazing to see the recent movies in Formula 1, but we definitely need TV or Internet shows showing the lifestyle and personal life of the drivers. This would be a great step in bringing the drivers more to the forefront of the sport so the fans could feel closer to them.
The TV format can still be made more interesting, with all the technological advances we have now. The Americas’ Cup took what is a complicated sport with different tacks and wind directions and let the viewers easily understand everything, Formula 1 can do the same.
Bernie does an amazing job at leading the sport, and he is never the one to shy away from controversial ideas, so I look forward to seeing the next ones!