In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says F1 is doing a “very good job” of bringing more entertainment to fans attending grands prix
Liberty providing “constant entertainment” to fans at races
Steiner is a fan of the efforts F1’s owners have been going to to improve the level of entertainment for fans for attend grands prix, especially in the Untied States.
“I think entertainment here has got a lot better from the old days,” Steiner told media including RaceFans. “In the old days we went ‘cookie cutter’ racing. We’d do one race, we’d do the next one. We do nothing around it – we were racing for the motorsport fan. Therefore I think the sport – before Liberty Media came in – was not successful in the US.
“I came to the US and understood the US more when I moved here, because I didn’t understand it before. But you need to live here to understand. People want constant entertainment – not just sitting out.
“But also the other stuff which is going on – the concerts, the entertainment areas. If you’ve got kids with you, you want to entertain them – not sitting in a grandstand or on a hill, waiting. So I think F1 is doing a very good job in that.”
IndyCar not planning to drop Indy 500 local blackout
Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar owners Penske Entertainment, says the sport has no plans to remove the live TV blackout of the Indianapolis 500 in the city to encourage local fans to attend the race in person, despite living in the age of internet streams and VPNs.
“We have to get people here as they have been here in growing numbers for many, many years,” Miles said. “We’re really clear-minded about the fact that for us, attendance is first, and this spectacle emanates from the vibe here on race day with 300,000 plus people here. I think that’s unique.
“We also, I think, have demonstrated over the last few years that when getting people here is not an issue, either because it’s covid and we can’t bring anybody here, or because the number of people that could come were limited and we were definitely going to have that total here, then we do open it up. We like the idea that people can take it in, whether it’s linear or streaming. But for now, that’s our rationale, and it’s important to us.”
Norris designs own McLaren road car
McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris has received a personalised McLaren 765LT Spider road car that was built to his own specifications.
Norris, who sits ninth in the drivers’ championship after five rounds, chose blue carbon fibre for the exterior, with his driver logo adorning the seat head rests. Norris’s 765LT (short for ‘long tail’) is one of just 765 of the cars being built by McLaren, all of which have been sold.
“We tried to get a race in New York several years ago at Weehawken. I remember running in one of the Red Bull show cars. I drove part of the section of track n the F1 car and it was unbelievable. Opposite Manhattan, there was a section that made Eau Rouge at Spa look like kids’ stuff. If they ever were able to reignite that plan right there, I think that would be the perfect place.”
“I watched (Drive to Survive), I am hooked. And I have moved from not caring about the sport to waking up at 7am on Saturdays to watch qualifying and then again on Sundays for the grand prix race. There are quite a few things that I learned in the series that I find fascinating about the sport. “
“The NBC broadcast network will air four hours of Indy 500 qualifying coverage on Saturday, May 20, at 2:30pm ET and Sunday, May 21, at 4pm ET to determine the starting grid for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Peacock will simulstream all qualifying coverage on NBC. In addition to practice and qualifying, exclusive coverage of Carb Day, the Indy 500 Parade, and Victory Celebration during race weekend will stream live on Peacock.”
“Probably the Indy 500. Why not. It’s super-fast, I’ve always looked at Indy as a really cool thing since I was young. I’ve not watched as many long-distance races but that’s obviously a thing too. It’s part of the Triple Crown so it’s all in the same ballpark to me, but Indy would be the most fun to me.”