Honda website
Honda website

JULY 30, 2002

An image problem?

Formula 1 is currently fighting to keep its market share in the TV viewer markets despite the fact that Michael Schumacher has won 75% of the races this year with nine victories in 12 events. The audiences are weakening but as The Economist magazine this week points out, Formula 1 is actually doing remarkably well.

"Formula 1 racing, once European, now worldwide, is less boring to watch that the rival American versions: its circuits do actually have corners to go round, not just an eternal oval. But to non-addicts it is still - crashes apart - a non-event, like watching paint dry, and this year's procession of Ferrari victories has made it duller still. Why watch, when you already know the winner? Yet hundreds of millions of televiewers do."

The author of the piece was probably not watching this weekend's Indy Racing League event from Michigan, which was incredibly exciting in the closing stages, but the point is valid. For whatever reason, Formula 1 is still big business and it does not matter that the same man is winning.