JUNE 1, 2005
Exciting times for Formula 1
These are exciting times for Formula 1 racing with the prospect of an exciting new era just around the corner. The sport may be caught up in its own political battles for commercial control of the sport, but the clock is ticking and there will be change.
Similarly, Michael Schumacher's era is coming to an end. It may not be over yet but everyone knows that Michael is not going to win another seven World Championships. And we have new generations of drivers arriving and new frontiers being developed and explored. We have an Indian in Formula 1, a team with Russian connections and racing in the Middle East. The Chinese want to know about F1. The signs are that, one way or another, we will eventually get a serious American racer and that will boost the profile of the sport in the US, which should always have been the primary target market.
Outside F1 the sport is growing almost despite itself, with the new A1 Grand Prix series arriving to open up new possibilities in places where motorsport has barely existed before. The sport can also look forward to a new era in which women will play a bigger part, and while that might not double the fan base, it is certainly going to increase interest.
In Europe the sport is perhaps a little stagnant because of the attitudes which militate against growth. But blinkered and old-fashioned views cannot continue if Europe wishes to remain the dominant force in the sport.
Let us hope that those who make decisions in this sport will be wise in these times of great opportunity rather than quibbling over the scraps of a bygone era that they wish to see extended.
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