Tata Communications' Mehul Kapadia, MD for Formula 1 business, has stated it's crucial to look at the positives of the new F1 technology and innovation amid all the negativity surrounding the sport.
In recent times, there have been numerous opinions and viewpoints expressed on the current state of F1. Ever since the decision was made to move from the V8 era to the new V6 hybrid era, the sport has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Despite the fact that the V6 engines have made the cars more fuel efficient while keeping the same level of car performance, the high powerunit costs has led to teams facing financial troubles and the lack of exhaust noise hasn’t gelled well with the fans.
But Kapadia insists the sport needs to look at the positives amid all the negative talks. “I still believe that it is the best technology showcased in the world,” he told Motorsport.com.
“It is something that I can’t recreate in my backyard. There are 20 people in the world who can actually do this.
“I think that the element of exclusivity it still has makes it popular and that is what is unique about F1,” he added.
Stressing the importance of the F1 innovation, he highlighted the major advantage of the V6 era. “There is so much of innovation in the sport; just to think that there is now 33 percent less fuel per race compared to two years ago - and with a good top speed still,” he said.
Kapadia highlighted the British Grand Prix where 140,000 fans came over to witness the race and hailed the good performances of the drivers and teams keeping the “positivity” of the sport intact.
With the advent of social media, fan engagement has been a major talking point for all sports, including F1.
Recently, F1 has positively embraced the new media and its increased effort saw a launch of an official YouTube channel.
For this very reason, F1 management and Mercedes team came together to launch the F1 Connectivity Innovation prize.
The idea behind this was to “engage” fans in a bid to innovate and ideate new ways to increase the communication between fans and the sport.
“I am very pleased to see the initiative from the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize which is helping to bring these questions related to fan engagement along with the related answers through the fans,” Kapadia said.
"Over the last three years the capability has been built up to allow for the positive exploitation of the content and its distribution around the world.
However, Kapadia was cautious and said media rights and contractual obligations play a pivotal role in determining the usage of this content in the market.
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