Did Whitmarsh just hint that F1 realizes there’s an Internet?

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Autosport has an exclusive interview up with McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh that focuses on the British-based broadcast switch from the BBC in previous Formula 1 seasons to a mix of the BBC and Sky Sports.

Bottom line is Whitmarsh seems happy enough with things, even though the audience size is off a bit, overall. But that’s not what catches my eye. It was this:

“We can’t think of bums on seats on the living room any more, because there are mobile phones, tablets, PCs, internet – plus storage for viewing later.

“We are only at the start of that process, and I think that Sky has got a lot of energy and creativity for the future.”

It’s almost as if F1 may realize this Internet thing is here, and probably to stay.

Is it safe to say that it continues to baffle that the “pinnacle” of motorsport remains so far behind the online / new media curve? There is so much to the sport that online media could enhance: real-time specs (I figure anything that’s public to other teams safely could be public to the, er, public); airing team communications on a “your choice” basis; a “Bernie cam” (basically it would be consistent shots of people’s bellies and lower backs, depending on whether they were facing him, but still, riveting!); the list goes on.

I hope that Martin’s comment portends a lot more to come. I’m not exactly holding my breath, though.

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