Who doesn’t like a little provocation now and again? Ferrari’s new boss, Maurizio Arrivabene, seems to be cross over a possible FIA reduction of paddock passes teams can offer in 2015 and to show his dislike, he and a few team members (including Esteban Gutierrez) took to the grandstands during the final test at Barcelona.
Reducing the number of people allowed in the paddock may not be Arrivabene’s idea of a more approachable sport:
“I heard that in Australia there will be more restriction [for teams] in terms of passes and I think this is not acceptable,” Arrivabene said.
“So I said to the guys ‘OK, if we’re going to have a situation where the paddock is going to be empty it’s better if we start training to go to the people and sit in the grandstands’.
“I have to say it was a good experience, because the people were well educated [about F1], they were respectful, they were asking for pictures. I hope to have other experiences like this.
“If we want to keep the exclusivity of this sport, exclusivity doesn’t mean an empty paddock. This is my clear statement.
“I was using the example of golf. Golf is one of the most exclusive sports, but when they play you have thousands of people following the player.
“It’s not working against the exclusivity of the sport.
“It was a kind of provocation and I love to do this kind of provocation.
“We need to take Formula 1 to the people. I don’t like to see the paddock empty.”
I can’t argue with wanting to allow more people into the paddock of an F1 race as I don’t run that operation and fully understand the difficulties the biomass causes for the teams and race weekend but I do find it interesting that Mr. Arrivabene has time to sit in the grandstands and make statements rather than focus completely on the testing and improvement of Ferrari.
Testing is limited in F1 and every single minute counts. I should think the final test of the year would be important enough to have your head down picking the fly poop out of the pepper and making sure you’ve gotten every single element of your 2015 car sorted. Seems like a phone call to Mr. E may have been as effective regarding team passes to the paddock.
Don’t get me wrong, championing fan’s causes is a very nice thing to see these days but perhaps a more important way is to work with F1 to create a better fan experience in general as well as create a more competitive car that can make the racing more exciting. It also doesn’t help when your stunt was completely unknown save for an article, after the fact, in AUTOSPORT.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT