Ferrari: Reflective thoughts on Valencia and F1’s DNA

Ferrari have offered a brief opinion piece on the recent test at Valencia. Nothing major or important to report but I did find it interesting that they took the time to reflect on the test and what it may have meant for F1. I, like many, watched from afar as the teams unveiled their cars and set about testing them for the 2010 season. There were many reasons to be excited and I will let teh Ferrari piece explain those reason but I was impressed by the numbers…so was Ferrari:

Maranello, 4 February – Not long ago, Formula 1 was seen as done for and in decline. During 2009, all sorts of extraordinary measures were invoked to try and save it from disappearing completely. Judging by some figures relating to the recent three day test in Valencia, our sport would seem to be in pretty rude health. The press room was packed with around three hundred journalists, photographers and TV crews and the grandstands accommodated no less than 56,000 spectators, despite it taking place on weekdays, with 36,000 yesterday alone. It was such a big crowd that the exit off the Valencia – Madrid A3 motorway saw queues more typical of a summer break weekend.

These numbers are very significant, testifying to the enormous enthusiasm that, despite everything, Formula 1 continues to generate. Okay, it has to be said that the “Ricardo Tormo” circuit was hosting seven new cars making their debuts and at some point or other, no less than four world champions were in action. Added to that was the return of Michael Schumacher, but the main attraction was undoubtedly, Fernando Alonso’s first official appearance in red. This is what the fans want to see: the big name teams and drivers going head to head on track, with different cars to look at, all revealing the latest technical innovations. These are the elements that make up the DNA of Formula 1 and that is something that should never change.

Ferrari logo

As I watched reporters and press agents cover the event, I was keen to see the pictures, comments and near-live Tweets from Twitter accounts of F1 journalists from all walks. I was particularly intrigued by Edd Straw’s comments, via Twitter, regarding the crowd on the third day. I asked him if he had any idea of a number for attendance and Mr. Straw took the time to reply (thank you Edd) that it was rumored to be over 20,000 and from his vantage point, that was not unrealistic.

After the dust had settled, most news outlets have it close to or over 30,000. It was in Spain and the hometown hero, Fernando Alonso, was testing a Ferrari for the first time. Like the Spanish fans, I am excited about the start of this season. More so than I was last year. I had written an ill-mannered story (that’s just me…I’ve been writing ill-mannered stories and emails all week) on the grumpy nature of some folks in the F1 industry about the upcoming season and how they seem intent on sucking the oxygen out of the room. What ever the reason, I choose to ignore it because I think this year might be fun for a change.

Ferrari’s piece is nothing major folks. I t has no breaking news or controversy or technical merit. It is just a simple reminder that f1 enthralls us. It is a simple call to arms for fans of F1 to remember that no matter how jaded you may be whether journalist or fan or team employee–F1 has a terrific DNA and we should never lose that. Now, how does everyone feel about changing the points and short-cuts?

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