While Formula 1 embraces new technologies to communicate the message to a broader audience, Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene believes that the real competition the sport faces is luring the PlayStation generation away from their consoles to consume what the top flight of motorsport has to offer.
Speaking during the United States Grand Prix weekend, Arrivabene said, “Our competitor today, in my opinion, it’s my personal opinion, they are the Playstations. If you look at Gran Turismo, most probably we need to switch our minds and focus our attention on our competitors.”
“Today we have a broad offer of entertainment and we need to look at everything, not only certain sports and try to equalise everything. Is Playstation a competitor? In my opinion yes. What do you have to do to beat the PlayStation?”
“You have to do something that is more interesting, most probably. It’s not a detailed answer to the question but we need to direct our attention to the entertainment industry and today what they offer is bigger than many many years ago.”
“And then you need to ask why other sports – and let me underline football – they are still big numbers – even if they sometimes face crisis – versus us. It’s an enormous and transparent exercise and then you apply the Ryder Cup, you apply whatever you want because if you save money it’s always perfect, everybody is happy. But as I said before, standardisation doesn’t mean equalisation for us.”
The ‘elephant in the room’ while Formula 1 stakeholders plot the future of our sport is the question of reducing costs and then capping them. Ferrari have traditionally be against the idea.
Arrivabene: What we want to do, to increase the interest in the sport, we need to analyse the mistakes of the past
Arrivabene continued, “I think from the financial point of view, of course reducing the cost is always more than welcome. It’s not related to the what, it’s related to the how. If reducing costs means equalisation it’s not for us.”
“Standardisation is one thing, equalisation is another so equalisation is not in the DNA of car manufacturers.”
“Reducing costs? Of course it is, that’s normal but I’m not telling you something new. We always stick to this point, to this direction. The problem is a bit more than the simple question related to the budget cap, that as I said, is very important. The question is related to the overall F1.”
“What we want to do, to increase the interest in the sport, we need to analyse the mistakes of the past, to look forward for solutions in the future and this is also very important and to be honest, with ourselves: how is the level of interest to Formula One versus yesterday? What do we need to do?”
Arivabene: How can you tell to Real Madrid: sorry, if you play with a small team don’t play with your best team
“It’s not the budget cap, it’s one of the solutions but it’s the solution. We need to go back and to re-launch the sport. Launching the sport is kind of complicated and a complex equation but it’s something that we absolutely need to do and analysing also the audience that we have.”
“If at a certain point you have an audience that is becoming older, older, older and you work to retain what you have – I’m talking about the past – and your attention is less focused on acquiring the young generation, this means that you have a problem. If you have a problem, you need to find a solution and the solution is not only related to the budget cap that I underline is important, it’s very very important, but it’s not the only one solution.”
“In terms of competitiveness within the teams, OK, we mentioned NFL but I am European, I mention football. For example, how can you tell to Real Madrid: sorry, if you play with a small team don’t play with your best team, play with your middle team!”
“Come on, it’s ridiculous. The sport is done also by the big teams which are participating in the sport and it’s part of the fascination of the sport. In the last few years in Formula One, we saw Ferrari at the time of Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher that they were winning for years.”
“Afterwards, we had the period where Red Bull was winning for years and nobody complained. In the meantime we never focused our attention on the audience and the audience, little by little, became older. This is the exercise that we need to look at,” insisted the Italian team chief.