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Steiner: In the old days, we went cookie-cutter racing

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Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal and current Formula 1 superstar, believes that the sport should offer more entertainment on the side rather than just focus on the on-track action.

Steiner cannot be blamed if he thinks that way, as he has become an overnight sensation following Drive To Survive docuseries by Netflix, and recently releasing a book Titled “Surviving To Drive“. He’s competing with drivers at race weekends with fans rushing to take selfies with him and get his autograph.

The boss of F1’s only American team is also a strong supporter of the “entertainment” approach the sport is adopting when racing stateside, believing the old way of just racing doesn’t cut it anymore.

“I think entertainment here got a lot better from the old days,” Steiner “In the old days, we went racing, cookie-cutter racing. We do one race, we do the next one, we do nothing around it. We went racing for the motorsport fan.

“The sport, before Liberty Media came in, was not successful in the US. I came to the US and I understood the US more when I moved here because I didn’t understand it before. But you need to live here to understand. People want constant entertainment, not just sitting out there waiting three hours until the next time the cars go out. They want something to do, something to consume,” he explained.

Entertainment for the whole family

“The other stuff which is going on, you’ve got concerts, entertainment areas. If you’ve got kids with you, you want to entertain them, not sitting on a grandstand, or on a hill.

“Try to tell a 12-year-old that now we have to wait two hours until the cars come along again. That’s pretty difficult,” Steiner pointed out.

The Haas boss, however, believes things are starting to change within F1, and that more entertainment is being added, giving Singapore as an example.

“I think F1 is doing a very good job in that. They started to put more entertainment beside it. They do for Singapore, a lot of these races,” he said.

“I think what they did very right, the sport is still the centre point of everything. It’s the F1 race, and you’ve got two high-end concerts on Friday night and Saturday night.

“It not like there is the concert, and by the way, on Sunday, the race. It’s the opposite. And I think they do very well. And here [in Miami] they brought it up and up.

“I think there’s a good chance for what we call the classic race, where we go racing and nothing else, to catch up with this. We have moved into 2023 now, and people want more entertainment, they want more,” Steiner went on.

“They don’t want just to see a car race. And I think F1 has done a very good job over the last five years to bring this to the consumer, that they enjoy coming here [Miami], because there is more than an F1 race, but the centre point is still the F1 race.

“They always keep that in mind because, that is the value of this event, the F1 race, it’s not the concert or the DJ. I mean, they are adding, and they are very important, but they are not the focal point,” the 58-year-old concluded.

While Steiner is right to say that adding entertainment around an F1 is needed to fill up the time between sessions over the weekend, but it should be assured that the side show doesn’t steal the spotlight from the racing.

One more thing, are fake Marinas and beaches entertainment?