ben sulayem domenicali-001

Ben Sulayem: We can’t just rely on Netflix to attract people

ben sulayem domenicali-001

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has warned that the Netflix-inspired boom for the Formula 1 fanbase, needs to move with the times and not rest on the past glory of ‘Drive to Survive’.

Ben Sulayem first paid tribute to Liberty Media’s promotion of the sport since they took the helm. The social media campaigns, live coverage, and F1TV have set the trend in sports in recent years. Coupled with the excellent media work done by all ten F1 teams, and even many of the F1 drivers, which means the sport has a massive footprint relative to its size, compared to other major team sports.

However, in an interview with Motorsport Germany, Ben Sulayem cautioned: “Formula 1 has enjoyed a surge in popularity over recent years, to the point where arguably there has never been more eyes on the series than there is now.

“I believe that we cannot rest on our current glory. We must always think about the future. We can’t just rely on Netflix to attract people. The new generation wants to learn about motorsport. You can’t run it like you used to.”

Ben Sulayem: I will always be in Liberty Media debt

ben sulayem liberty media f1

Nevertheless, Ben Sulayem praised Liberty Media: “What they did during the pandemic is fantastic. I will always be in their debt. We know that we are in their debt, that is very, very clear, but Formula 1 will have to adapt to new challenges.

“The challenges of ten years ago are completely different today. We have to improve our business model, and I am sure that it will survive for a long, long time. As long as the FIA ​​is also strong,” Ben Sulayem asserted.

The Emirati has completed two years in charge of the FIA as its President. He succeeded Jean Todta and has proceeded to play a more active role in motorsport governance and direction, F1 in particular.

This ruffled feathers in the F1 paddock over the past 24 months since he took over an ailing and cumbersome organisation led by Todt and his team, and transformed it into the much more high-profile ‘Ben Sulayem’ way of doing things.

Season 6 of Drive to Survive will reportedly premiere on Friday, 23 February.

Big Question: Will new seasons Drive to Survive continue to attract new fans?