It is important to have a product that people are interested in watching, so there is no problem with Formula E and Formula 1 trying to make themselves more marketable. But F1 must remember two things: firstly it is still a sport, and one with a large, longstanding fanbase who can easily feel left behind. Secondly that sometimes just because it’s crazy, doesn’t mean it’s “better”.
The weirdest part of the weekend was the complete lack of fans able to see the event. There seemed to be two grandstands for non-VIPs (the start/finish line was full of influencers and fans of importance) and some people craning their necks over the barriers of the DLR. Bringing the sport into cities is supposed to bring it to the fans, but London seemed to be actively trying to do the opposite.
The second race of the London ePrix was a moment when all the decisions Formula E has made to make “the show” better collided, making it a total farce. They’ll call it crazy, and no doubt some people will celebrate the insanity and tune in because of the bonkers selection of short-form highlights clips FE and its various media partners can now put out. But in the long run, the traditional fan of racing, the one that actually sustains a sport, may well be put off. If Formula 1 spends too much time trying to fiddle and create more of a show, it is in danger of going the same way.
Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.