The push Liberty Media is giving Formula 1 race promoters will help its best events unleash “huge untapped potential”, according to Australian Grand Prix boss Andrew Westacott.
Westacott was recently part of an all-in promoters forum hosted by F1 chiefs in London, which acted as both a look back at Liberty’s first year in charge of the sport, and a presentation of what’s coming in the near future.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO was left deeply impressed by what he heard from Chase Carey and his team, sensing a shift in focus and a lot of enthusiasm about the future of Formula 1.
“I’m extremely happy, and I think their vision is underpinned by three things – great racing, an amazing spectacle, and engaged fans,” Westacott told Motorsport.com.
“For us running the show here, none of that comes as a surprise to what we do and what we see that fans want. So I’m extremely enthused about what they’re doing and how excited they are.
“There is huge untapped potential in the sport of Formula 1. There’s a feeling of a different approach and a different philosophy, and it aligns perfectly to what we’ve been doing in Melbourne for many years and what Melbourne does with all of its events.
Westacott didn’t just participate in the forum, but also took the opportunity for a day and a half of private talks with Liberty, largely centred around a fresh approach to digital engagement.
“We’ve got to raise the bar every year. And I wanted to talk about areas where I want to raise the bar even more,” he added.
“Formula 1 wants to move from being a motorsport company to being a media and entertainment brand, and we recognise at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation that we’re in that mix.
“So I’m really pleased about the future and the optimism that exists in Formula 1, because that’s the way the sport needs to go, and there’s huge untapped potential there.
“What’s vital, and is helping us, the fact that there’s positive direction and positive sentiment now in Formula 1 is building on our own initiatives and as a result of many different things we’re in a stronger sales position seven weeks out from the event than we have been for a decade.”