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Carey: 'Abu Dhabi racing not what we want in the sport'

Chase Carey, Formula 1 CEO
© XPB 

Formula 1's new CEO Chase Carey has criticised the standard of racing spectacle at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Carey's comments came the same week that data from Pirelli showed that the number of overtaking moves had halved in 2017. There were 435 overtakes in 20 races this year, compared to 866 across 21 races in 2016.

Carey said that he agreed with comments suggesting that the Abu Dhabi race had been dull and lacking in entertainment.

"Abu Dhabi puts on a great show and a great event," Carey told the BRDC Awards on Monday. "But the race in Abu Dhabi was not what we want in the sport today.

"We need to make the competition better, make the action better, make the sport more captivating," he insisted. "We've used the word spectacle, and it should be.

"Other cars [should] have a chance to win, have the unexpected happen, and have events happen on the track that really live up to what makes Formula 1 so special."

Carey insisted that there was "broad-based agreement amongst the teams" about these objectives. However the precise details of how to achieve them remained to be hammered out.

"Obviously on specifics there'll be differences," he conceded. "Everybody knows the initiatives we have in terms of engines and costs and rules and the like. We're all driving to achieve that."

Carey spoke of the need to please long-time fans of the sport while at the same time also broadening its appeal to a new generation.

"The people who have been with it the longest, and are the hardest core fans, probably they're the ones that have liked that what they've grown up with," he said.

"They are the foundation of the sport," he added. "Our historic fans are tremendously important.

"But we want to bring new fans in. And to bring new fans in we have to continue to find ways to respect the history and what's made the sport special.

"[We must] also find ways to entice and engage new fans. We've got to bring in a new generation," he continued.

"It starts with the sport on the track. We can make the competition better, the action better. Then around it we want to make sure it's a sport that captures everybody's imagination.

"It's a great sport, with great stars, a great brand, great heroes," he added. "It is an incredibly captivating sport which combines competition with state of the art technology, that I think shocks and awes fans.

"It's great. But we can make it much better."

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