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Schmidt's F1 blog: a self-destructive game of hide-and-seek

Schmidt's F1 blog
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D ie The time of withdrawal is over. Formula 1 hibernated for 85 days. And she took it pretty seriously not to make headlines if possible. If the British trade magazine Autosport produces the majority of titles with historical motorsport, one has to assume that the past is more exciting than the present.

Formula 1 fans starved during the break

A little break is really good. But do you have to hide for 12 weeks straight? The teams and the drivers could have done something in the dead time to avoid disappearing into oblivion, but it is obviously intentional to reveal as little as possible.

Let's hit the calendar since the season finale 2015 in Abu Dhabi. There was a Ferrari press conference in December with the bosses Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Arrivabene. In January, Mercedes produced a documentary on how the hybrid drive really works in Formula 1. Renault presented its new team and Red Bull its new livery in February. And otherwise? The eternal dispute over the regulations. In the long run, politics even tires the hardcore audience.

Renault actually didn't show much at its event in Paris. A semi-new car with a new paint job. And yet the story fed fans for a week. Internet traffic has skyrocketed during this time. An unmistakable sign of how starved the fan base was.

Even in the week before the test drives, Formula 1 stood in its own way again. Instead of agreeing to each other and distributing the presentation of their new cars individually over the days, Mercedes, McLaren and HaasF1 showed their new designs on the same day. And so take away each other's attention.

And what comes out of this virtual blanket pulling away on the Internet is pathetic. Ferrari let its drivers answer questions from fans. Nice and good. Unfortunately, the Ferrari press department filtered out the most uncritical of the uncritical questions, which then led to meaningless answers from Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen.

What do sponsors say about the lost publicity?

But that is exactly what many teams want: say nothing, show nothing. We already know the game of hide and seek during test drives. Partition walls so high that even a basketball player cannot look over them. As a sponsor, I would get money from my team forReclaim lost publicity.

Anyone who wants to produce stories with drivers in winter often hears: It doesn't work, the engineers have hijacked our drivers. In fact, during the 85-day break, the drivers had enough time to do one or the other service to the sport. You don't advertise your profession if you go underground.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff recently said in a conversation that Formula 1 lacks the glamor factor that used to be its trademark. He's right. The stars are the drivers and the cars. They should be looked after and used for the benefit of the cause. Whenever possible. Nothing is worse than being forgotten.

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