Wolff: Mercedes' dominance isn't a 'turn off' for F1 fans
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff disputes the suggestion that their current dominance of the sport could lead fans to be turned off, saying F1 still remains unpredictable.
In 2019, they won their sixth double championship in a row, with Lewis Hamilton also winning the drivers’ championship, which broke the record previously held by Ferrari. Since the introduction of the V6 hybrid turbo engine, they are the only team who have won the title.
This has led many fans to label the current product as ‘boring’, but Wolff doesn’t think so, and believes there is still plenty to get excited about and championship wins are not a foregone conclusion.
"Mercedes winning a sixth championship, you can say, does this make people turn off? But the point is there was still variability and unpredictability," Wolff is quoted as explaining Motorsport.com.
"You wouldn’t know before the weekend if a Ferrari was on pole position or if a Red Bull was on pole position, whether Max Verstappen would win.
"The battle between the generations is something that is a great attraction: [Sebastian] Vettel against [Charles] Leclerc, Verstappen against [Lewis] Hamilton. This is something that attracts the audiences.
"For me the best news is that we’re growing our audiences and fanbase with the younger generations. And I think, overall, we’re on a really good path."
He also reckons the television ratings and F1’s increasing social media presence show that people are still invested, or getting invested.
"You would imagine that linear TV is something that should be quietly shrinking, and it’s not for Formula 1," he continued.
"It’s actually one of the few sports that is growing the audiences, whilst we are moving certain countries behind the pay wall.
"We’re looking back at the year 2019 with almost 2 billion viewers, 419 million unique viewers, almost 90 million viewers over a weekend and an average of more than 20 million live viewers for the grand prix.
"We’re the fastest growing sport on social media, even compared to all the American leagues.
"You can see that we’re on a good track. Liberty is doing a good job by opening up social media, which wasn’t the case before.
"These are huge numbers compared to any other sport out there. So in terms of global attraction for the sport, it’s there."
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