F1 must work to win over new markets - Whitmarsh

By on Sunday, April 17, 2011

Apr.17 (GMM) The Chinese grand prix is a good reminder of the work F1 needs to do to promote itself in new markets.

That is the claim of Martin Whitmarsh, not only the McLaren team principal but also in charge of the teams organisation FOTA.

He was speaking in Shanghai, where small crowds having paid high ticket prices have gathered at the imposing F1 circuit, and a lack of local knowledge and enthusiasm away from the venue is obvious.

"We have fantastic worldwide TV audiences but we have to work harder at the circuits," Briton Whitmarsh is quoted by the Associated Press.

"It's a similar story in Istanbul, which is where we go next. Go around Istanbul and tell me how many billboards or advertisements you see," he added.

Whitmarsh said the issue is important, particularly a year ahead of formula one's return to America at a circuit currently under construction in Texas.

"We need to learn that lesson before we go back into the US market," he insisted. "We can't just plonk ourselves down and believe that America will reignite any enthusiasm for F1."

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