In an interview with The Independent today, Silverstone boss Patrick Allen has hit out at the current state of Formula One stating that he will soon struggle to sell tickets for what is a “s*** product”.
In his interview with The Independent, Allen criticised the way drivers are having to save fuel and tyres, rather than drive flat-out – a concern which many have raised over the past few months. Allen stated the following:-
‘I’ve said that people don’t come to watch guys looking at data screens. Fans want to see gladiators racing and fighting it out in a fair fight. Nobody wants to hear drivers getting told to ‘lift’, ‘coast’ or ‘we’re not going to catch the guy in front, settle for second’.
‘I think it is criminal when we have got to that state of racing and that is not saleable. I think Bernie [Ecclestone] is as frustrated with it as we all are. How long is it before the technical director is stood on the top step, not the driver?’
Allen was recently in the news when he admitted the circuit is struggling to pay its F1 hosting fee of £16 million a year and hinted that the circuit could dump F1 and look for something else. Further on in his interview today, Allen added the following on the matter at hand:-
‘You’ve just got to throw the towel in then and look for something else. Fans don’t want to see a procession. As a promoter I can only promote what you give me and if that isn’t up to standard, people aren’t going to buy.
‘Months and months back I said it to Mr E himself that I can’t sell tickets for a s*** product.’
Whilst the 2015 event drew a record 140,000 fans on Sunday alone – the highest attendance on the calendar; in the final stages of his interview today, Allen believes that this was down to the ‘novelty’ of Lewis Hamilton’s championship, something he expects will die down. Allen said the following:-
‘Lewis gets attention this year because it’s new, it’s a novelty. Wait until this year is gone and the public say, ‘I wonder what is going to happen? Are we going to have another year like last year? Hamilton is going to go rushing off.’ People want a race.’