by Michael Lowrey
What do racing series do when interest — think viewership and attendance — starts to drop? Simple: they resrt to gimmicks. We saw that in NASCAR, with the Chase, and even more so, with its recently tweaking of the Chase. Well it seems that NASCAR isn’t alone: the powers that be in Formula 1, that other really successful racing series, are worried about losing more casual followers. Their solution? Well, a gimmick. As Autosport reports:
The idea is that from next year, once lapped cars have been allowed to unlap themselves, cars will form up on the grid once a safety car period has ended.
There will then be the same procedure of a standing start as happens at the beginning of races.
The hope is that there will be more chance of positions changing, with the spectacle of a standing start producing more drama than rolling starts do.
This is not the solution. These sorts of enhancements merely highlight how little faith series organizers have in their core product. Gimmicks won’t keep fickle viewers with little attachment to a sport for long but risk alienating those that are currently more deeply committed to following the sport.