Race Car News #Update
Formula One has introduced a crowd-tracking project to eight races this season after a trial run at last year’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin highlighted how many of those attending were more interested in music than motor racing.
Matt Roberts, Formula One’s global research director, told a SportsPro Live event on Wednesday that Saturday had been busier than the Sunday race at Austin’s Circuit in the United states last October, this was because a Justin Timberlake concert, aimed at attracting new and younger crowd to the sport, was included in the ticket that night.
However, 38,916 of those in attendance on that day arrived three hours after Britain’s Lewis Hamilton had secured pole position for Mercedes, they missed all the track action.
Data from battery-powered sensors, dotted around the Texas circuit and picking up the anonymised movements of anyone using a wireless-enabled device, showed that more than half of all visitors did not venture beyond one zone.
“This has huge implications for us as a rights holder, we’re bringing the merchandise to people (now) rather than assume they can find our one megastore in one area around the circuit.” said Roberts.
Roberts reckoned the sensors, which will now be used in Azerbaijan, Canada, Spain, France, Britain, Belgium and Italy as well as Bahrain last weekend, picked up around 80 percent of those attending.
According to him, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix organisers, who this year have multiple Grammy winner Christina Aguilera as their Saturday night concert headliner, had approached Formula One asking to be included in the research.