The Season Ahead (and more importantly, the years ahead)

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My New Year’s (very late) resolution….I promise myself to get back to blogging…. so with that in mind;

With less than 30 days to go before the first Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne, Australia we must wait with baited breath to see if Ferrari’s changes have made the difference to overcome more recent seasons disappointments, will the new McLaren Honda partnership bring back the glories of the past when in 1988 we totally dominated 15 out of 16 races and will the sport finally see sense and embrace social media in a way that benefits everyone from fans to sponsors alike?

If the image above is anything to go by, we are most definitely moving in the right direction to ensure every season is truly incredible, but more of that later.

So, back to my ‘futures soapbox’….In the early 90′s when the web came bursting forth, it was vastly misunderstood.  Band widths were poor, sites crude and images took ages to load and hey ho in the midst of this new techno revolution, no-one really had the understanding of how to make money from this latest of high tech platforms.

Looking back now that is hard to believe really.  Companies such as Amazon have had such an amazing commercial impact upon our lives and the internet trading platform is here to stay in so many forms let alone its impact as a knowledge resource and communications medium.

I personally believe the time is absolutely right for F1 to embrace social media like never before – it simply does not matter that at the moment it does not have a commercial standing that enables it to write teams or race organisers large cheques….simply give it the chance to become more involved with the sport and progress and time will do the rest.

10 years from now if not much sooner, social media and the new breed of smart young businessmen and women will have worked out how to commercialise ‘it’ and we will look back amazed that we did not create partnership in the current times that would have and most certainly will create revenue streams for the teams and the sport and business of Formula 1 motor racing.  There is nothing like investing at the early stages and frankly a number of teams have space on their cars that could be used to create longer term commercial relationships.

Now back to that amazing concept drawing issued by Ferrari last week – WOW!  This really does take the sport to a new level in terms of image and I hope beyond hope that the powers that be see into the future and realise what this image could bring to the sport…congratulations to the Ferrari design studio team.

Combine this with an active commercialised social platform, designs from this that echo road car products and add 1000 BHP and frankly the rest will be legendary.

Back to the present. In just a few weeks we will see the field role out at Melbourne.  I really hope it will include the Marussia Team.  Had we not had fledgling Jordan, Williams and Tyrrell Teams in the early days to name but a few, we would not have our current World Championships which we all love so please see sense and assist these guys with their efforts to be on the grid.

Whatever Melbourne brings in terms of winners and losers, and I will be lucky enough to be there to see the outcome in person, let us all hope much time is spent discussing the future and how to ensure that we can enjoy the sport we all love to the full without getting bogged down in miniscule technical details.

If there is to be a time of change, let the change be great and let it be undertaken with a thought to the long term health of the business overall and how it can integrate with our rapidly changing commercial platforms.

As to that Ferrari and the Prancing Horse inviting comments from it’s fans….YES PLEASE!

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Richard West Associates
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