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Zak Brown confident Liberty will put Formula 1 fans first

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BIRMINGHAM, UK – McLaren executive director Zak Brown is confident that new Formula 1 owners Liberty Media will put fans first and bring the sport closer to its following.

Brown was appointed executive director of McLaren following chairman Ron Dennis’ departure, having previously played an important role in striking sponsorship deals in F1 with company JMI.

F1 is braced for a period of change following its acquisition by Liberty Media in a $8 billion deal that is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

Speaking at Autosport International in Birmingham on Thursday, Brown said that F1 should focus on connecting with fans more, having seen first-hand when running a classic McLaren F1 car at Silverstone what effect it can have.

“One of the things we need to do is get the fans closer to the cars. I noticed because people could get close to the [Mika] Hakkinen car, we allowed them to get real close,” Brown said.

“It enabled the fans to get as close to the car as to these cars. People were 10-20 deep just wanting to see the cars. Somehow we need to bring Formula 1 closer to the fans again.

“Yeah 100%. I’ve spent a lot of time with Liberty, big fans of theirs. I think they’re going to lead with ‘what does the fan want?’. I think Formula 1 is a little guilty of ‘what do we want?’.

“We need to realize our audience are the fans. If we get hundreds of millions of them and continue to feed them with the sport that we all love, then everything starts to take care of itself, the sponsors, the tickets, the governments that want the races.

“We need to have a real focus on the fans and I have no doubt that Liberty is going to do that.”

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).