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Marchionne: Liberty must focus on making F1 more entertaining

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Ferrari president and CEO Sergio Marchionne believes that Formula 1 owner Liberty Media must focus on making the sport more entertaining and more accessible following its takeover.

Liberty completed its acquisition of F1 two weeks ago, with the arrival of new CEO Chase Carey, commercial chief Sean Bratches and sporting head Ross Brawn pointing towards a period of change for the sport.

Speaking in a Ferrari conference call with investors, Marchionne said that he expects F1 to do better through 2017 following the introduction of new technical regulations, but expects Liberty to push on and focus more on entertainment when considering the sport’s long-term future.

“What I expect, to be honest, is the sport itself to do better in 2017,” Marchionne said.

“I think there will be a great basis for us to continue and continue our commitment to Formula 1 and to really set the basis for a post-2020 world [upon the expiration of the Concorde Agreement].

“I expect Liberty, and Chase in particular, would have a very clear understanding of the fact that the entertainment side of this needs to come back into play.”

Marchionne added that Ferrari could not offer its long-term commitment to F1 if the sport’s audience was continuously in decline.

“We cannot keep on committing to a sport that has decreasing audiences for a variety of reasons,” Marchionne said.

“We need to re-popularize the sport and we need to make it more accessible.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done. We will do our part as the Scuderia in making sure that that happens, but that work needs to get underway in earnest now.”

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.