Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard believes that the promoters of the series have a duty to build the hype surrounding it and be vocal about its achievements instead of downplaying it.
In a recent interview with the Daily Mail in Britain, F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that he would not pay to watch a grand prix and that the series is “the worst it has ever been”.
Ecclestone later clarified that his comments were intended to be a wake-up call to F1’s stakeholders ahead of a meeting in Geneva at the end of February, but he still came under fire from Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche for being so critical in public.
Coulthard turned his hand to commentary since ending his F1 career in 2008, and he believes that it is crucial for those promoting the sport to do so in as positive a light as possible.
“Well I think everyone has the right to say what they want to say as long as it’s not inciting violence or riots or something,” Coulthard told NBC Sports.
“Should we just say something for the sake of saying something? They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
“I think that we have a duty, whether it’s Bernie or the team principals or the media – we should report what we see, and we should let the public know exactly what we see.
“But that said, if you are a promoter, and you are promoting a musical act, and you go ‘actually, I wouldn’t come and see this lot because they sing out of tune and they’re notoriously late and you leave early’, it’s not a great sell, is it?
“I think as a promoter, and those that have promotional skin in the game, I think it’s their duty to build the hype.”
“We’re a sport, we’re an entertainment, we’re a business, we’re a technology developer. You want to promote the fact that you have developed something special.
“I think it’s in all our interests to make sure we don’t dumb down the perception of the sport, because the race will be what it will be.”