MTD exclusive: What Pirelli's Hembery would change in Formula One

April 15, 2015

What needs to change in Formula One racing? In a Modern Tire Dealer exclusive, Pirelli Motorsports Director Paul Hembery says the sport needs to be more fan-friendly for starters.

“The type of changes that we see where F1 could consider modifying its approach is certainly to become more fan-friendly, and fan-friendly in reality means the drivers needing to become genuine heroes, visible and well-known. They need to be the people that fans look up to and most of all of course identify with.”

Social media creates plenty of opportunities for Formula One to better interact with fans and grow its fan base, according to Hembery.

“The television model is of course complex today. All the free-to-air channels are struggling to pay the fees required not just for F1 but also for many products and content.

"And pay TV, while it might be providing an instant hit in terms of finances, certainly doesn't have the audience base that's going to grow you as a sport into a very strong global phenomenon.

"So there's a balance to be had there and Formula One is at that point where it has to decide what's more important: short-term financial gain or long-term growth of the sport.”

Hembery says there are no easy answers, but he has some suggestions for Formula One. See his ideas in our exclusive two-part interview: “Pirelli's Paul Hembery on Formula One” and “Paul Hembery on Formula One II.”

Pirelli & Cie SpA has been supplying tires to Formula One since 2010.