Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, F1 Live London, 2017

F1 teams raise concerns over plans for 70th anniversary Fan Festival in London

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 teams have expressed concerns over plans for a Fan Festival celebrating the sport’s 70th anniversary in May.

Liberty Media is pushing for all 10 teams and 20 race drivers to attend the event in London on the weekend of May 16th and 17th, almost 70 years to the day since the world championship started Silverstone on May 13th, 1950.

The festival will increase the logistical burden on teams who already have to cope with a record-breaking 22 rounds on the 2020 F1 calendar. The London event will follow back-to-back races at Zandvoort and the Circuit de Catalunya, and take place four days before first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

RaceFans understands teams raised their concerns over the plans for the festival at a meeting of the Promoters’ Working Group earlier this week.

The first of the championship’s new Fan Festivals was held in London three years ago. All teams attended on that occasion and were represented by all their race drivers, apart from Lewis Hamilton.

Three Fan Festivals will be held this year, one fewer than in 2019. The first will be held at Kyalami in the week following the Bahrain Grand Prix. The circuit staged the South African Grand Prix on 20 occasions, most recently in 1993.

Among the attractions will be a demonstration run by South Africa’s only world champion Jody Scheckter in his title-winning Ferrari 312 T4, RaceFans understands. Warren Scheckter, his nephew, is involved in efforts to revive Africa’s round of the world championship at the venue. Kyalami is already due to return to the World Endurance Championship calendar next year.

The final Fan Festival will be held in New York. Formula 1 Management is yet to decide whether the event will coincide with the United States Grand Prix on October 25th, or precede it by one week.

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2020 F1 season

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13 comments on “F1 teams raise concerns over plans for 70th anniversary Fan Festival in London”

  1. And Ferrari especially don’t want to repair any more crash damage from Vettel’s driving exhibition…….

  2. Just hold the event ahead of the British GP like in 2017. What’s the point in complicating things for some over all sorts of secondary, irrelevant stuff? Just because the first-ever British GP (and in this case WC-event) happened to take place in May doesn’t mean this event would have to as well.

  3. There’s been an unofficial F1 fan festival for years. It’s called the Goodwood Festival of Speed and that always seems to be held around the Grand Prix for presumably logistical reasons.

  4. Liberty wasting more team money, these clowns are rediculous. Silverstone is sold out, promote races which aren’t

    1. Wasting team money…..they will spend more that weekend on canapes and champagne for their celebrity guests than the paltry amount that this will cost them.

  5. I’m not sure if Liberty media and F1 are shooting themselves to the leg with this one. Liberty Media has done a lot for this sport (increase of viewers, better marketing etc.) but is enough enough. This year F1 has more races than ever which means less day offs for staff and drivers. Futhermore they are doing a lot of work to get the fan festivals running. Where’s the limit?

  6. Um… how could an event in New York possibly coincide with US GP in Texas? Am I missing something?

    1. Yes, the event in LA coincided with the US GP in 2019.

    2. @tommy-c An event in New York will draw a lot more attention than one in Texas.

      It’s the same reason the fan events in the UK are in London rather than somewhere a bit closer to Silverstone.

      1. Of course, but logistically, how could you hold such an event in New York at the same time as the GP? Unless they used reserve drivers and show off some cars I suppose. But then people who see the festival in New York would be like “dang, I’d actually like to go see the race, shame it’s in Texas tomorrow”.

        1. @tommy-c, equally, would it not make more sense for the event to be held in advance so as to give a bit of time to build additional interest before the US GP itself?

  7. Hamilton won’t attend like last time….

  8. God yes imagine the effort of actually engaging with the fans who are not safely distant behind fences.

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