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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Motorsport could be very bankable, says Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen

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That is the primary time a driver of his calibre has stood for one of many foremost elected workplaces of the FIA, so why has Kristensen determined to face?

“Motorsport has been my life, I’ve bought a lot from it,“ says the Dane. “I believe now it is time for me to provide one thing again. I like the thought the game needs to be led by individuals who have loads of expertise in it. I want to share all my information and understanding to assist encourage new generations to turn into concerned. I have been with FIA for a while now with the drivers’ fee with all of the issues that contain. So I want to proceed to be concerned with the event of it, and of the game, I really like a lot.”

#1 Audi Sport Workforce Joest, Audi R8: Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro, Tom Kristensen.

Picture by: Clive Rose / Motorsport Images

Kristensen’s platform for launching a bigger political profession within the sport is his management position on the FIA Drivers’ Fee. Whereas its work will not be well-known to motorsport audiences, the fee has its tentacles into a number of areas of the operating of the game, together with supplying driver stewards at grands prix, supporting applications like Ladies in Motorsport, Ladies on Observe in addition to a strong voice on the protection and accident investigation teams, championship laws and driver categorizations (gold, silver, bronze) for GT and endurance racing.

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“We’ve a bunch of superb guys, most of us have been racing in rally, off-road, karting, system automobiles, endurance, so there’s loads of expertise,” says Kristensen. “We don’t make concrete choices, however we convey issues to the World Council and we assist different Commissions. As an illustration, Emanuele Pirro seems within the circuit fee, Derek Warwick within the single-seater fee, and myself within the Endurance and Security Commissions.”

The following 5 to 10 years for motorsport will see among the greatest, most fast modifications within the sport’s historical past as exterior forces like local weather change, video streaming, gaming, and social media reshape the game. There can be winners and losers amongst motorsport classes and each of the FIA Presidential candidates and their groups operating on this election see defending the game and its improvement pathways, from grassroots to F1 as a key precedence.

The winner: Emanuele Pirro, Tom Kristensen and Frank Biela.

The winner: Emanuele Pirro, Tom Kristensen and Frank Biela.

Picture by: Motorsport Images

“In our view, the most important problem might be the way to make motorsport sustainable going ahead, “ Kristensen says. “Establishing a brand new finances method, the way to refresh our fan base, the way to appeal to extra rivals, the way to proceed to additional improve security ranges, the way to strengthen our completely different disciplines. So accessibility, sustainability, and variety, this stuff definitely are key.

“It’s the way to perhaps embrace a bit extra the leisure karting, perhaps have some karting competitions across the completely different ASNs (nationwide federations), the place FIA can assist it. It may be even be began by means of the fervour for Esports and the FIA Esports is de facto going forward and with the Fee, they’ve loads of nice concepts. And there you may actually enter fairly low cost, and we are able to make that work. Additionally the Crosscar championships (starter sequence for rallying). You do not want a circuit for doing that. And there are locations around the globe the place Crosscar is useful; definitely Asia, South America, and Africa. Issues like that going in the direction of rallying, we have to assist it extra, we should be companions with our golf equipment.”

Central to the long run would be the know-how of the facility models, with electrical being closely promoted by governments, whereas the game can be proposing 100% sustainable fuels in addition to hydrogen as options.

“I am open to all. And I believe the reply must be a unique (model) of all these applied sciences,” says Kristensen. ”We see extra younger engineers with sensible concepts popping out of the colleges. So for us to proceed to be an actual laboratory for the long run good thing about all, on the race observe or the street, we’ve to enhance efficiency, environmental sustainability, and know-how. Motorsport will proceed to be of actual use and relevance for the automotive business. We consider we can not disconnect. And if we put collectively the facility of producers with the efficiency of prime rivals, we’ve an enormous capability to be artistic and environment friendly. What Le Mans is doing with the hydrogen 24 program is an efficient instance, there are lots of others.”

The latest International F1 fan survey confirmed a rising crossover of motorsport audiences with players – 61% of F1 followers aged 16 to 24 establish as players – so how essential is gaming to the event of motorsport, but additionally as competitors in its personal proper?

“It turns into actuality. The digital Esports have gotten so good,” he says. “Below the pandemic, there have been loads of races, particularly in 2020, the place you noticed individuals from the actual world competing with these players who had been extremely environment friendly, extremely quick. That combination created one thing and these days it is simply rising. And the FIA is supporting that. We’ve created a brand new fee, below the management of Anna Norquist from Sweden. And simply currently, we put out the FIA Esports world rating. So hopefully that may be one thing which the FIA can drive ahead.”

Presenters Tom Kristensen and Nicki Shields on stage.

Presenters Tom Kristensen and Nicki Shields on stage.

Picture by: DPPI

Regardless of the challenges, Kristensen is optimistic for the way forward for the game.

“Motorsport has at all times introduced a supply of ardour, integrity, and curiosity,  because of the mix of rivals, competitions, producers, and followers, all around the globe overlaying so many occasions,” he says. “The way in which to speak and to advertise our sport can be a key level. That world is shifting quick, the media world as effectively. Take a look at the huge impression of the Netflix Drive to Survive sequence for F1. That is a great instance, as was the success of the film, Le Mans 66 for twenty-four hours of Le Mans. So motorsport remains to be very bankable, and can be for a very long time.”



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