Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Formula 1 needs to deliver “a more attractive show” in order to increase the number of sponsors investing in the sport.
Since taking control of F1 at the start of 2017, new owners Liberty Media have stated a desire to exploit additional areas in order to provide better value for partners, with a clear change being made to the sport’s digital output. Having already stated his support for Liberty’s approach, Horner says the most effective way to bring in more sponsors is to improve the on-track offering as the global nature of the sport is already a strength.
“To attract sponsors you have to have an attractive product,” Horner said. “Unless you have an attractive product, sponsors don’t come. There are a lot of bare cars out there. We have been able to attract brands because of what we do off track as well as on track.
“F1 is not in anywhere near as rude health as it was 20 years ago when teams were making profits. There were some great brands on the cars. You only have to compare an end-of-season drivers photo from let’s pick 1997 to 2017, and you will see the volume of companies involved is significantly less.
“We have got to create a more attractive show to draw in sponsors that offer tremendous value from what F1 is.”
Red Bull’s new title sponsorship deal with Aston Martin officially started this week, but asked if it is worse now than back in 2009 in terms of generating money from Formula 1, Horner replied: “I’d say it is harder now, yes, because there is more choice as the world evolves.
“There are more platforms and the product that we have at the moment is not fantastic. A race like [Abu Dhabi] is not the best advert for F1. We are better than that, F1 is better than that. OK it is only 1 chapter in 20 – there has been some great racing [in 2017] – but you always have to learn.”