What do you think about F1® Experiences?
I’ve been involved with Formula 1® for over 30 years and nothing like this has ever existed. Giving the real fans the chance to enter the Paddock and go behind the scenes is something unique. This kind of access was so complicated when Bernie Ecclestone was running the sport. All of a sudden Liberty Media arrived and a few weeks later, a deal was done!
Are you happy with the changes in Formula 1® since Liberty Media took over?
Two years ago, we were all wondering who Liberty were and did they know what they were doing. Now, I think everyone is happy, except Mercedes and Ferrari, because they have an advantage [from the distribution of F1® prize money] that they may lose. We have only seen slight changes so far; the Paddock is still very much the same. More changes are coming and it is about time! Formula 1® has existed for 68 years; it has to change and it has to adapt.
What’s your favourite F1® host city?
Melbourne. I love it. It’s so far away from Europe that we feel relaxed. Your phone is not ringing during the day. I have an additional 10 hours to write my story for the newspaper. I can go to the restaurant and quietly write my stories. The setting is also nice. Good weather, friendly people. The Australians are very relaxed people.
Which previous F1® circuit would you like to see return?
I used to love Brands Hatch in the UK. It’s too small and the track is too narrow for modern F1®, but the setting and the downhill sections were fantastic. Some of the best turns in Formula 1® were there and the racing was fantastic.
Are you a creature of habit at race weekends?
That’s the magic of Formula 1®, for me. It’s the only job where you have regular habits in 21 different places around the world. Take Monza for example, I stay in the same hotel at a place called Arcore, which is near the back entrance of the circuit so we can avoid the awful traffic jams. We always eat in the same restaurant there, Albergo Ristorante Sant'Eustorgio, which has a nice outdoor terrace. I have the same habits; stay in the same hotel, visit the same bars and restaurants, but in 21 places around the world! You live in that city once a year. It’s fantastic.
The draft 2019 Formula 1® calendar is confirmed! Start planning your trip with F1® Experiences today.