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SBD Global/July 22, 2014/Events and Attractions
Empty Seats Overshadow German Grand Prix; Lauda Says F1 Needs To Change
Published July 22, 2014
TIME FOR A CHANGE: In London, Byron Young reported triple world champion Niki Lauda "warned Formula 1 is at 'five to 12' and must change fast or risk extinction." Lauda "issued the starkest warning yet after disappointing turn-outs for a second successive day at the German Grand Prix." And he "slammed modern racers as unrecognisable and lacking in charisma." He was speaking "as vast swathes of the Hockenheim grandstands were empty for qualifying and as little as a half-capacity 50,000 expected for the 10th round raceday." He said, "Formula One is seeing a serious cultural change. It is logical that the young people of today have other priorities. Everything in the world is changing, but only Formula One is staying where it was.” He added, "Young people do not want to stay at home on Sunday when the sun is shining to sit in the lounge with their father for two hours. The problem is that today, there is no alternative. You can’t just sit on the beach and watch the race highlights on your smartphone." Lauda "was also critical of the faceless drivers." Lauda: “We have a generation of drivers that, if they were not wearing their racing overalls, you would simply walk past some of them and not notice. We must again have the drivers, not the bureaucrats, in the foreground. If we continue like this, no one will be bothered about Formula One anymore. It’s five minutes to twelve” (DAILY MIRROR, 7/21).