On the 23rd of January 2017, Liberty Media completed its acquisition of Formula 1, promising to “enhance the race experience and add new dimensions to the sport”
As fans of the sport assumed, this wasn’t going to happen within the next few years at least, right?
5 months later, Formula 1 returns to the heart of London. For the first time in the sports history have all the teams come together outside of a race weekend, including 19/20 drivers turning up, which we’ll get onto later.
Trafalgar Square became the home hub for F1 fans across London, Last years cars dressed up in the current liveries, being able to get up close and personal with these cars was a first for most people. Can really apreciate the attention to detail, even on these show cars.
Another first was seeing the head honchos of the sport being in the spotlight, Chase Carey, Sean Bratches & Ross Brawn all attended ahead of the British Grand Prix, we're more used to the illusiveness of Burnie.
At this point I'm going to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this F1 London Live event. Most will know, it was very short notice, Midweek, During rush hour.
I was only expecting some quiet V6 cars going no faster than the usual Central London traffic.
Could I have been more wrong?
(Left) René Arnoux in the ground breaking Renault RS01, Started the new trend of turbo charged engines back in the 80's.
(Right) Stoffel Vandoorne in the iconic McLaren MP4/6, The last of the V12 monsters to win the Championship, in the hands of Ayrton Senna of course.
They weren't sticking around either, Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari SF15-T showing off the acceleration capabilities, even on the not so smooth surfaces of London's Roads.
In the drivers briefing, they were told not to do burnouts and/or donuts. At the end of the day, it's just something they have to say, right?
I'm glad most forgot that part of the briefing... for the fans sake.
Speaking of the fans, Valtteri Bottas was the only Mercedes driver to turn up after his win in Austria. A fair amount of controversy to why Hamilton didn't turn up to his home event in London, needing two days rest before his home GP is the reason he stands by, after having a not so good race the week before. 19 other drivers seem to be able to cope, regardless of how their weekend went last time out.
For those who did turn up, received a large reception from the crowd, Sebastian with the largest which came as a surprise after recent events involving the Brit.
Even reigning champion Nico Rosberg made an appearance, with his newly reunited F1 drivers championship trophy after he reportedly lost it in the post... Just how..?
But of course, at the end of the day, we were all waiting for the final act, Kaiser Chiefs, who absolutely nailed it.
So, what have we, or can we learn from this event?
Liberty Media mean business, in the sense of giving it back to the fans, They've been saying it from the start and have delivered from the get go. Of course the first time you try anything new, theres always going to be improvements. The event being short notice did mean a lot fans couldn't make it, but this was for security reasons because of recent events in capital. Even so, 100,000 people still turned up and enjoyed the show, that attendance number should help Liberty Media and the BRDC come to a deal to keep the British GP at Silverstone, or maybe even in London...?
Keep an eye out on social media and the F1 site, F1 Live could be coming to a city near you, where should it go next?