Christian Horner believes Formula 1 needs to be an ‘attractive product’ if it is to attract new sponsors to the sport, and it cannot afford to have lacklustre races.
With Horner’s Red Bull Racing outfit securing a major sponsorship deal with Aston Martin for the 2018 campaign, he feels it is essential for the on-track action to be entertaining throughout the grid, and he believes that if that is addressed, there will be a greater interest from sponsors to be involved in the sport.
“To attract sponsors you have to have an attractive product,” said Horner on Racer. “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.”
Horner feels it is harder for teams to generate funding in the current climate, and he believes the poor show that was the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year will not help their cause.
“I’d say it is harder now, yes, because there is more choice as the world evolves,” said Horner. “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.”