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2018 F1

Our motto is: same game, different approach – F1 boss

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Chase Carey has hit back at criticism of the changes being made to formula one.

Liberty Media has been slammed in recent days and weeks by some fans who believe the sport’s new owners are changing too much.

For instance, the controversial Halo is arriving this year, grid girls have been banned, the long-standing race start time has been tweaked, and more races in the US are planned.

F1 chief executive Carey denies the fans are being ignored.

“The fans are incredibly important to us,” he told Sport Bild, “just as Europe – including Gremany – is our base.

“So our motto is: same game, different approach. We want to create a product that includes everything the fans grew up with, but that is not frozen in time. Because if you do not allow change, you cannot grow.

“Bernie Ecclestone said himself in 2016 that he would not buy a ticket to a race. There was a negative spiral and we had to break it,” American Carey added.

He sees many positives about F1 at present, including the biggest driving stars.

“Lewis Hamilton is a very special personality,” Carey said of the reigning world champion.

“Half of Holland comes to the races to see Max Verstappen, and Ferrari is the brightest light in the sport.”

However, he said he hopes there is more “competition and drama” in 2018 compared to last season.

“Last year it was too much of a duel between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton,” said Carey.

“I wish that sometimes an underdog would win rather than only the favourites. Can Fernando Alonso win again? Can McLaren attack with Renault? Will Verstappen have more luck than in the first half of 2017?

“They would all be nice scenarios,” he added.

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