Monaco's Prince Albert supports Liberty's updating of F1

HSH Prince Albert of Monaco (MON) with Princess Charlene of Monaco on the grid.
© XPB 

Prince Albert II of Monaco says that Liberty Media's initiatives to modernise Formula 1 are a welcome move.

“Formula 1 has to keep appealing to sports fans," he told The Independent newspaper after the Australian Grand Prix. "Not only to motor racing fans, but to possibly a wider public.

"How to establish more of a personal link to the drivers and to the teams. These are things that you have to think of.

"I don’t know if it’s only social media or different electronic devices that will do that," he added.

As well as the iconic Monaco Grand Prix, the principality also hosts a round of the ABB FIA Formula E championship. Currently the Monaco ePrix is held on a truncated street circuit. However, it hopes to use the full F1 layout in 2019.

Prince Albert said that the expansion of Formula E's Monaco ambitions didn't mean that the city was in any way cooling on Formula 1.

"I think there is space for both F1 and Formula E," he insisted. "It is very important that Formula E can apply its technology to everyday cars and everyday usage, just as F1 is sort of a testing formula for improvement in road cars.

"Of course there is a great nostalgia that goes around the historic formula. That is very much a part of the history we try to showcase in Monaco.

"It will take a few years but [Formula E] will slowly become a rival [in terms of interest]. Especially if big name drivers join the formula."

However, Prince Albert did fear that Formula 1 would suffer if Ferrari carried through its threat to quit the sport over its unhappiness at Liberty's future technical strategy.

"Ferrari and Monaco are the two most important things to Formula 1," he said. “There is such a history and such a mystique around the name of Ferrari and the success that it has had.

"The whole imagery and legend of the red cars and what they mean to the world of automobiles and racing itself. It is hard to imagine F1 without them."

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