Formula One inspired by NFL to improve fan engagement

The NFL Draft has given Formula One organisers ideas about how to engage with fans outside of the race calendar.

Sebastian Vettel at the Australian Grand Prix   -  Getty Images

Formula One chiefs are exploring ways to keep fans engaged during the off-season, and have taken inspiration from the NFL Draft.

The F1 calendar currently runs from March to November and organisers feel that they struggle to retain the attention of millions of supporters between December and February.

As they seek a way to improve this, chairman Chase Carey has heralded the way NFL fans are captivated all year round.

"One of the ambitions we have is to figure out how we make this sport something that engages the fans 12 months a year," he said. "But it doesn't mean that we will race [that long] - our season is not going to go 12 months.

"One example would be the NFL, which is not playing right now but they just had the NFL Draft. That is a big event. They have created events that are interesting for fans even when they are not in the season.

"So, we would like to determine: how do we create more interesting things for fans, whether it is unique competition or unique events, or things that are around the sport that continue to build interest and enable fans to engage more?"

And while Carey is keen not to alter the format of the main season, he says F1 are discussing various "unique ideas".

"The 21 races that we have will always be the highest profile, but we think we can do other things that enable fans to connect with the sport," he said.

"We have a pretty full season and we have to recognise that there is a lot of wear and tear on that season, but I would say we think it would be a good thing to find ways to engage fans.

"It may not be a competition on track - it may be other aspects of the sport - but there are some unique ideas for various forms of competition that we are engaged with and talking to various parties about."