SHOULD BERNIE STEP DOWN? Bernie Ecclestone has been blamed for F1's loss of fans in recent years. Image: AFP / Greg Baker
LONDON, England - Bernie Ecclestone and Formula 1 are being left behind by "the digital generation".
That's the view of Lars Stegelmann, an executive with market intelligence experts Repucom.
Commissioned by the F1 drivers' union Grand Prix Drivers' Association, Repucom headed a recent global fan survey.
'DOMINATED BY ONE MAN'
Speaking to German news agency DPA, Stegelmann said he believed one issue faced by F1 was that its image was "dominated" by "one man" - its 84-year-old chief executive and so-called supremo Bernie Ecclestone. "The negative headlines are heaping up around him."
Stegelmann said the diminutive Briton's advancing age might be an issue, "reflected in the statements and actions of specific target groups".
He added:"I'm thinking in particular of the so-called 'digital generation'."
Stegelmann said it was in this area that F1 was falling badly behind. "We all know the changes in the past decade with digital media. F1 did not go along with it. To the contrary: Ecclestone does not consider this target group because it is not a source of income.
"However, it is not just the 14 to 29-year-olds in the digital world but increasingly the age groups above it.
Stegelmann added: "In this respect, Ecclestone's statements and actions are certainly not productive."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 season. Fresh reports every day.