Interest in the 2011 Formula One season will decline now that Sebastian Vettel has wrapped up the world championship.
The world’s media are busy hailing the 24-year-old German’s latest achievement rather than building up as per normal for the next race, to take place in just a few days in South Korea.
McLaren and FOTA chief Martin Whitmarsh admits that, from the public’s point of view, the early championship conclusion has taken the shine off the forthcoming races also in India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil.
“Inevitably, there will be a drop of interest – the tension and excitement that we’ve been fortunate to encounter in recent years is never a given,” he told the Times of India, referring to recent season finales.
On the other hand, Whitmarsh said that any consequences of a championship contest, such as team orders or racing with an eye on the points mathematics, will now dissipate.
“I actually think you’ll really see the gloves come off and we’ll get to see some truly incredible racing by the greatest drivers in the world,” he insisted.
There is also the issue of driver motivation, with Fernando Alonso for example buoyed that his car was at least competitive at Suzuka even though Ferrari has ceased its development.
“That gives us some extra motivation for the remaining races knowing that it is going to be tough as the updates on the car will be minimal,” said the Spaniard.
“But in some races, some circuits, we are still competitive, so why not fight for victory in one of the remaining races.”