Williams Racing has announced the launch of a new virtual events platform that will allow partners, guests and fans behind the scenes on race day, giving them (or is it us? TBC!) access to garage tours, interviews with key team personnel and other Grand Prix related entertainment and features in the build up to Grands Prix for the remainder of 2020.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic having scuppered any real-life hospitality opportunities for Grand Prix teams whether it be trackside or back at base, F1 has quickly turned its attention to how this can be replicated in the virtual world.
This is equally true for Williams, who, until the Coronavirus outbreak, would invite people to their conference centre in Grove, UK for a similar offline experience on race days – not just to give those invested (both financially and emotionally!) in the team a chance to get involved, but also as a way of generating revenue.
Having trialled the system at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, the team plan on rolling it out fo’ real this Sunday ahead of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, the second of two at Silverstone.
“COVID-19 has been a challenge but also an opportunity for us to innovate and accelerate the launch of initiatives like this” Tim Hunt, Commercial and Marketing Director of Williams Racing told Williamsf1.com.
“Virtual and hybrid events have a huge part to play in not only the global expansion of our sport, but also in our ability to deliver value back to our partners and fans alike. This is just the start for this platform, and we will have more to offer our fans as it expands in the future.”
It’s hoped that once COVID-19 subsides and Williams’ Race Day hospitality can resume, then it will do so in tandem with the virtual platform, giving participants a more holistic behind-the-scenes experience.
Now, I’m under no illusions that this system was built for the benefit of fans and not primarily for sponsors, partners and investors. However, I’m hoping that, with limitations on attendees being less of an issue in the virtual space that we too will get to experience the new system.
I am, though, bracing myself for disappointment when the team announce that fans are quite welcome to join, for the special, one time only, very nice price of one hundred English pounds plus tax, booking fee and postage.
Watch this space.