Toto Wolff believes the United States and Mexican grands prix have set the benchmark as examples of successful promotion in Formula One, following high attendances at both races this year.
Last month's United States Grand Prix set a new attendance record at the Circuit of The Americas as 269,889 people attended across the race weekend, while the Mexican Grand Prix also saw a rise in attendance figures, with 339,967 fans present throughout the weekend compared to 336,174 in 2015. Wolff says the success of both races provides a promotion model that F1 can learn from.
"We had some great races recently," Mercedes boss Wolff said. "If you look at Austin the crowed was great, what has been organised around it has been great, lots of innovation for the fans and it's here. We need to look beyond the tip of our nose and how we can activate the fans which we have lost."
Wolff compared rising attendances in Austin and Mexico with this year's German Grand Prix, which saw notably low figures following an absence from the calendar in 2015. Despite Germany boasting the most amount of drivers on the current grid (4) -- including four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel -- and the success of Mercedes over the last three seasons, race day only attracted around 60,000 fans, half of the Hockenheimring's total capacity.
When asked why he felt Austin and Mexico had enjoyed such high spectator figures this year, Wolff replied: "If there was a simple solution we would've found it, it's a bit of a hangover in Germany because we have had 10 years of world champions and it has transitioned into other sports, maybe we just need to look at what Mexico and Austin is doing and some other tracks.
"If Taylor Swift is the answer then get Taylor Swift! If Formula One is not the only attraction anymore then you need to add other attractions, I'm not aware Taylor Swift is in Mexico City and there is full grandstands on the Saturday and sell out on Sunday. There is a lot of advertising and Mexican drivers with narrative created around them, but it sounds easy but if you need to take the right decisions to promote a grand prix I don't think it's as easy."
Spectator attendance at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez bucked the recent trend of drops in second-year attendance figures, which is thought to have been helped by the presence of two Mexican drivers on the grid in 2016 in the shape of Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez. President of race promoter CIE Alejandro Soberon feels the priority is to make sure fans get the most of their F1 experience.
"Once again we are blown away by the support of the Mexican people and the international motorsport fans who travelled from all over the world to attend our race," Soberon said. "To increase our attendance figures from last year is the icing on the cake of a wonderful weekend of motorsport. The increase also demonstrates the appetite for Formula One and motorsport in general in Mexico City and beyond.
"People have asked me how we managed to maintain the interest in our event after year one and I tell them that our public promotion strategy is very simple, the race is the star of the show and our job is to provide as entertaining experience as possible for all the fans so that no one walks away disappointed."