Thursday 18 May at 08:35 :
May 18 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has hailed a step forward for formula one in the wake of Bernie Ecclestone's departure.
During the Spanish grand prix, a distraught young Ferrari fan was plucked out of the grandstand by Formula One Management staff so that he could meet Kimi Raikkonen and get a signed cap and once-in-a-lifetime paddock visit.
"I don't know if something like that was possible under the old management," Chase Carey, who replaced the ousted long-time F1 supremo Ecclestone, is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
And that isn't all. In Barcelona, among other new fan-friendly initiatives, there was a F1-branded white two-seater Minardi doing laps all weekend.
"There are new ideas from race to race," said Red Bull official Marko.
"We (Red Bull) have often had ideas that were not supported, but it's no longer about things imposed from above, but a cooperation to make the whole event more attractive."
It is of particular interest to Red Bull, as the energy drink company is not only a team owner but the actual race promoter of the Austrian grand prix.
Indeed, Marko said he has been in contact about the Red Bull Ring's 2017 race with new commercial boss Sean Bratches.
"We presented him with a list of ideas and within an hour all ten points were agreed," Marko said.
"It is a different atmosphere and mood, but at the same time there are also very intensive talks about new regulations on the technical side, the engine side, and the finance side."