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Mark Webber has raised his concerns over F1's relationship with its fans

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F1 has traditionally been accused of not allowing fans to get close enough to their heroes, but this has started to change in recent years with more TV access and social media giving us further insights into their lives.

And, though, many would argue that this unprecedented relationship between drivers and the public is good for the sport, drivers past and present are starting to voice their concerns.

After competing in the World Endurance Championship, current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso said that the access fans have in the WEC would not work in F1 as it would cause drivers to "hide even more".

Mark Webber, who won the WEC with Porsche in 2015 and is a regular fixture on Channel 4's F1 coverage, agreed with the Spaniard.

He told Motorsport.com: "You've got to be very careful because the drivers still need to be heroes and something that's still a little bit hard to touch and feel.

"We might have gone a bit too far with that in terms of access and social media. We've got to be careful we don't trivialise their profession.

"Roger Federer is not doing any interviews before Wimbledon. Access has absolutely got to be kept an eye on."

Webber, who won nine races in F1 before retiring, was speaking at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as Porsche celebrated its 70th anniversary.

When asked what F1 could learn from the sold-out, 150,000-spectator event, Webber said: "I think just fast decisions, the openness, the genuineness, the demographic too of families – we've got kids, we've got granddad here, mum and dad.

2018 Australian Open - Day 7

"There's something for everyone: a bit of fireworks, a bit of motocross. You've got to have that diversity."

"The Duke of Richmond [who owns the Goodwood estate] is before his time on that thinking.

"It's the best [event] in the world and I don't know who's second, but it's a long, long way behind.

"In society now, it's hard to get permissions for all these things. [The Duke] can make decisions, he's very proactive, dynamic and this is what society misses now."

Will F1 take note or will it continue down its current path? With social media and TV giving us more access than ever, it's hard to not see us getting even closer to our sporting heroes in the future.

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Topics:
Mark Webber
Sebastian Vettel
Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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