Briatore to head up F1's popularity working group

Formula 1 has turned to ex-team boss Flavio Briatore in a bid to reverse declining television audiences.

The Italian, who was thrown out of the sport for his hand in fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix by ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash - will sit on the board of F1's new popularity working group.

The group aims to come up with ideas to increase the sport's popularity, particularly amongst the younger generation of fans which it has failed to appeal to.

Along with Briatore, a select number of teams will be involved. Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Force India are believed to have been chosen.

Speaking in Hungary after a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, Toto Wolff said the media would also be involved to canvas the fans opinion after some recent unpopular decisions.

"A couple of guys will sit together, because it's difficult to do when you invite everybody and come up with priorities and solutions," said the Mercedes boss.

"We'll probably get you guys [the media] involved to avoid the situation last time when you found our ideas really shit! So that's the procedure," he said, referring to double points and the like.

"Bernie expressed a wish to discuss with teams about how we can improve the show of Formula 1. So we're going to come together and come up with ideas."

A meeting will be held within the next few weeks to discuss ways of improving the show and appealing better to fans.

One idea raised on Saturday was to add 'success ballast' to successful cars in order to level the playing field [read more here].

It's likely the move to online broadcasting, mobile apps and social media will be on the agenda, with Ecclestone avoiding such media because it's difficult to monetise.