How quick can Liberty Media fix F1?

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Finding a destination city in the US such as LA, Miami, New York and hosting a major F1 event. Creating ways that small teams can be viable both competitively and financially. Creating a race promotion package that will financially support and grow western European races as well as the British GP.

All of these things are terrific goals for the new owners of Formula 1 and while Chase Carey and Ross Brawn have strong thoughts on these and many other facets of F1, it will take time to start many of these changes.

The excitement of acquiring a new sport and sharing with the world your intentions and plans is always high but you’ll have to give Carey and crew some space as they are dealing with existing individual contracts with the teams that don’t expire until 2020 as well as broadcasters and the FIA.

From the fans perspective, a healthy grid with teams that are viable both financially and competitively is a big issue as they feel this would improve on-track performance and entertainment values and they may not be wrong in that notion. Ross Braw, says:

“We need to find solutions where the small teams can stand on their own two feet and put up a good challenge to the hierarchy of Formula 1 and stand on their own two feet commercially,” Brawn told Sky Sports News HQ.

“At the moment it is a big challenge for them, it is too big a challenge, and we need to find ways in future of having a healthy Formula 1 from top to bottom. Perhaps finding ways of making sure those small teams become an attractive and valuable element of Formula 1, not only on the track but as businesses.”

“We have a contract with the teams until 2020 so nothing is going to change substantially before then unless all teams agree,” Brawn added.

The key here is if the teams are willing to engage Liberty Media early and re-negotiate their contracts but keep in mind, there could be a component of those new deals that would see large teams be offered less and that’s not likely to be something they are willing to sign up for early. It all depends on how good of a negotiator Chase is.

Expect changes in F1 this year but don’t be discouraged if the biggest changes aren’t recognized until 2020 and beyond.

Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1

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Zachary NoepeSalvu BorgjakobusvdlTom Firth Recent comment authors

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Peter Riva
Guest
Peter Riva

great reporting, thank you.
I have a fix for the sport. Simple, proven, efficient.
Any team that finishes in the bottom 2 or 3 gets restrictions for engine, testing, suspension removed. Innovation at the bottom will spur changes all the way up. Can you imagine if Manor had a mass dampner suddenly? And why the hell not?

Peter Riva
Guest
Peter Riva

And this also obviates the reduction in top teams $ for that year.

The Late Idi Amin
Member
The Late Idi Amin

no cos then the next team teams up complain about their money being wasted and being beaten by teams that ordinarily wouldn’t have a hope. No the whole idea of formula One is you turn up for a season and if you can’t win you should be scoring points. if you can’t score points you have no business being in formula one. That why i’m against a US Franchise system which if effectively a cabal of rich guys (say the guy who owns the Cleveland Browns plodding around for years and picking up $200 for passing go then getting the… Read more »

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Not too much different to the concessions process that MotoGP went through with its manufacturer teams in recent years.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Agreed something along these lines, like you can agree to a low spending cap with looser development rules, or unlimited spending with tighter rules, so different sorts of teams can take different approaches.

MIE
Editor

Redistribution of the $1.5 billion annual revenue that F1 currently raises to ensure not only the smaller teams can survive but also the circuit promoters can afford to continue to host the sport. A further thing that Liberty Media could do is ensure that the sport is available free to air on TV in all markets. This may only be a highlights package, but it will be an opportunity to attract new fans who won’t want to spend money for a pay TV package (or online equivalent) until they are hooked on the sport. By all means have a premium… Read more »

The Late Idi Amin
Member
The Late Idi Amin

how about the track owners keep the money from people coming through the gates.

MIE
Editor

That is the only money they currently get, which is the reason the ticket prices are so high. This funding then has to be used to pay for the FIA mandated circuit improvements as well as the sanctioning fee (which increases at 10% every year). All revenues from circuit advertising and concession stands go to the commercial rights holder. There is no other avenue available to the circuit promoter to raise any money.

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Pretty sure I read the opposite, Liberty looking towards more pay tv services.

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

Given that on 5-live Ross Brawn was saying that F1 needs evolution not revolution, and the commercial arrangements with the teams runs until 2020, I’d imagine that the area where LM will be most ‘at Liberty’ to act quickly will be in making F1 available through alternative media (probably not free to air TV) and making the race weekend festivals. I’m hopeful that LM will recognise the potential of websites and podcasts like Todd has developed with F1B, and support them (well Todd first) by providing content, access to teams, travel to races, and the team fronting LM. We know… Read more »

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

JAKO, It looks and sounds like RB IS NOT A GREAT FAN OF THE PRESENT in use.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

(PU in use).

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

Hi Salvu, where do you pick that up from? Brawn did a pretty good job in overseeing the hybrid p.u in the back of the Mercedes, and was also saying in his 5-live interview that the teams need technical stability. So I’m assuming he’s okay with the technology, and wouldn’t want to impose another expensive technology change on the teams in the short term.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

JAKO, “Where did you pick that up from?”. very little that concerns F1 escapes me . So as that nobody to takes me wrong, I personally believe that LM couldn’t have made a better chose than Ross Brawn for the job intended. Ross Brawn is a type of man that can be crystal clear in what he says, as much as not easy to decipher. from what I read-him being quoted as saying, he seems to be saying F1 should step back from being road relevant and ensure the spectacle is preserved. now let me GUS, could be drop the… Read more »

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

Thanks Salvu, I’ll agree that LM have made a great choice for MD Motorsports, Ross Brawn has an incredible reputation for technical leadership. I think we all have high hopes that he’ll be able to set up regulations that improve competition and control costs, but I think we’ll have to wait to see what direction that takes.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

The first thing LM will make sure off, that is apart from all the nice sounding and right things they are saying is, they will make sure that they will milk F1 at least as good as CVC did.

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

Thats cynical, but probably very realistic ;-)

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

I am sure that is their number one objective.
As to all the “RIGHT THINGS THEY ARE SAYING and SAYING THEY WANT TO DO” most will first have to wait till present concord/s agreement/s and other contract/s times are up, and secondly they will be in need for others to go out on the dance floor to tango.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

I think there’s hope. I think Bernie had so weakened F1 that they’re going to need to make it better and more satisfying. At the point it now sits, it hasn’t got what they want to extract from it for their own selfish interests. I think a rising tide will lift all boats, at least for awhile, just like it did with Bernie for awhile.

Salvu Borg
Guest
Salvu Borg

I too think there is a new hope.
As I said on here , once Bernie closed the door behind him most of F1 common problems would have followed him out the door.
The problem is all three new LM men are talking too fast, talking a lot, and making sure all they say sounds good.
AS I also explained, most of what was said they want to do up to now first needs time and secondly others concerned needs agree.

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Also Chase Carey is a non exec director at Sky plc and Vice Chairman of parent 21st Century Fox so I doubt they are going to change too much on the television front. However they might look at other ways of showing the content.

Member
Fast Freddy

Based on my dislike of their radio business, I don’t have much hope they can fix F1. Personally, there is not that much wrong with it. Get rid of DRS, get more money in the poor teams hands, add more cars. Personally I’d like to see more racing on free TV or more common cable channels. But please don’t turn it into a quasi spec series like Indy or NASCAR. Please?