Teams hear Liberty Media’s plan for future of F1

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Friday morning got started in Bahrain with a meeting between teams and Liberty Media replete with a presentation and attentive ear as the owners laid out their 4-part plan for improving Formula 1.

The goals, according to the BBC, are as follows:

• reduce the gap in prize money earnings between the top and bottom of the field
• cut the £300m+ budgets of the top teams to about half that
• simpler, cheaper engines that reduce the gap in performance between the best and worst, and open F1 to new entrants
• simplify the technical rules to reduce cost by standardizing parts that are perceived to have minimal effect on both performance and the show.

The presentation is the first time the teams have seen this level of detail in Liberty Media’s plans and while these are their intentions, there is much to be discussed. According to McLaren’s Eric Boullier, the teams were attentive, listened and there is much to discuss.

F1 and the FIA are keen to retain the 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid engines but with a simplified energy recovery system reducing costs and attracting new entrants.

There will be a lot of discussions going forward as team’s digest what Liberty Media presented and one would imagine the prize money discussion seeking equity amongst teams, the removal of the MGU-H, the cost-cap at $150M and standardized parts will be the tough points for teams like Ferrari and Mercedes to absorb.

Plans to increase the number of standardized parts on cars is also a way to reduce costs according to Liberty Media but just how that will be viewed by the teams remains to be seen. There is already controversy over Haas F1’s surge in performance over the listed parts program and taking the sport into even more standardized parts may not go over well.

It is the first deep dive into the minds of where the owners would like to take the sport but so far, team commentaries have be somewhat muted.

Official press release from FOM:

Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO at Formula 1, said:

“Formula 1 is a sport with a rich history. We want to preserve, protect and enhance that history by unleashing F1s potential, by putting our fans at the heart of a more competitive and more exciting sport. We are driven by one desire: to create the world’s leading sporting brand. Fan- centred, commercially successful, profitable for our teams, and with technological innovation at its heart.”

Key strategic initiatives

Power units (PU)

  • The PU must be cheaper, simpler, louder, have more power and reduce the necessity of grid penalties.
  • It must remain road relevant, hybrid and allow manufacturers to build unique and original PU.
  • New PU rules must be attractive for new entrants and Customer teams must have access to equivalent performance.


  • We believe how you spend the money must be more decisive and important than how much money you spend.
  • While there will be some standardised elements, car differentiation must remain a core value
  • Implement a cost cap that maintains Formula 1’s position as the pinnacle of motorsport with a state-of-the-art technology.


  • The new revenue distribution criteria must be more balanced, based on meritocracy of the current performance and reward success for the teams and the Commercial Rights Holder.
  • F1s unique, historical franchise and value must and will still be recognised.
  • Revenue support to both cars and engine suppliers.

Sporting and technical rules & regulations

  • We must make cars more raceable to increase overtaking opportunities.
  • Engineering technology must remain a cornerstone but driver’s skill must be the predominant factor in the performance of the car.
  • The cars must and will remain different from each other and maintain performance differentiators like aerodynamics, suspensions and PU performance. However, we believe areas not relevant to fans need to be standardised.


  • A simple and streamline structure between the teams, the FIA and Formula 1.

Hat Tip: BBC

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Tom Firth

Hmm well at least from the press release itself, it reads as the same old proposals we’ve seen for years so don’t be surprised if the same old response comes from Ferrari and Mercedes.

It does sound from interviews that more was discussed than is been said right now though. Wait and see.


Well at least no team would be brazen enough to threaten to quit… I mean these are still very vague with lots of negotiating room and as you say back room details are probably far greater… oh wait back to reality in 3… 2… 1…

sunny stivala

Nothing has been discussed at this meeting, after more then a year at this one and a half hour meeting LM put on the table its proposals for what they want F1 to be like, of which I don’t call them a blueprint of what they want F1 to be like because there is as yet no details of each proposal.


It’s my understanding that much more detail was discussed but there was an agreement, whatever that means, to not disclose anymore than what liberty has disclosed in their press release. Give it a few more hours and I’m sure we’ll know everything that was discussed. Although I hope we don’t, as I’d rather have the final version in a few months time (or whatever timetable is set)

sunny stivala

Teams are believed to have had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

sunny stivala

But still Auto Motor Und Sports within minutes of LM offered to the teams representatives it’s proposals came out with the proposals offered.


I wonder if the teams will collaborate with L.M on negotiating in ‘private’, or will leak information where they think it will give them advantage?
I also wonder if L.M will start ‘romancing’ the fans, by promoting their vison for F1 directly to the fans. If a majority of fans bought into the L.M vision, it would put a lot of pressure on the Teams not to undermine it in the negotiations.

sunny stivala

Why I said “nothing has been discussed”, couldn’t have. it wasn’t even a meeting. after over a year blabbing about and speculating about the by now worn-out subject rather being a meeting representatives of all teams were present as LM offered it’s proposals, after around ninety minutes the team representatives were each handed a sheet of documents which contained further details of the proposed LM vision of the sports from 2021. the fact that reaction was decidedly tepid could only be due to the fact that the presentation was more and already known wish-list, just an outlined well worn suggestions… Read more »

sunny stivala

Auto Motor und Sport is reporting. (1) $150m budget cap, but not including driver salary, key executives and marketing. Budgets. (2) The cap will be introduced in two stages, as the bigger teams will have to lay-off staff. (3) The smaller teams will only need to raise around $30m (calculated). (4) FERRARI special historic bonus would be halved from $100m to $50m. (5) All engine manufacturers would receive a bonus of $10m. (6) In terms of engine formula, with the manufacturers offering no alternative, LM will stick to it’s initial proposal, standardization of more parts, an increase rev limit, a… Read more »

Tom Firth

Yeah, the UK press are reporting the same details.

I’m looking forward to the hugely expanded Ferrari marketing department in the future that happens to include revolutionary new 3D printing of ‘marketing’ objects that look distinctively like aero parts. ;-)

Alternatively, our marketing strategy includes winning races guv, therefore these people work in the marketing department…

sunny stivala

The UK press are quoting what Auto Motor Und Sport reported.

sunny stivala

Toto Wolff to Auto Motor Und Sport: :it’s good that we know now what Liberty and the FIA plans for the future of F1. It’s a good starting point for further negotiations”.


Already annoyed. This sport is doomed unless they realize they DON’T need to be road relevant. Here’s why: the children are the future, and they don’t give a damn about cars!!! However, they do care about being entertained. Hybrids will never be entertaining, because being “socially responsible” will never be cool. If you want to entertain the next generation of F1 fans: stop worrying about the damn car companies young people don’t care about anymore, stop putting feminist engines in F1 cars, and stop being safety-obsessed pansies!!! Young people get enough of all of that crap at school and home,… Read more »

sunny stivala

For a change, “Magnussen with what we in Scotland calls a bobby flick (reddit)” just google and watch.


Fast hands! I think we know which member of the Haas team will be volunteering to tighten Magnussen’s belts, especially the lower ones ;-)

sunny stivala

JAKO. Have you missed the true purpose of the HALO being revealed?. RB pit-wall to Max: “OK Max, we need you to push now”. Max to pit-wall: ” pushing it to the Max now”.
If you missed-it google “Verstappen pushing the car hard” and watch.


LOL, nice one Sunny.
Much easier to push on that high mounted frame, then when Mansell had to crouch over to push his Lotus back in 84.
Another victory for Health and Safety in the F1 workplace!


Furthermore, the ICE will be on the way out over the next couple of decades, with hybrids just an intermediate step. Pretty much every car manufacturer is already planning for a fully electric future, and with many countries introducing laws that put a deadline on the sale of new fossil-fuel driven cars, that future won’t be terribly far off. And beyond that of course is the whole AI-driving thing which will make all motorsport (apart from robo racing) “road irrelevant”. F1 will at some point need to focus less on trying to prove its worth to car manufacturers, and more… Read more »


Throughout its history F1 has always been a laboratory for the rapid development of aspects automotive technology. At the moment it is hybrid power units.
You may be right that it could soon reach a point where it can’t serve that function, but my concern is that if / when that happens the sponsors and audiences that allow it to be a worldwide series with extensive media coverage will go too.
So we’ll lose F1 as ‘main stream’ motor sport.
I’d rather that F1 keeps pushing the frontiers of technology, than see it stagnate and rapidly lose its audience.


Sure, but there could well come a point where not just F1 but motor racing in general will no longer be on the cutting edge of technology, as it’ll be all auto-pilot electric. Who will watch an F1 featuring self-driving silent electric cars? I know I wouldn’t, I doubt many would other than engineers, so the sponsors would disappear anyway.

If motor racing manages to hold an audience by putting on a spectacular show, no matter how anachronistic it becomes, people will keep watching and sponsors will keep putting money in. It’s the manufacturers who’d depart though.


I wonder how that does pan out.
F2 and F3 are way better ‘shows’ with anachronistic non-hybrid p.u’s and spec chassis. But they don’t pull anything like the audience or sponsorship of F1.
e-racing is becoming a big thing, with a booming audience. Maybe rather than automated physical racing, F1 goes to virtual human controlled racing?
Maybe L.M will follow a MotoGP type model, and provide a suite of series covering high tech (prototype hybrid or electric), driver focused (spec cars), and gonzo (prototype old skool – F5000). Something for everyone.

Peter Riva

Reduce grid penalties? IMMEDIATELY stop giving any penalties in the event of a crash.
And for those who would argue teams would engineer a crash to change a bad engine… nonsense. What is worse today is that last year Kimi could (should?) have rammed the back of Hamilton’s car forcing a gear box change every race along with grid penalties. Silly, right? So is deliberate crashing (yeah, okay, we know it was done once… but that was not mis-interpreted).


Raikonnen wasn’t going quick enough last year to be able to hit the back of Hamiltons car.