There is a time when you realize that the time for talking is over and it’s time to get to work. With Formula 1’s new owners, they’ve made numerous comments about long-term planning, fan engagement, Euro-centric races and digital distribution concepts for consumers. It’s all been spoken and parroted in the press.
With all of that talk, the role of Ross Brawn as the technical boss for the commercial rights holders, Liberty Media, has evolved to a very key role and Liberty knew exactly what they were doing when they hired him. He’s been seeking feedback and information from teams on the future direction of the sport but for all the talk, some folks believe it is time for Liberty to put up or shut up.
“I’m disappointed in some ways,” Force India’s Bob Fernley told Autosport.
“We have done an awful lot of talking and an awful lot of ideas have come through.
“But when we’re nine months down the road, you’d have thought we’d have been firming something up a bit more now.
“The engine program should be finalized because that is the cornerstone of the cost control program.
“Cost control should be coming though very closely behind it, if that’s where we’re going, because people have to respond to it.
“The clock is ticking, it won’t be long until we’re into next year.
“I was hoping we would be seeing something now, at least a skeleton of where we’re going but we’re getting nothing at all.”
Liberty’s inclusion of a fan zone, letting fans vote on an old grand prix to post on YouTube and other things may appeal to some but for me, it falls a little short of their initial commentary. To be fair to them, though, they do need to consider this in long-term and create a new program going forward. That’s not easy and I think we can afford them some patience.
Having said that, this is from a fan’s perspective but if I were a team owner, I would have a different perspective and need for decisions to be made now concerning 2020 etc. Bob Fernley does:
“There has been a lot of meetings behind closed doors,” he said.
“Really now, it’s a case of Liberty presenting something that can be considered.
“Ross [Brawn, F1’s sporting boss] has taken a very careful approach to everything, he’s talked to all the teams, he’s got all the feedback.
“They have a direction they want to go into. Now they need to get something out in the discussion process to all teams.”
The Autosport article does a nice job of positioning the story, as they always do, but how do you feel about the lack of technical and sporting decisions? Where does the FIA fit in this equation and how many bits and baubles does it take to prevent you from seeing the entire picture of F1 and its long-term prospects?
For me, more lenient social media rules in the paddock, fan zones, full broadcasts on YouTube of old races, and other shiny objects aren’t really what I am looking for. I would argue that F1 fans are not like NASCAR fans. They are heavily invested in the series from the teams, drivers, politics, technical and sporting regulations. They want to know what the future plan is just like Bob Fernley and the trinkets aren’t really doing it for us either.
Hat Tip: Autosport