Major media figures consider News Corp F1 bid

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Major figures in media business consider joining News Corp’s bid for F1.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Media Moguls Join F1 Consortium (Sky News)

“Raine, a merchant bank headquartered in New York, has been holding detailed discussions about committing part of its $500m fund to an Exor-News Corp offer for F1.”

Todt abandons F1 commissioner plans (Autosport)

“In this case, [F1] I feel it would be double to have a commissioner and a very strong president of the commission [Ecclestone]. So that is why I gave up this idea of having an [F1] commissioner.”

Why I am finding F1 less gripping in 2011 (Doctorvee)

“I thought the Chinese Grand Prix was okay. But the reaction of others left me perplexed. All kinds of platitudes were bandied about. ‘The best dry race in decades!’ ‘The best since Japan 2005!’ Really? I wasn’t feeling that at all.”

Formula 1 Driver Heikki Kovalainen Reacts for Safe Hospitals in Disaster Sensitive South East Asia (BusinessWire)

“I feel that this is a meaningful and effective way to help ensure hospitals and health facilities continue to treat and support people in all kinds of emergencies. I’m honoured to launch the challenge and help in raising awareness of safe hospitals in South-East Asia.”

Images from Istanbul (ESPN)

“There were some great signs and posters in the grandstands over the weekend such as ‘I love you’, ‘Marry me’ and ‘Come, come, my blonde, come’ – although I couldn’t tell you what that last one means. And obviously there was the one that says ‘Bernie, please don’t take away our Turkish GP’ which was particularly relevant.”

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Comment of the day

Bernie Ecclestone would hate this idea from Filipe De Sousa – but I like it!

This would be great for cross-promotion of motor racing. F1 is usually too expensive for people to attend, but always has massive numbers (well, Turkey being an exception, although it wasn’t exactly empty), while other racing series have cheaper tickets, multiple events a day but aren’t quite so popular.

Having a non-championship event sharing the same weekend as other racing series would increase attendance and visibility for that series and I doubt people would mind paying a little extra to watch that series and an F1 event on the same day (I know I wouldn’t mind whatsoever).
Filipe De Sousa

From the forum

Introduced yourself yet? Join in here

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Stephen!

On this day in F1

David Coulthard led home the Ferraris to win in Austria ten years ago today.

The race got off to a strange start as four cars failed to get away. Leader Juan Pablo Montoya went off while under pressure from Michael Schuacher, taking the Ferrari driver off with him, and allowing Coulthard in to grab victory.

Ferrari ordered Rubens Barrichello to let Schumacher through for second on the last lap – much as they would again 12 months later.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Major media figures consider News Corp F1 bid”

  1. Here’s what I want in the next 5 years:

    F1 to stay free in TV.
    New V6 Turbos or current V8 engines.
    Significantly smaller front wings.
    Spa to stay on the calendar.
    Team Lotus to join the midfield.
    Another Championship for Lewis.

    That is all.

    1. sounds good to me :)

    2. Vettel to receive a championship challenge this year and NOT to dominate.
      Big loud powerful engines throughout. NO more tilke hairpin/2km straight style tracks.

    3. Vettel actually winning a race not from pole.
      Vettel actually overtaking and then winning a race.
      … and then celebrate using anything other than that finger!!!

      1. Would Vettel still be allowed to say “thats what I’m talking about” over the team radio after winning?

      2. Surely its not his problem if he faster than everyone else?

    4. F1 to stay free in TV.

      FOTA has already said that the sport must remain on free-to-air. There is no way they will agree to a Concorde Agreement that moves it to pay TV or pay-per-view (though the latter would be more likely). And if the teams don’t agree to it, anyone controlling the commercial rights to the sport will be powerless to stop them.

      1. Yeah, I think the toughest job (apart from getting as much money together) for any News Corp leaded consortium would be to convince the teams (and FIA), of their business model to generate enough viewers (i.e. staying largely free-to-air) AND still generate extra income for the benefit of all.

        1. But where is it written that News Corp will absolutely change things so that they’re pay-per-view? That’s a major change to a business model that already exists, and one that – if kept in place – would make News Corp plenty of money. It would be a very difficult sell indeed to get Formula 1 changed to pay-per-view, especially since News Corp themselves would be hard-pressed to justify changing things.

          1. That is written no where, certainly not in my comment.

            My argument was, that NewsCorp will have a job to do to convince the insiders they won’t ruin it, but will bring in something better to add to what is there.

          2. That is written no where, certainly not in my comment.

            That’s not what I meant at all. Ever since news broke that Murdoch et al were looking to buy the commercial rights to the sport, people have simply assumed that they are going to turn the sport into pay-per-view. Yet News Corp have said nothing of the sort. There is absolutely no proof that they are looking to change the way the sport is broadcast. In fact, there’s an historical precedent – the Super League farce – that suggests they will look to keep it free-to-air.

          3. fine, so post that in the discussions, but not as a reply to my post please.

            By the way, I think NewsCorp should change the ways to broadcast. Looking into internet TV and mobile devices to add to what is currently available.

        2. In the end I do think it will boil down to whether News Corp can make more money than CVC is. I don’t see it; they may be sucking the money out and endangering old favourites, but they’re pretty good at making the money.

          1. Bigbadderboom
            13th May 2011, 18:42

            Absolutley, the thing is CVC is one investment fund, but NewsCorp are looking to round up mutiple investments, why do they feel they can satisfy multiple investment groups? Why do they feel they can make more from it than CVC?
            Story does seem to be gathering momentum but I can’t help but feel this has more to do with BSKYB than F1. I’m still convinced this is all a smoke screen. F1 currently turns a reasonable profit but this can soon diminish if FOTA get what they want, advertising revenue drops, VIP sales decrease. These are all areas for concern, so to think NewsCorp can make more of F1 without pay-per-view is somewhat of a stretch for me.

    5. Apart from the last point, I agree.

  2. Haha, yesterday it was Steven’s birthday and today it’s Stephen’s!

    The Doctor Vee blog – personally I find it a little condescending and quite flawed.
    – He talks about the negatives of DRS without actually mentioning what problem it was meant to fix.
    – Second ,in his talk about Pirelli he fails to mention that a) it’s the same for everyone b) the car advantage hasn’t disappeared or diminished at all because of them c) tyres have always been the most important thing about the cars, so objecting to them on a principled basis is incredibly selective d) ignored that the tyres have enabled drivers to pursue different strategies but finish in similar positions to where they started, thus disproving that it’s “all about strategy”.
    – Third, he makes a ridiculous claim about strategy being detrimental to racing, as if everyone being on the same strategy last year gave us greater racing. Racing is about getting to the finishing line first by any legal means, not by going faster than a guy doing the exact same thing as you. That means using strategy as much as going as fast as you can. And incredibly, later on in the article he bemoans the lack of teams being able to pursue contrary strategies because of the two-compound rule. Talk about hypocrisy.

    Not only all of this but he selectively uses quotes that back up his argument, ignoring those made by Rosberg, Schumacher and Alonso. Laughably, he says that motor sport is about seeing which car is fastest when DRS ensures that slow cars get past faster ones. He then tries to have his cake and eat it by saying overtaking with DRS isn’t real overtaking and then saying overtaking has been devalued – but how can it be, if it’s not overtaking? Apparently no-one defends anymore – well what was Vettel doing in China?

    Why did people watch F1 before if they thought it was too dull, he asks? Maybe because “not as exciting as we think it should be” isn’t the same as “so dull I don’t want to watch it”. Then to top it all off he brings Arnoux v Villeneuve into the debate, as if this is the kind of thing we used to see all the time, without even mentioning that although it wasn’t quite as titanic or important we saw a very similar situation with Rosberg and Massa just in the last race. Ironically he says that it’s not exciting to see cars a second a lap faster breeze by other ones, yet we used to see the exact same thing with drivers on contrary strategies in the past. Yet somehow the 1970s were great and 2011 not.

    In short, his argument is riddled with inconsistencies and conveniences. I respect anyone who says “I don’t care how good it works, I just can’t in principle support this level of artificiality in the sport”. Even an argument that the drivers don’t matter as much anymore no matter what the rules are and can’t make up those sorts of time differences by their own skill anymore, which I fully empathise with. But arguments like this don’t convince me at all.

    1. Laughably, he says that motor sport is about seeing which car is fastest when DRS ensures that slow cars get past faster ones.

      Ahem. DRS ensures that fast cars get past slower ones.

    2. Racing is about getting to the finishing line first by any legal means


    3. Couldn’t agree more.

    4. Thanks for saving me having to type all that out. Agreed on almost every level.

      You should start a blog.

    5. I read that doctorvee piece yesterday, and I must say I feel its a bit over the top. But interestingly it seems a lot of passes are just that – passes – instead of overtakes to gain position.

      If looking at how the starting positions compare to race finishing positons, it seems there is not really much change of position in the races.
      That would mean, that in the end is is just a show but not much racing at all.

      I certainly hope the teams and FIA rethink what to do with DRS and downforce, especially with a move to ground effect instead of wings is now dropped.

      1. AMEN!

        Classic case of rose tinted glasses – and what I found funny was that he talked about the 1970s when he only started watching in the mid 1990s.

        Me too, I started watching F1 in the 1990s, I’ve caught up on the classic races from the past, but I wasn’t there. I don’t know how it was, and I’m quite sure DoctorVee doesn’t.

      2. Personally I think DRS’ most understated achievement is its ability to make alternate strategies work. Last year’s Australian Grand Prix was proof that something needed to be done beyond the tyres. I would have preferred less aero, but they did something at least.

        I myself noticed the lack of actual change in positions from start to finish, but this shows that DRS is making it possible to:
        a) do a different number of stops and it be as good as if you were doing more or less
        b) allows for making places because of strategy when struggling for pace, if you can make it work (compare Hamilton and Rosberg in China; one won the race, the other finished where he started

        So when you get a guy on fresher tyres, yes it is more of a pass than anything. But when we see people on close strategies, it becomes more akin to overtaking. I think it’s a fallacy when the two are being lumped together and both labelled as overtaking. No wonder it’s being “devalued” when the cheap one was never overtaking anyway.

    6. Thanks for the kind words guys.

    7. Third, he makes a ridiculous claim about strategy being detrimental to racing […] he bemoans the lack of teams being able to pursue contrary strategies because of the two-compound rule. Talk about hypocrisy.

      The inconsistence is clear. The hypocrisy isn’t

  3. Also, worth mentioning, Kobayashi organized this app on the iTunes App Store for €.79 ($.99) which features wallpapers of drivers, F1 cars, and team principals (along with their signatures). The money goes towards Japan via Red Cross. It’s definitely worth a buy (I purchased it this morning).

    1. Whats the name of the app?

    2. Thanks PortuGoose – meant to mention this myself but I forgot.

      Disappointed it’s not available across a broader range of platforms, though.

      1. I’d download it if you could get it on Nokia.

  4. I understand all Doctorvee said and I agree…

    But we shouldn’t completely rubbish the idea. The concept of the DRS and the tyres are good, they only need some tweaks.

    For example, instead of giving the chasing car such a big advantage with the rear wing, they could try reducing the gap in the wing the DRS controls. So it’s less of an advantage, for 800 meters (at Barcelona…).

    As the chasing car gets close enough to the one in front, they gain more and more speed, partly because they are following the other and mostly because of the DRS. They could “balance” it out, reducing the effect of the DRS a bit, thus making the move a bit more difficult.

    Yes, racing has become a bit too artificial. F1 had already improved last year quite a lot. But with some tweaks to current rules, it’d be even better…

  5. Here’s something I’ve noticed… The story about News Corp was broken by Sky News… now the top story here… sky news…

    I’d say it’s News Corp manufacturing things using Sky News.

  6. Those are very nice pictures in that link. I like that Button image and the 3 cars abreast most for the combination of colours and action in them.

  7. Happy Birthday Stephen!, for having the same birthday as me here’s a very special present!, its a sneak peak at F1 in 30 years time! ENJOY!

    1. LOL, happy Birthday to both Stephen and Sush(i) Meerkat!

      Nice action packed show its become in 30 years time then!

    2. Happy birthday Sush… you need to sort your birthday details out properly next year!

      1. I might just celebrate from the 5th till the 13th next year, and pretend its some sort of south American holiday called “Fiesta Del Sush”

        Also for anyone that wants to know, my parents said they’d get me whatever I want for my 30th birthday…

        … I’ve asked for Canada, fingers crossed I get it.

  8. Christian Briddon
    13th May 2011, 7:49

    I tend to agree with a lot of what DoctorVee says. DRS overtaking is false. You can see this when a driver overtakes another just to be overtaken again on the next lap. It should be scrapped. I really hate it as an idea.

    The Pirelli tyres are heading towards a good idea but they are not there yet. I’m guessing the idea is replicating a wet race in the dry but in a wet race all the drivers are on equal terms and it’s down to driver skill who gets ahead, unlike the current situation where drivers have vastly different levels of tyre wear.

    People also forget that last year was one of the best F1 seasons ever. In fact F1 has been producing excellent seasons since 2004. Why make sweeping changes every year?

    1. People also forget that last year was one of the best F1 seasons ever. In fact F1 has been producing excellent seasons since 2004. Why make sweeping changes every year?

      Last year had a good championship fight, but that was mainly down to drivers making mistakes left and right. If we had no DRS and everlasting Bridgestone tyres to go with Vettel’s domination this year, most of the races would have been absolutely dreary.

  9. On this day in F1

    David Coulthard led home the Ferraris to win in Austria.

    When was that Keith?, I know us F1Fanatics know its 2001 or 2002 right?, but it’d be nice to know for sure.

    1. That would be 2001. 2002 was the Ferrari 1-2.

      1. Good point! Changed it.

        Groovy!, like I said, F1fanatics will know… here comes Journeyer and his encyclopedic knowledge!

        But to an outsider* the sentence looked a bit weird.


    2. Good point! Changed it.

  10. I think racing was much better last year, the only exceptions are the first and last race.

    95% of the overtakes are pointless and mean nothing. To me there is no excitement in someone behind catching a ‘sitting duck’ in front and passing immediately.

    The one thing that is a bit better is there is still racing after the final pit-stop. However I see the racing now as diluted, I’d rather see more hard racing, the number of classic overtaking moves has reduced this year.
    For the me the hight-light so far was the Mclaren tusle (not in DRS zone) and a few of HAMs and KOB moves. I guess I like to watch racers not lemmings (with their legs cut off) being eaten by Wolves.

    1. Disagree. We’ve seen just as much actual racing hidden amongst the DRS action as last year. You’ve said it yourself in your own post.

      Half of last year’s race were frankly boring when you cut out the Safety Cars and people qualifying out of position and the action that was a direct consequence of them. But those things are part and parcel of the rules, which is why you didn’t hear me say “well, those were good races, but the Safety Car made it fake and I’m giving it a 2/10 instead of 7/10” like some are doing this year because of the DRS.

      I agree the novelty of so much passing is going to get thinner as time goes by. Perhaps a few less action-packed races at the street circuits will even it out a bit. One of the things we have seen though is that the DRS Zone hasn’t hurt the best overtakers out there as whilst now the others are making more thanks to DRS, the likes of Hamilton and Kobayashi are passing everywhere. But if you (general “you”) distinguish between the passing and the overtaking, the appreciation of the races returns.

      1. We’ve seen just as much actual racing hidden amongst the DRS action as last year.

        I agree some, or even a fair bit by the driver that always did, but the key is the ‘hidden’ between all the dull pointless moves.

        1. Like I said, it’s there to see. Hidden in plain sight, so to speak.

  11. Anyone catch the news that Hulk is parting with his manager Willi Weber (was reported by tweet from @F1enigma and now its on Hulks website as well).

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