Sergio Perez, Force India, Singapore, 2016

Perez: Give teams more money to improve racing

2016 F1 season

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Liberty Media should increase payments to Formula One’s smaller teams in order to improve the racing, says Sergio Perez.

Speaking during today’s press conference Perez said F1’s new owners should make the change to make the racing better.

“I would love to see Formula One a lot closer, the competition a lot closer, closer teams, giving the midfield teams the opportunity to be capable of winning a race, fighting for titles,” said Perez.

“I think that would be just something great for the fans to see one race Williams on top, another race another team, that would just be very good and for that you need to change the system, how you divide the money because there’s obviously a massive difference, so I think that would be a very good thing for the sport.”

Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Monza, 2016
Nasr said fans want closer racing too
Force India has brought a complaint against Formula One to the European Union claiming its distribution of payments is anti-competitive. The complaint is supported by Sauber, whose driver Felipe Nasr endorsed Perez’s view.

“I think the most important thing is to see closer competition between the cars,” he said, “I think that’s what I hear from people or from fans – they always like to see more fighting on track between car, between teams.”

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer also said closer racing is “the main thing” F1 needs.

“At the moment, we turn up for a weekend and we pretty much know maybe it’s two, four, maximum six drivers can win the race but it would be nice to turn up here and think maybe, you know, Williams can win or maybe Force India or maybe someone can put in a big surprise.”

“I think that’s the biggest thing which would change a lot of fan involvement and make it a lot more interesting to watch.”

Every F1 race since the opening round of 2013 has been won by one of three teams: Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

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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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32 comments on “Perez: Give teams more money to improve racing”

  1. Yes, yes and yes. Is it going to happen? No. Bernie and the fans will divert the talk elsewhere. Silly things like sound for example. Stuff like that.

    1. You know Bernie was more in control when the racing was better. But I guess that wasn’t his doing. Bernie probably even gets blamed for the weather by some fans so go figure

      Sound is quite/very important, you need to be at a race to properly appreciate it but its not silly, not at all.

      1. On the matter of sound:

        Commentary are given full volume while sound on TV is reduced to a hum. Even when the action is from the driver’s point of view ( on board cam) engine sound is not heard.

        Then, a 4 cyl engine revving at 12000RPMs is a joy to behold. However, the V6s of today make a lower frequency sound than would be expected from a six cylinder engine revving at 11 ti 12000RPMs.

        Can anybody explain why?

        1. @CarlD The huge turbo is an huge muffler.

        2. Fuel, the new turbo engines don’t waste any fuel, the glorious old turbos poured plenty of the good stuff in, and it was rocket fuel, not the road legal bio fuel blend they have now. Remove the Fuel limits and the sound will be back, atleast in qualy.

      2. Tony Mansell, and yet, that is one aspect where personal tastes will vary wildly – some might complain about the sound of the current turbo engines, but similarly I’ve spoken to somebody who went to Spa during the V8 era and in the current turbo era and, without hesitation, made it clear that he thought that the current generation of turbo engines was vastly superior to the V8’s.

        1. I too have been to spa with the v8s and the V6’s, and prefer the V6,

          The V8’s were just painful, not a pretty sound at all.

      3. Sound level is almost irrelevant when it is heard on TV because it has to fit into the sound limitations of the broadcast medium. While you do have more scope at the race track, the fact is sound is actually wasted energy. The louder a car is the less energy going to the wheels, and in our fuel efficient world that isn’t desirable. So now less sound is more power = more speed. Okay, maybe that equates to about 1 km/hr more speed, but that could be the difference in a trailing car being in a DRS zone or not.

  2. Without the lob-sided prize money, bonus and historical payments would there be a competition at all if the top teams decided it was no longer financially viable?

    I really have no idea, it seems like a bit of a gamble to me. A gamble I’d very much like to see the result of.

    1. I couldn’t care less if Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and so on are involved. It could be Williams, Manor, Prodrive etc and it’d be the same thing to me. I want people involved who love F1 rather than love getting richer.

      If a team at the top decides that it isn’t worth it (because winning something classified as the pinnacle of motorsport isn’t enough) then I’d rather them not be involved in the sport in the first place.

      1. Exactly. It’s not just the money that makes the current top teams great, but the people that their money buy. They are likely there because of their love for the sport. So without the top teams we have currently, they’d have to move to other teams, and we would have new top teams as a result.

        1. If you remove the top teams in F1 (Ferrari, Mclaren, RB, Mercedes) sure you would get new topteams but you would also see a big braindrain from F1. F1 wont be the pinnacle of motorracing if it aint where racingmechanics and engineers get the best pay.

    2. Well in that case they will just have to spend less. Thus hopefully solving one of the biggest problems F1 has ever had.

  3. Giving teams more money would certainly help, But that alone won’t automatically make things closer as its more than money alone that dictates the order.

    Look at Toyota & BAR for example, They had budgets on-par/larger than Ferrari, McLaren & Williams at the time yet still didn’t worry the top teams all that much as there facilities & organization were not on the same level as the top teams.

  4. Even with increased payments, that sadly doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of a team’s annual budget.

  5. I thin the prize money makes a very big difference, but not all of the difference. At the end of the day, you have to assume that the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull (as operating companies) all make their own investment into their Formula 1 teams, over and above what they get through prize money/allocations – makes sense for them from an advertising, increased sales, RoI etc perspective. I agree that there should be a more equal distribution of the funds, but that does not mean that we will miraculously have a level playing field from the front to back of the grid.

  6. Mclaren honda is an example that money doesn’t always make a difference as well .

  7. Blah blah blah. Giving the smaller teams more money won’t change anything as the bigger teams will still have more.
    The only thing that will come close to giving fans the utopia they desire is if a formula can be arrived at where a team can buy a chassis from one manufacturer, an engine from another, bolt them together and go racing. Otherwise we’ll always have at least two tiers of teams, the manufacturers with the resources and the others who at best have an engine that is one generation below.

  8. Ideally every team on the grid should receive an equal share of money from the prize pot and if they need more money they should get more through sponsorship deals, selling merchandise or products (e.g. road cars, energy drinks), renting/leasing facilities etc. This would surely improve the competition and therefore increase the fan base much more quickly than any other ideas like taking the championship to other countries and increasing social media presence (not that these ideas aren’t important).

    Actually, it may be true to say that taking F1 to other places and increasing social media presence without improving the actual sport is likely to do more harm than good because if you show F1 to people who haven’t seen it before they might well think that it is rubbish because of the amount of inequality and lack of competition in the sport, perhaps putting them off F1 permanently.

    It must be paramount that the sporting competition is improved if F1 is to grow. Comparing the competition now to how it was in 2012, after which special monetary deals for Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull were struck, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what has gone wrong. These three teams have won every race between them since the 2nd round of 2013, that is 70 Grand Prix and counting! It cannot seriously be expected for F1 to continue in this way and become more popular, no matter how far or how much you take it to the masses.

    1. A completely useless team like Sauber gets $72 million while World Champion Mercedes gets $141 million. Which sport has that kind of ridiculously high payouts for the “also rans”?

  9. I also agree that throwing more money at the smaller teams only goes so far. And this is something I have agreed with BE on…how much would be enough? Sure the distribution could be better, but I also don’t believe in teams putting a mission statement together and everything else, going to F1 and saying they want in, proving to F1 why they should be there and why they will be sustainable, and then once they’re in, holding out their hands for more money. ie. If you want to be in F1, come in eyes wide open and be prepared that it is going to be expensive and tough. The ‘have’ teams are the target and have been for years.

    That said I do appreciate that there is a bias in place toward the top established teams which makes for a huge mountain to climb. I think the best solution is not to give the smaller teams huge amounts more, but some more for sure, but mainly to get away from the addiction to aero downforce which would then close up the field and offer some more randomness to the usual finishing order that way, rather than just have small teams constantly holding out their hands and grasping at straws as to how to not lag behind in a procession.

  10. A Freudian slip by Perez that he’s going to Williams next season?

    1. Exactly my thoughts. Actually if you watch the drivers’ press conference when Perez talks about his options, Bottas gives out some strange emotions and smiles. I bet there’s some Perez-Williams-ForceIndia going on… Williams and Force India are on par concerning speed, but Williams has a lot firmer foundation. If I was Perez, Williams would look a better choise.

    2. Theory: Williams would like to get Perez, Perez would like to go to Williams. Now it’s up to dealing with sponsors who go with him…

      1. I agree, if i was Perez i’d be more inclined to take a gamble on what Williams produce under the new regulations.

  11. I was just looking at all the comments from all the drivers about what to do with F1. A lot of good ideas, but no one get it.

    You can make F1 as interesting as you want, but if it’s impossible to afford attending races or watching them on the telly, no one will ever know. You first have to open the window to see how’s the weather. Without that, it could be a lovely summer’s day or a tornado could be destroying everything on its path and you’ll never know.

    Sky F1 and the lot are ruinning F1 much faster than anything else. People over 30 might be able to pay to watch the sport they fell in love with a long time ago, but teenagers, the young people that will be the mainstream fans in next decades won’t. And they won’t be able to attend a Grand Prix without being charged a fortune. Not to even mention that a lot of races are now being held far from the countries with the biggest interest in motorsport.

    Keep charging a fortune to watch on the telly a Grand Prix taking place in Baku on a city track no one is interested in, with limited and overpriced tickets and F1 will be forgotten forever.

    1. >People over 30 might be able to pay to watch the sport they fell in love with a long time ago, but teenagers, the young people that will be the mainstream fans in next decades won’t.

      Just on that note, I have no doubt they’re out there. Just on their “VIP” stands and their ilk. It’s impossible really, to truly know just how many fans are connecting through this medium when FOM goes out of their way to deny them access to their product.

      It’s certainly not uncommon to see multiple streams in the hundreds of thousands of viewer counts and that’s only the English language. Also with stories like Max Verstappen being the youngest F1 winner at 18 (easily) hitting the front page on Reddit (largest demographic being 18-29 males), I can’t imagine there being such a massive issue with generating interest among the modern generation.

      When looking at the effect of making what was commonly pirated in other industries (music, pc games, tv shows) more easily accessible for a fair price, it’s not unfathomable to see numbers skyrocketing further. All that being said, the issue re: prize money distribution is clearly a separate and unrelated one.

    2. @fer-no65 You are not wrong. The way I think of it is that F1 will have to decide why viewership is down, and if it is because of the high costs to attend or to watch on TV (no big stretch to imagine that) then they will have no choice but to adjust their pricing accordingly. Even they will use basic business experience to know that if they price themselves out of the market they will be gleaning 100% of nothing, so better to glean 80% of something. I like Sam Walton’s (Walmart) quote…’the customer is our boss…they can fire us in an instant simply by not buying our product’.

      It’s either that, or they will be happy keeping it a more exclusive club with much fewer viewers of more affluence if their bottom line continues to be healthy under that formula. But it is indeed hard to imagine that formula gleening the youth market who could become lifers to F1.

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