Liberty boss: F1 video stream “makes a lot of sense”

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In the round-up: Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei says a direct streaming service for F1 would “make a lot of sense”.

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Comment of the day

Is it wrong for a driver to hold up another if that’s the best option available to him to win the championship?

I really do not like the idea of consciously trying to back Rosberg into other drivers. Verstappen was accused of this last race. If not for Vettel’s ranting which overshadowed it, it would have been a big discussion point, irrelevant if he did on purpose or not.

Same would go with Hamilton: it would shroud the whole championship in controversy if it either backfires in his face or if he actually succeeds in it. I’d rather have Rosberg win it then yet another championship decider in the category of Senna, Prost or Schumacher (twice!), because that’s what will happen if you go down that path.

The best Hamilton can do is winning these last two races and hope for a luck of the draw. Trying to desperately keep the drivers’ championship in his own hands which at this point really is not, is something history made very clear not being a good idea.
Andy (@turbof1)

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62 comments on “Liberty boss: F1 video stream “makes a lot of sense””

  1. Just got told that there was some discussion about the possibility of introducing some gravel traps to areas that are currently grass or tarmac but that the idea was shot down for 2 main reasons.

    The first was as has been discussed in the past that the run-off’s are now designed with multiple categories in mind & that in most cases gravel wouldn’t be suitable due to other categories which use the circuits.

    The secondary reason actually came from Pirelli who raised concerns that additional gravel traps would see an increase in damaged tyres, Especially with the higher loads expected next year. They raised the fact that there used to be a lot of tyre failures at le mans that were primarily caused by gravel & that since many of the gravel traps were replaced by tarmac there has been a significant drop in the amount of tyres getting damaged & the amount of outright tyre failures during the event.

    1. @gt-racer
      Both of those make sense, the question now is what option they go for ? Do they start putting plastic bollards, or boards, or some other physical, yet easily breakable, objects in places to discourage drivers going off track, or go for a technological solution with sensors and some form of penalty, or more strict stewarding, or some other solution ?

      1. What’s wrong with the light touch barriers they use at Monza? The solution already exists, they just need to put them elsewhere.

        1. @john-h
          If you’re referring to those ones that look like polystyrene, then I’d support the use of them, ideally at every corner where it’s possible to gain an advantage by running wide or straight lining multiple corners.
          Not only are they a psychological deterrent, they also look cool when they explode on impact.

          1. they also look cool when they explode on impact.

            So true @beneboy… and no engineer wants styrene residues in a sidepod!

  2. Oh & regarding the hollywood reporter article discussing an OTT subscription product, It raises the same roadblock that I bring up whenever such a service is discussed…… The broadcast contracts which as i’ve said before give broadcasters exclusivity clauses in there respective regions.

    1. Do broadcast rights cover streaming? If I were Liberty, I’d be searching for loopholes to get out of the Ecclestone era exclusivity deals.

      1. Since more and more pay channels include an online service, I am pretty sure that at least a large part of the current deals do indeed cover streaming too @netowrkburger.

        So the thing will be to get working on it for the future and future deals (or renegotiate existing contracts, but that is almost certainly not a great idea)

      2. Yes, There not just buying the TV rights anymore they buy distribution rights which gives them the exclusive rights to distribute F1 content in there respective region.

        I also believe that some recent deals extend to areas of the archive. Broadcasters such as Sky have brought access to the full race archive although i’m not sure if the agreement gives them exclusive access to that aspect.

        I’m relatively sure that the only aspect of live distribution the exclusivity clauses tend to not apply is the additional content package feeds which don’t contain the world feed images (in-car cameras, timing, data, tracking & maybe the highlights feed) & I gather that some of those feeds will be appearing on the official f1 app next year, As i said a few weeks ago they have already been testing streaming for the in-car cameras on it.

    2. Thing is, regional blocks are very easy to overcome.

    3. Contracts are time-limited. Liberty will likely add these clauses into the contracts when up for renewal, possibly with a small cut going to the broadcaster for each subscription from their region, just to sweeten the deal a bit.

      1. @tonyyeb The problem is that some of the deals have quite a few years left on them. In the UK Sky only recently renewed for an additional 5 years after there current deal ends at the end of 2018 so have deals running through to the end of 2023.

        The problem broadcasters have with alternative platforms is that its taking viewers/subscribers away from them & they need those viewers and/or subscribers to cover there cost’s. Offering them a cut of the subscription revenue wouldn’t work for them because if there losing there own subscribers or losing viewers & therefore advertising revenue even a majority cut of the online service profits won’t be enough to cover there cost’s.

        1. @gt-racer True but in time, eventually they will all be renewed or even renegotiated. Contracts can be terminated and if Liberty think they can make more money, grow viewer numbers etc by ending a contract early then the penalty might be worth paying. Streaming is the future, broadcast TV is slowly dying.
          Again that is true but a deal can be structured in such a way that core fans will go with a TV deal and have it cheaper along with Sky (or whoever) being able to offer their own online service to compliment their broadcast service. Then occasional fans (which I’m quickly becoming) can pick and choose the races they want to watch / have to time to watch.
          Either way this (or something similar) is going to happen.

          1. @tonyyeb @gt-racer If Sky UK want to head Liberty off as soon as possible wrt taking Streaming in-house, they’d formulate a NowTV package that’s geared around their Motorsport channel – surely they must realise now with the 4 or so years of actual statistics that the demographics/watching habits of F1 (and other series) fan is massively different to the people who watch their other sports.

            I won’t be watching F1 after 2018, unless there’s a cost effective way of viewing it – I won’t (and can’t currently afford to) pay for the TV package including Sports and the current NowTV setup involves buying too much (£10.99 week pass for ALL the channels) or buying piecemeal (£6.99 per day).

            Why they don’t offer a middle ground ‘F1 race weekend’ sub that goes from Friday through Sunday and only offers the Motorsport channel makes no sense – ok, their argument is basically ‘well £10.99 is cheap enough’ but I don’t watch any other sports, apart from occasionally big events that are usually on FTA TV.

          2. @optimaximal I totally agree. I too can’t and won’t pay those fees. That’s why the BTCC and Formula E are getting most of my attention these days. Decent racing at a price I can afford… FREE!! :D

  3. What’s wrong with defensive driving that forces their opponent to defend against other drivers ?
    As long as they’re obeying the normal rules of racing, such as no weaving or brake testing, slowing someone down is fine, if it works. It’s not a tactic I’d recommend in the DRS era, but if they can pull it off without breaking the rules, good on them.

    1. Absolutely agree @beneboy

      If it’s within the rules, why not? I don’t know why many F1 fans are so precious about stuff like this. Let them duke it out however they like.

      Would “luck of the draw” deciding the championship, as COTD suggests, really be more satisfying? An engine failure, a puncture, a first lap tangle… no thanks. I’d love to see Hamilton trying everything to get someone between him and Rosberg – doubt it’ll happen with the Mercedes team calling the shots though.

    2. Yep I agree. In that middle sector in Brazil, Hamilton could easily slow Rosberg down. Then it will be all about who gets the best drive from Juncao… Hamilton, Rosberg or whoever is behind Rosberg. It is all part of the sport in my opinion.

    3. Totally agree with you.

      Disagree with COTD “it would shroud the whole championship in controversy”. Why would it be controversial? As long as it’s done legitimately without breaking any rules then it’s a valid tactic and all part of the gamesmanship.

      I could understand Mercedes being very peeved though. If one of their drivers is directly responsible for them not scoring a 1-2, then they’d have to fight that one out behind the scenes…

    4. I guess it goes against the fallacy of wanting drivers to “go all out, all the time” @beneboy. I don’t have much of an issue with it either (although doing it to your teammate, thereby potentially hurting the whole team is questionable in many cases), the target is to win and do so within the rules (or at least not gain an advantage by going too much over the line of the rules in current F1).

      1. How much does it hurt the team when they’re already WCCs @bascb?

        1. “in many cases” @3dom. That was a general statement, not just about this fight at the end of the championship.

  4. Regarding the question of “more mechanical grip from the tyres/suspension” I think I speak for most of us when I say ” it is not more grip per se that we want, it is more of the total grip to be mechanical and less of the total grip to be aerodynamically generated”, so as to minimize the effect of turbulent air on a following car. No doubt I will once again be branded a rose-tinted specs wearing Luddite by not only the “gamer” generation but even by some whose knowledge and experience of F1 vastly exceeds my own, such as ANON whose knowledge of F1 and defence of modern aero-intensive F1 design makes me wonder if he shouldn’t just sign on as AN.

    1. @hohum, it is more that I am critical of the fact that you are so utterly dogmatic and refuse to accept any alternative viewpoint, not to mention the insistence in your post on “speaking for most of us” by assuming that everybody must consent to your view.

      1. Hi Anon, I accept that on the point of tyres I am consistent (not exactly dogmatic) in my viewpoint but I deny not being open to alternatives, especially well thought out alternatives that will foster closer racing, I may have expressed some initial scepticism on the need to increase track width and more so the bigger wings for 17 but I have not opposed the new regs because the people who should know how they will work have stated they will improve the racing, I wait in hope. My real beef is with the “lightbulb” ideas that get foisted on the sport without any critical analysis of their effect. Several years ago it was recognised that a following car lost downforce/grip due to the turbulent air from the car ahead making it almost impossible for a following car to be close enough at corner exits to attack on the straights, after much discussion and consideration it was decided that a smaller/higher rear wing would have less effect on the following car but would not entirely solve the problem, to compensate DRS was instituted to give a following car a fair chance to make a pass, ok, maybe not ideal but a real attempt to solve the problem that deserved a go, then at the last minute someone thought high-degradation tyres would be a good idea without any consideration or thought that such tyres would completely negate the effect of the new design regulations, what a waste of time, effort and money.

    2. @hohum I am with you on this. Too much investment and energy goes on the aero which makes zero sense to the general benefit. It’s just wasted and lost on the races on those 7 or 8 elements on the front wing. While a good suspension geometry and innovative one can be more easily understood and also find their way into our lives. This technology is more suitable for aerospace then road, and ironically it is been developed by car manufacturers.
      I am also extremely annoyed by the modern era of racing where a car can only follow another closely for a couple of laps and then it is done (this is also a problem related to the current tires).

    3. @hohum If you ask 20 different people you’ll get 20 different opinions.

      There are a few universal truths though that I think people need to acknowledge before real solutions can be talked about. The first is that you can learn a lot by analysing the history of F1. The second, and perhaps more significant one, is that racing was not always better in the past, in fact sometimes it was downright awful.

      There’s this sense that there was a sort of golden age where cars had tons of horsepower, skinny wings, and big fat tyres, and that every race was a barnstorming fight to the finish. It’s codswallop. And even if it wasn’t, correlation does not imply causation.

      Armchair experts calling for a return to ground effect, that’s the other big cure-all that gets touted. Was the racing actually good back when aero was dominated by ground effect? Or perhaps, if we check the history books, we’ll find that, just as today, the racing was generally dominated by a single manufacturer.

      This is not me calling you a luddite – I’m pointing out that most people, myself included, don’t really have the first idea about how cars would or wouldn’t behave in various configurations. F1 has spent the last decade flip-flopping about, trying to find that one magic bullet that will cure all of the problems in the sport. The thing is, I don’t think the problem is really down to the racing at all. Racing is generally pretty good, especially if you ignore the fact that one team dominates (something which has nothing to do with technical regs) and look further down the field to where the competition is closer. If the cars at the sharp end were more evenly matched, the racing would be amazing.

      1. If the cars at the sharp end were more evenly matched, the racing would be amazing.

        Id like to know why you think it would be amazing and not a processional hell.

    4. I was just watching an interview with Symonds where he said the extra grip from the wider tyres is about 5%. Apparently the contact patch is wider, but shorter. Meanwhile the extra downforce could be 20-25%, depending how they set it up for each circuit.

      So it looks like a recipe for promoting Formula E, where nobody complains about the noise either.

  5. Comment of the day, it makes perfect sense, there would be no controversy and Lewis would be world champion ..easy peezy lemon squeezy !

  6. Nice F1i article about the Ferrari powertrain layout and packaging.

  7. +1 for the CotD, I think the whole article of how Hamilton should back Rosberg in to drivers is a silly premise.

    Race to win, not race to hinder other drivers. Sure it’ll come down to a bit of luck even if Hamilton does win the next 2, but that’s racing…

    1. It’s also where the greater political strategies come in to play. Other drivers aren’t stupid, and you see this in NASCAR a lot where drafting with the pack and making/following the break-away is essential, they talk about respect a lot over there.

      If you’ve been an absolute pain in the neck as a driver to deal with all year, of course that blue flag back-marker might consider getting in your way for a couple of extra corners.

    2. Really good COTD indeed. I’d be very disappointed in Lewis if he did resort to such tactics, I don’t think it’s in his racing ethos.

      1. @psynrg He’s already done it several times. In fact it is now so predictable that when he came on the radio in Hungary and lied about having no pace, the team had enough of it and warned there would be team orders (giving the undercut to Rosberg) if he continued. Needless to say, he ‘miraculously’ found some pace.. And this was even after Rosberg had given him his place in Monaco so very poor form.

        1. ‘Several times’ @balue? I hope the fact you could only cite one example doesn’t mean you’re, you know, telling a lie? I can think of a second, but several?

          I have noticed a tendency for his detractors to possess the faults they accuse him of. And in Monaco Rosberg didn’t give up his place from a sense of honour did he? That’s quite misleading. The team told him to, and he was looking a contract at the time. He’d already cost the other car 13s.

          1. I cant think of a single instance where he has provably held up Rosberg with the sole goal of getting him overtaken by a rival.

            And this was even after Rosberg had given him his place in Monaco so very poor form

            There is no more evidence Hamilton did anything wrong in Hungary than Rosberg in Monaco 2014 so if you want to talk poor form why dont you start there?

          2. @lockup You can think of another instance, but that doesn’t make it several? I guess this is some sort of semantic diversionary argument that I’ve noticed a lot of Hamilton proponents have a tendency to resort to when the main one doesn’t bear discussing.

            Several : more than one

            And where did I say Rosberg gave up his place from a sense of honour? You wouldn’t be telling a lie now would you? What’s that about possessing faults? Sigh.

            Instead of the OT semantics and personal attack that is your post, it would be more appropriate and to the point if you would comment on the topic of Hamilton backing his team mate into other drivers as what the COTD and the follow up posts here are about. Do you find it is below Hamilton’s racing ethos, and would it sully his win should this be the championship deciding factor, or is the answer a predictable given?

          3. It’s funny @balue but the first thing I see on that link to the definition of ‘several’ is “more than two but not very many” ! Just the same as I got. But are you admitting to only two, or claiming more? That make it ‘so predictable’.

            It’s not off-topic to point out a deliberate inaccuracy in your post, or the attempt to accuse ME of semantics while claiming you didn’t really mean to suggest Rosberg was acting from honour rather than amorally on orders.

            In 2008 Brundle and Allen happily accepted Kimi backing the others up on purpose, to back Lewis into Vettel while Massa drove off into the distance, just as they accepted the brake test. So as I have posted elsewhere I’d just be looking for the norm, whatever that is, rather than having Hamilton being mysteriously the first to be criticised for it.

          4. @lockup You are wrong as the link shows, the full definition is more than one, just like everyone has it as such. To even make a case over this point is frankly pathetic, especially on an international site like this.

            You deliberately chose to view this an inaccuracy, just as you deliberately did with the ‘honour’ thing and now the team orders argument.

            You accusing me of the same is laughable hypocrisy, plain and simple. You did it to create a diversion and straw man argument as you have no real arguments to the points of my post. Attacking the poster, irrelevant points like semantics and grouping of the poster, is, to return the ‘favour’, a tendency of Hamilton proponents to use against any negatives about the man, regardless of the truth. Make much noise and create a ruckus to chase the poster away.

            It’s dirty tactics, just as backing your team mate into others in order that he loses places is, so no surprise you find that perfectly Ok, but the posters above did not and neither did Mercedes as they reacted immediately to it in Hungary.

          5. Well what you need @balue is an instance where you’ve condemned another driver for doing it. So far you’ve claimed Hamilton’s done it so often that it’s predictable, but not been able to cite more than one instance. You’ve claimed I ‘find it perfectly okay’ when I’ve said no such thing, and avoided addressing my examples from 2008. You’ve claimed Rosberg giving way at Monaco made it worse, I pointed out he was just obeying orders, you escaped into semantics claiming you didn’t mean that was about honour. Finally you accuse me of escaping into semantics. Hahaha, this is totally profile, I’m afraid :)

            Anyway let’s have an instance where you’ve condemned another driver for backing another driver into the pack. That is: an instance where you have criticised another driver for it. Then you might have a platform.

          6. @lockup I inform a poster his assumptions about an aspect of F1 is wrong, and now you demand I must show where I’ve pointed out similar in the past? Lol. That’s just hilarious..

            Way to lose it..

      2. If it is within the rules, what’s wrong in it? The same was done by Lorenzo to Marquez in 2013

  8. So, my prediction for the driver’s champion is…

    Ah, forget it.

    I totally called Brexit and the US Election wrong, there’s no way I’m going to get this.

    1. @phylyp Just go for the opposite of who media is pushing, and you should have it..

      1. @balue: wisely put:-)

      2. So… Hamilton winning? @balue

  9. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    9th November 2016, 9:49

    Let’s just pretend nothing has happened, in fact let’s just pretend that nothing exists outside of F1. I wonder if the disaffected working classes are planning to sabotage Rosberg’s title charge? Blinkered F1 anorak-ism is probably the best way of sustaining the next four years…

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      9th November 2016, 10:13

      Luckily, the F1 WDC isn’t voted for by idiots.

    2. @william-brierty – and unlike the teams who welcome it, that’s the reason I hate the winter break. Four months of withdrawal!

  10. Oh dear, those poor Ferraris. That’s really heartbraking :/

    Well, at least it wasn’t the other way around (the race winning 94 Berger, 95 Alesi) …

  11. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    9th November 2016, 12:43

    Re COTD. Hamilton is not a dirty driver end of. The tactics discussed in that article are MS territory and Lewis is not that cutthroat a driver.

  12. For me it’s just a question of would the others do it. As long as they’re all playing to the same rules I don’t mind. It takes skill and judgment.

  13. So, Jolyon’s set to partner the Hulk at Renault in 2017, according to

    That article also speculates that Magnussen will partner Grosjean at Haas, and Ocon will move Force India.

  14. Mercedez in Formula E with Button and Massa? That would be interesting haha

  15. Streams make sense! Damn straight they do. I do not even own TV anymore. HD stream, with resonable price I would buy instantly.

  16. So Pat Symonds thinks downforce will only increase by 25% next year. I hear more like 40% from engineers designing some other teams’ cars. Pat may be sandbagging, or the others boasting, but I just hope Pirelli have been given the right number or we could see a lot of tyre failures in high speed corners.

    1. @ians, it could also be that is all that Williams’s aero department are capable of (after all, Webber was calling their technical departments “archaic” back in 2005, and that was despite having had the benefit of BMW backing them for several years by that point).

      1. You may be right, but if Pirelli are basing next year’s tyres on development work done with the top 3 teams we can expect the other teams to have even more trouble next year getting tyres into working range than they have had this year, and that has been hard enough. On the other hand, if the mule cars are based on the lower downforce predictions of the smaller teams we will see tyres which can not cope with the downforce of the top teams.

        Which will it be: tyres which take the smaller teams even further out of contention, tyres which explode when the top teams go flat out, or both?

  17. “F1 video stream makes a lot of sense”. Well, DUH!

    But it only will make sense if the race coverage is NOT interrupted by commercials and if there’s a high quality commentating!! Anyone who has suffered through the horrendous NBCSports F1 broadcasts in the U.S. will know what I’m referring to here: the main commentating is done remotely from the home studio in the U.S. (though they do have a good pitlane reporter on site), the level of studio commentating ranges from just OK to almost comically bad (ex. misidentifying drivers for minutes a time) and almost !/3 of the race video is never seen due to very frequent commercial interruptions.

    IOW, yes an F1 live stream that’s available to all markets is long overdue but if it’s not up to high standards then it will hurt more than it will help. I think we should be realistic about how when that will happen: it may take years before some of the existing exclusive TV rights contracts expire.

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