F1 is operating below its potential – Carey

2017 F1 season

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New Formula One CEO Chase Carey believes the sport has not reached its full potential in recent years.

Carey, who has replaced Bernie Ecclestone in charge of the sport, told Sky “Liberty and I shared this view as we looked at the business, felt that particularly over the last four to five years the business had not grown”.

“The sport had not grown to its full potential, and we needed to put a new organisation in place that was able to really grow the sport in today’s world, in the way it needs to grow. And in some ways work with the partners in the business so that we can make the sport everything it can and should be for its fans.”

However he paid tribute to outgoing CEO Ecclestone, whose departure was announced yesterday.

“Bernie deserves enormous credit for the business that has been built over the last number of decades,” said Carey. “Realistically it just got sold for $8 billion, so the ultimate proof in the value he created is there for all to see.”

“But he has unique insights in the business, he understands it probably better than anyone else, his advice will be invaluable. He has been helpful to me to date and I look forward to his advice as we go forward.”

Carey has appointed Ross Brawn in charge of the motor sport side of the business. “Ross brings decades-long experience of incredible success in the sport,” he said.

“I think from Ross’s perspective what we want to do is make sure we make the sport on the track everything it can and should be. Make everything as exciting as possible for the fans, as energising as it can be for its fans.”

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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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24 comments on “F1 is operating below its potential – Carey”

  1. Can’t wait to see where they take the sport, and grow the business both.

    Very exciting times.

  2. really looking forward to F1 in an modern era. hopefully they get proper streaming packages and we can stop paying an arm and a leg to satellite providers just to watch one channel.

  3. Very exciting times, let’s just hope the sport gets taken down the best route – but come to think of it, the best route for who? The stakeholders are the shareholders of Liberty; the fans at home; the fans at the circuits; the teams; the circuits; the sponsors; the manufacturers. Can all of them be pleased at the same time? Looking at it that way I now appreciate what Bernie was up against – a balancing act, constant fire-fighting to a certain extent. Let’s hope that Chevy Chase, Ross Brawn et al are capable between them all of sorting this system out without dropping a ball.

    1. I think it’s not possible to please everyone right away, it will take some time. When the fans are pleased, the fanbase grows. More fans means more income through sponsorships, more income means more options and improvements of the sport. I guess F1 has already passed it’s lowest point, can only go up from here right?

      1. Oh F1 is nowhere near it’s potential lowest point, nowhere near! Much to lose, but also lots to gain.

    2. It’s better to have someone who plans well to avoid unexpected fires, than have someone who is really good at putting them out.

  4. I think everyone who follows and is passionate about F1 can trust Ross Brawn in the direction he feels Formula 1 needs to go in. He is probably the most astute and conscientious person available to decide on the best path forward on the sporting side of F1.

  5. “Carey, who has replaced Bernie Ecclestone in charge of the sport, told Sky “Liberty and I shared this view as we looked at the business, felt that particularly over the last four to five years the business had not grown”.”

    It’s telling that he uses the word ‘grown’ rather than ‘developed’. F1 has grown massive but has difficulties adjusting to the era of social media and ‘instant gratification’. Using the word ‘grown’ implies that bigger is always better which is clearly not the case.

  6. The series should have at least 25 races.

    1. well said Jay. would love to see that, but for now i just want to see Carey making sure the Camaras are at the right angle to make the race feel as fast on the Screen as it actually is. (that and coming up with a rule to Merc’s disadvantage)

      1. How is making a rule to knobble one participant sporting or even fair? What other ‘sport’ stands for nonsense like that? No wonder people are switching off. If someone is better than you.. get better. That is real sport.

        1. In motorsport it happens pretty much any time one team becomes too dominant. If other teams can’t catch up in a reasonable time, they’ll probably go and do something else.

          Unfortunately (?) the pace of development in F1 is so fast that “unfair” innovations often aren’t outlawed until after everyone has spent bucketloads of cash making them work.

          The current problem for the rulemakers is that Mercedes don’t have any one killer feature (like the F-duct or double diffuser) that they can ban, and it would be too blatantly unfair even in F1 to penalise all teams whose names begin with “M” and end with “ercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport” ;-)

    2. i think the maximum should be more like 18-19.

      1. This. 25 races is FAR too many. That’s essentially every second weekend, year round with no winter break — but the winter break realistically can’t be done away with, so in the real world we’re talking many weeks where there will be F1 every single weekend for several weekends in a row. I just don’t have that much time to spend watching what has essentially become a rather boring procession. Liberty needs to work on improving the racing to make it more interesting, not just adding even more boring races.

        1. The USA could easily support 3 races in consecutive weeks and the sport needs to grow. It would mean a lot less 2 week gaps with no races. The season would not have to be extended.

    3. @Jay The current amount is already more than enough, and on the limit for the teams, so there’s no need for more.

  7. I have looked at the calendar quite closely over time and I just don’t think there’s enough time in the year to hold 25 races unless you have many more back to back weekends or you cut the closed season period. It will also cost the teams more to run 25 races and put greater strain on employees.

    I think they should stick to a maximum of 20. If they need to create space for more U.S. events then drop those races in countries with questionable regimes.

  8. I would say 20 races in more exciting (driver ability wise) tracks would be batter than 25 races if we are talking of filling the calendar with tilkedromes.

    Liberty should try to get some real (old school) tracks back, and maybe add some couple of new street tracks in high density US cities.

    1. @Marcos No need for more temporary (street) circuits.

      1. @Jerejj I agree 100%… But more disturbingly, I don’t know who is the “Marcos” above… but it’s not me. xD

  9. For me it starts with the product on the track. The cars and drivers have not been operating at their full potential. Thankfully they (even pre-Liberty) are taking the right steps in that direction. Yes of course there are detractors who are already positive that aero will still be too damaging to closer racing, but even if that’s the case these cars will lend themselves to being tweeked. Brawn will recognize immediately if the product on the track is no better and can start by simply restricting wing rake or what have you so that mechanical grip takes a bigger role now that it will be available. I envision, and hope to see, with the bigger draggier tires but also the ability to relay on more mechanical grip, teams will be able to dial back the aero downforce in order to aid top speeds on straights.

  10. Chase Carey was interviewed on Squawkbox earlier on CNBC, it can be see on their site:

  11. I couldn’t agree more with this. F1 could be the biggest and best sports championship in the world. The last race should be like a Super Bowl or a Champions League Final. F1 should be up there. Hopefully Liberty are the guys that can do this.

  12. Is there a picture of him with Dieter Zetsche?
    (and Nigel Mansell, for bonus points)

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