Chase Carey, Bernie Ecclestone, Christian Horner, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

Ecclestone: I wish I had Carey’s opportunity

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says he wishes he had the same opportunity to run Formula One new CEO Chase Carey has.

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Should Liberty be Manor’s ‘white knight’?

It’s difficult but in my opinion, Liberty shouldn’t help. They shouldn’t bail teams out because it’s not fair – Sauber could do with some money too, for example.

What they should do is sit in a room with Ross Brawn and whoever else they have involved and not leave that room until they have a plan that means that in five years’ time, a team can join F1 and with the right leadership, can slowly progress up the grid knowing that their very existence won’t hinge on one freak result in a race.

With the way the teams at the back are paid, the difference between second to last and finishing last is huge. It can make or break a team. How can a team be expected to budget reasonably if one freak result right at the end of the season means their budget is slashed?
@Petebaldwin

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  • 47 comments on “Ecclestone: I wish I had Carey’s opportunity”

    1. Regarding CoTD… in Liberty’s shoes, my first act would have been to say “Hey, I think everyone can agree only paying the top 10 is silly. So from now on, 11th gets [correctly reduced percentage less than 10th], backdated. Smile, Manor!”

      But obviously they don’t think the way I do.

      I suppose that’s why they’re a hugely successful, wealthy business that owns F1, while I can’t even afford to go to Silverstone.

      1. @neilosjames whether I agree or disagree is a moot point, because while Liberty run the show, there are existing rules in place that allow F1 teams to approve changes, and I can’t see any of the current teams willing to forgo their larger slice of the share to divy out some money to Manor… This is part of what is crippling F1, everyone involved is only protecting their own interests, no one is actually acting in the interest of the sport itself. Even Liberty will continue to act in its own interest, i.e. get more fans to pay for F1 telecasts and merchandise to satisfy their investors.

        1. I’d have given it out of my share of the revenues. Doubtless a number of the teams would complain if they were going to lose a single pound, and I don’t actually blame some of them for that because they’re struggling as well.

          Just hope that some sort of new agreement can be reached, even if we have to wait until the current ones run out. Providing Renault’s deal doesn’t last until 2024, as I’ve heard it does… could be a problem!

      2. Problem is, the current contract doesn’t allow for that, and unless you can get all the parties involved to tear up those contracts, you’ve got to stick to the terms.

        Could Liberty make an emergency loan? Possibly. Do they have it in cash at the moment? No idea. While it sucks for the Manor folks, the entry is still out there– it’s possible that entry could be bought up, and the team put to work– not racing for 2017, but prepping for 2018, the way Haas skipped out on 2015.

      3. my first act would have been to say “Hey, I think everyone can agree only paying the top 10 is silly.”

        Good luck with that. I think you would be laughed out of the building with such an assumption.

      4. I heard a person talking on Radio New Zealand about copyright law as it applies in New Zealand, which is where I live, and it appears that all the performers at a concert have to be paid at the same rate. Since F1 is a performance, and they expect the copyright law to apply on their video sales, then if this interpretation is correct for the most of the rest of the world, it means at a minimum Manor should be putting out their hand and demanding to be paid at the same rate as all the other F1 teams (a minimum payment of $42.7M). If I understood the speaker correctly then it may be Manor, Sauber, Hass, and all the other teams should expect to be paid at the same rate as Ferrari or Red Bull.

        1. @drycrust While I realize the money distribution should be better, I don’t believe a Manor type team deserves the same as the top teams who are the big draw to the show and have the history to back it. Support the lesser teams better, sure, but I don’t believe in the concept of teams entering F1 and only being sustainable from handouts. They should have entered F1 with a sturdy enough base to justify why they wanted into F1 to begin with. Of course I feel for teams who had the goal posts moved on them after they entered, and that’s where they could be allowed some extra help, but in general I just think F1 needs be careful about how much they extend the olive branch, in terms of where one draws that line after which they just have to let them go.

          1. Meant to add…if somehow some law were to suggest they all be paid the same, I’m sure a workaround to that would be that some teams get bonuses for various reasons. And don’t get me wrong, I disagree with Ferrari getting their extra hundreds of millions. That’s way over the top. I just want to see smaller teams be as sustainable on their own as possible. It’s not just about what they get in money from F1…they and their sponsors are gleening global marketing exposure too which is a big reason why they wanted to be in F1 to begin with.

    2. Regardless of whether Liberty ‘should’ have helped, there’s no question that in doing so they would have made a great impression on both themselves and the sport immediately. The headlines it would generate would be “New F1 owners save Manor team”, rather than “Manor team collapses as new F1 owners takeover”. Given that they’d spent $8bn purchasing it, to just allow what is basically 1/11th of the competitors disappear is surely not good. All this promising talk from Carey, to me, is talk until I see otherwise.

      On a different note:

      “If we say Formula One has to align itself with road cars, then logically we end up with an electric car that drives itself, and nobody wants that in Formula One.”

      I was thinking about precisely this today. The future, all this “efficient” and electric engine technology, etc. What’s the point for F1? You can keep going until eventually you’ve basically got a simulation series.

      There is absolutely no regression in going to regulations that have little road relevance. Sure, manufacturers want to be interested, but the entire point in F1 is it’s a sport, an experience. The noise and the excitement pay a large part in that. Sure, the regulations now might be interesting or relevant, but they’re also pointless in sporting terms, in the sense that efficiency means absolutely nothing to F1, it’s just a showcase that will be out of date very soon. IndyCar and NASCAR is incredibly popular in the US, yet the technology they use has hardly changed, it’s just a very simple but effective racing. People like what it is for what they see and experience. It’s true to say that fans cannot appreciate how amazing these engines are, because there’s nothing fans actually gain from them.

      We talk about F1 being the pinnacle of motorsport, but what does that in itself mean? Technology or excitement, racing or speed, efficiency or noise, drivers or cars?

      1. Ultimately ‘the pinnacle’ of motorsport is where every driver aspires to be for the thrill.

      2. @strontium

        I agree completely regarding road relevance, and I think we now have an opportunity to make F1 viscerally awesome once again. I said in a recent post I believe that F1 needs to accept it is still basically a sport, and in the entertainment business. It can’t really be ‘cutting edge’ as Ross Brawn says, we would end up with driverless electric cars.

        So, this is a real chance for a reset. I dream of an F1 once again where as I approach the circuit my pulse quickens from way before I can see the cars, such is the magical sound they are making. An F1 than is so viscerally impressive I feel like an excited kid when I am at the circuit.

        1. I was at Silverstone last year and you could hear the cars from the car parks. The problem with going live is that Sunday after the first few laps often feels the same as the Friday and the Saturday. I liked the idea of having 2 races in one day and reverse grids. The fact that so many people miss the louder volume, shows were were being duped all along.
          Drag racing and Monster trucks are super loud but are also stunning visually.

          1. Did you also visit in the normally aspirated era, particularly the V10 era @BigJoe?

            Those cars were an absolute world away from what we have now. It is not about simply decibels, there is something exciting about the sound of a racing engine screaming its way up to close to 20,000RPM, which is where the V10’s were heading. These turbos by comparison sound very lethargic and a bit farty.

            I have heard that Top Fuel drag racing is astonishing live for the uninitiated. It is not really my thing, being very short and a bit oversimple, perhaps, but I would love to go and hear/see what it is like. Has anyone here been to see top Fuel?

            1. @paulguitar Top Fuel is amazing. You FEEL it. Any event I have to wear earplugs to (Motorsport, concerts, huge DJ events etc) makes me think the promoters have done their job and actually want you to be engaged in an EXPERIENCE. F1 of late has me by the brain alone. The heart has been gone for some time. I hope the new owners bring back the spectacle and end this funeral procession of the last few years.

      3. Until the government’s decide how they can raise the lost revenue from fuel and fines l can’t see how “road technology” will come to fruition? Where has hydrogen power gone? Where is the car than run’s on nut oil?
        Where is cooking oil and red diesel?
        Remember the £60 of fuel you put in your tank has already been reduced by 20% before another 80% is taken, how are they going replicate that level of taxation on electricity?

        1. They’ll just take whatever they need. There’s no doubt about air quality. You can physically see it in London and Paris and still feel it when you get home. Paris has pedestrianised a major road and banned cars over a certain age for now. If cities become more pedestrianised then they will need less money for upkeep. The major roads will become tolls.
          So I think it will be toll charges for electric cars and pollution fines for gas cars.

      4. @strontium, actually, Indycar is not particularly popular in the US – the ratings may have been on an upward trend for a few years now, but that’s simply a reflection of the fact that they were starting from such a low base that it would have been hard for the figures to get any worse.

        They talk about an average viewing figure of about 1.3 million per race, but that is heavily skewed by the fact that you have a few big races – the Indy 500 in particular – which inflate the season long average due to their disproportionately high viewing figures (out of the sixteen races, eleven races had an average audience of 488,000 in 2016, which was actually a fall on 2015’s average of 507,000 for those races). It’s still very much a minority interest in the US and most of the interest in the series is weighted towards just a handful of bigger events (the Indy500 in particular), hence the recent decision by the organisers to hold two races at Indianapolis (with a race on the road course acting as a warm up event to the Indy500) in an effort to shore up the wider viewing figures.

        As for NASCAR, whilst it may be reasonably popular at the moment, the long term trend has been persistently downwards since the mid 2000’s, when the popularity of the sport is now believed to have peaked. The series stopped providing attendance figures in 2012 after they showed persistent year on year falls, but attendance revenues – which have been released – show that over the past decade, attendance revenues have fallen close to 50% since attendance peaked in about 2007.

        The fact that International Speedway Corp., which owns most of the circuits on the calendar, have removed around 25% of the seats at their circuits in the past five years because they did not want the TV viewers to see how many empty seats there were underlines that NASCAR has a quite marked attendance problem.

        The viewing figures also suggest that NASCAR is quite heavily reliant on viewers over the age of 50 – there is a sharp drop off in interest for adults aged between 18-49 – which would suggest that the long term prospects for the sport are not good if their core audience starts to die out and are not being replaced by younger fans.

        1. Good post, thanks for the info.

      5. F1 will never be as “road relevant” as some seem to expect. It is pushing so many things to the extreme that much of the work is completely irrelevant to a road car.

        That said, I do not believe we should be going backwards. Part of the draw of F1, for me, is the excitement of seeing technology pushed to it’s limit. A big, thumping, nat-asp ICE is by no stretch of the imagination pushing technology to the limit. It’s last centuries technology.

        As for “we don’t want electric cars” arguments, why not? At the moment, the technology isn’t good enough, but it will catch up. When it does, when it’s faster than a petrol-powered car, why would you not want to see it? I would agree with the self-driving bit (although I’d love to see a separate series of completely autonomous cars, designed as such from the ground up).

        We have seen all kinds of advancements throughout F1’s history. Moving the engine back, wings and aero, ceramic brakes, fuel injection… If F1 doesn’t keep up, it will fall behind, and the longer it stays behind, the longer it will take to catch back up.

    3. Ecclestone: I wish I had Carey’s opportunity

      So much facepalm

      1. For real: You had Carey’s opportunity and then some — and yet you squandered it through your own greed, you selfish, bigoted old fool.

        1. Well, no. He worked under CVC don’t forget.

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            28th January 2017, 9:12

            Which was his own doing through greed.

            1. Exactly. Ecclestone’s greed more than anything else is responsible for F1’s current woes.

          2. As the article states, he acted in the same way when he owned the sport 100% himself. He absolutely could have foregone revenue to increase the sport long term but he didn’t, and that is exactly why Liberty sacked him. He is lying through his teeth.

      2. When I read that I thought there must be something else he’s referring to that the article didn’t mention.

        Even for Bernie’s standard, that statement would simply be too low. Or has Bernie set a new low?

    4. Of course Bernie did have Carey’s opportunity and more when he owned 100% of F1, was debt free and had already made $100s of millions on the back of the teams. So in that position what did Bernie do, he sold out for a couple of billion to prevent the teams negotiating a better deal for themselves from the huge revenues they were generating. Talk is cheap, actions are what counts.

      1. @hohum I agree although Bernie and Mosley were forced to do it.

        1. @peartree, Whist it’s true the FIA were compelled to divest the businessof F1, there was no compulsion to sell it to Bernie, the teams should have had a chance to own the business.

    5. Happy Chinese New Year everyone! (if any of you celebrate it)

    6. There are two simple solutions to have closer title battles and a better reflection of mid/backmarker team scores over a season – reduce the point spread of finishing positions, and give points to every position finished in.

      Under 25-18-15 etc, you could finish 1st four times over a rival finishing 2nd four times and suffer a DNF while holding your position. If 1st was worth 10 points and second 9, your position is much less stable, with ten wins needed to be able to keep your position after a DNF. No double points nonsense, just bring the numbers closer together. The final numbers at the end of the season will be smaller, but they’ll be much closer together.

      As it stands, the back of the field can go most or all of the season without scoring a single point, which completely hides their relative position over each other. Was Sauber really better than Manor last year? If points were given to every finishing position, we’d at least have a firmer idea of where each stands, instead of judging based on unusual circumstances. Even just spreading the points positions up to P15 would improve the accuracy of the results.

      1. @nic I’m sorry, I don’t really follow your argument. You want the different between a win and second to be 1 point? That hugely devalues a win, and in F1 the driver with the most wins more often than not would deserve the championship. Nobody wants reliability to be the deciding factor in the championship.

      2. Whilst I understand your reasoning for this suggestion, l think it wipes away the desire to race.
        Perhaps we could return to only the top six drivers recieving points 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 whilst the constructors championship could be rewarded 20 down to 1 as you suggest?

      3. Sorry but 1 point difference between first and second is stupid, a guy can win the champiooship without even winning a race. But I like your idea of giving points to more people that finishes the race is nice. Maybe something like 25-20-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The top 15 get points, so even slower teams will manage to make some. And we have a bigger gap to the top 3, the podium should be something very valuable.

    7. I like that Brawn interview. A lot of good ideas and concepts that can be agreed with but also pointing out that they just don’t know some things, like the future of engines or budget caps.

      I’m very interested to see what everybody can learn from this process and what the resulting product will be.

      Also, some relevant insight there that they can’t just jump in and massively shake up the financial distribution immediately as people are calling for with the Manor exit. Contracts are in place until 2020 so expect the status quo to continue for a few years yet.

    8. I was under the impression Sauber got ~£50 million for finishing 10th and Manor only got £10 million.

      Haas made a grid of 11 teams in 2016 and the 11th and last team only gets a payout for the ‘taking part’ and none of the pay gradient from 1st to 10th.

      Can someone clarify this? It seems whichever team that finished last in 2016 was likely to finish last every season until the Concorde agreement finished – no business there.

      On a side note, just acknowledging Nasr as he basically saved Sauber and was rewarded by losing his seat and then seeing his hard work seal the fate Manor, the only other team he was realistically going to get a drive…

    9. Lol, Bernie had that opportunity for many years. Last 10 he failed miserably… Enriching only himself at expense of teams and fans.

      1. @jureo The last 10 years he was working for CVC & doing largely what CVC was asking him to do which has make them as much money as possible.

        That is something a lot of fans often miss, For the last 10 years Bernie hasn’t truly been in charge he was simply the figurehead doing CVC’s bidding & making decisions on what CVC felt was best for them as the majority shareholders. Of the billions of dollars that went into F1 the past 10 years Bernie likely actually only got a fraction of what was going to CVC.

        When Bernie did have total control through the 80s/90s & early 2000’s F1 was arguably at its best as fans & teams were benefiting from many of the positives that Bernie helped introduce in the late 70s/early 80s.

        1. riiiiiight, not his fault, just following orders…

    10. It’s nice to talk about base payment to all teams, but there is a flaw. Take the figure of 40some millions mentioned here. That’s a lots of money. If all F1 teams were guaranteed this payment, I can imagine there would be teams not racing but making money. After all, I suspected last year that this had been Fitzpatrick’s motivation to take over Manor and now it seems to be validated. Is that what we want?
      So the decreasing prize money system has some merit. However, this does not mean that one cannot help smaller teams otherwise. For instance, the F1 organization could pay for four engines per car per season. This would go a long way in making small teams more viable without luring in people whose only interest is money. I believe that this idea combines significant effect with simplicity, so it seems a better prospect to explore than other schemes like spending cap.

      1. Just put a rule that teams need to start 95% of the races and cars slower than 2s from the 10th on the qualyfing grid will be disqualified (except in the case of rain).

    11. I think Circuit Of The Americas need to be careful here in asking for another US F1 race regardless of time zone. It might be their demise. While no one will openly admit it, the Mexican GP put a dent in ticket sales for the USGP. And I had feared the proposed New Jersey F1 race would had been the death knell for COTA. That race would easily overshadowed and draw greater crowds than COTA.

      1. Do you really think there isn’t room for another race? There are geographically close races in Europe that are sustainable – such as Italy and Hungary.

    12. Take the money and share it equally between teams. I know that you need to give something for the best teams, but if they win races or the championship they already have the exposure to give them more money from sponsors, they do not need TV money at all.

    13. Happy Year of the Rooster everyone. :)

    14. “Ecclestone: I wish I had Carey’s opportunity”

      What a laughable crock: Bernie had EVERY opportunity to run take F1 in any direction he wanted. He chose to pillage the profits as his number one priority, with little concern for the long term future of the sport. He also chose to expose the world to the stupid, petty and obnoxious part himself via his never ending stream of moronic public comments. He deserves heaping praise for his accomplishments and heavy criticism for his failures and shortcomings. But hearing him whine about missed opportunities is about the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard him say. He really should just shut up, go away and count his coins.

    15. The most successful pro sports model is the NFL. They had the wisdom to evenly distribute a share of the TV income among all of the teams. Individual teams are free to make their own deals from endorsements advertising, tickets sales, stadium rentals, etc. But the bottom line is that the teams in the smaller markets have solid base income to be very profitable. There is also additional income based on performance: making it into the post-season playoffs, etc.

      F1 could learn a lot from this.

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