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

Analysis: How soon can Liberty start changing F1?

2017 F1 season

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Rightly or wrongly, many Formula One fans have eagerly awaited the day when the name above the door no longer read Bernard Charles Ecclestone. Now Liberty carry the hopes of everyone who wants to see their favourite sport change for the better – however that might be.

In the bland terminology of public relations what they need now is a bit of ‘expectations management’. Because simply having bought the sport doesn’t mean they can conveniently change everything as soon as they wish.

Prize money

Esteban Ocon, Manor, Suzuka, 2016
Missing out on prize money cost Manor dearly
Manor’s collapse threw fresh light on Formula One’s deeply biased distribution of its income. Teams favoured by Ecclestone, such as Ferrari and Red Bull, continue to receive vast bonuses simply for turning up, details which were agreed without the knowledge of their rivals.

The contracts which underpin these payments are in place until 2020 but already Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has urged Liberty to address the high disparity in how F1’s funds are shared out. Assuming Liberty isn’t willing to bear the cost of tearing the contracts up, could some practical short-term action be taken to alleviate the strain on the rear of the field?

A ‘fighting fund’ to keep teams at the back of the grid from going under has been considered in Formula One before. The idea was last kicked around late in 2014 when Caterham and Marussia collapsed and Force India, Sauber and Renault were struggling. It never materialised. (The concept previously arose in the early 2000s when, ironically, Sauber was one of few teams who agreed to contribute towards it)

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Force India has already requested an advance on its prize money payment to keep the cash flowing, only for it to be blocked by Haas. This shows the difficulty Liberty might have in offering remedial action to the effects of F1’s deeply biased distribution of its income until the time to agree new contracts arrives.

The same agreements also leave F1 bound to the controversial Strategy Group for the time being. Whether Liberty has any greater success in pursuing its agenda through it than Ecclestone did will be an intriguing test of whether F1’s recent problems have been largely down to its governance or its governor.

Calendar

Start, Hockenheimring, 2016
Empty stands at last year’s German Grand Prix
Liberty has indicated it wants to expand the calendar beyond last year’s high of 21, potentially as far as 25. Provisions exist for this to be done providing the teams agree to it.

There’s little to stop Liberty signing new contracts with race organisers. One exception is in the Middle East, where Ecclestone gave Bahrain the power to bar other races in the area from going ahead. They consented to Yas Marina in the United Arab Emirates holding the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is at the opposite end of the calendar.

Liberty’s decisions regarding race contracts could give some insight into its priorities. Will it keep races like Bahrain which pays a huge amount to host grands prix but attracts tiny numbers of spectators, is not a priority market for F1’s car manufacturers and is funded by a regime which has attracted widespread international criticism? Is expanding the calendar a higher priority than having the right races in the right places?

These decisions will take time to play out. Liberty will have to negotiate 20 different contracts, some of which do not expire until 2026. Among the first deals to expire, in 2018, will be the troubled races in Germany and Malaysia.

Silverstone’s case gives an example of the ‘soft power’ Liberty can wield to resolve some situations. Having previously stated it was considering whether to activate a break clause in its contract, more positive noises are now coming from the Northamptonshire venue. Derek Warwick, the president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, revealed the sport’s new owners were willing to grant Silverstone certain liberties within their contract which are already offered to other race hosts.

Broadcasting and digital media

An official stream for Formula One race footage during a race weekend is something fans have clamoured for but which has always seemed highly unrealistic given the huge revenues F1 has been able to generate by selling exclusive broadcasting rights to each country.

Enticingly, Liberty has said it wants to explore direct broadcasts. But it can’t do that yet without violating deals which are already in place, such as Sky’s exclusive right to broadcast all races live in the UK between 2019 and 2024.

However there have already been signs the sport is beginning to experiment with other forms of broadcasting via social media. A trial run using Facebook Live in Abu Dhabi last year showed the potential they wield as a roster of top names and champions were brought in to participate.

Regulations

Honda RA616H power unit, 2016
F1’s power units are staying until at least 2020
Ecclestone hated Formula One’s engine regulations but he couldn’t stop the coming in and once they arrived he couldn’t get rid of them either. F1’s new motorsport manager Ross Brawn has expressed far milder reservations about the format and how it was introduced, in particular the high costs it forced on smaller, non-manufacturer teams.

Brawn cautioned that replacing the current engine format would require lengthy negotiations. Last year teams agreed to keep the current format until at least 2020, so the V6 hybrid turbos won’t be going anywhere soon.

As for the chassis and aerodynamic side of the technical regulations, they are already being drastically overhauled for the season ahead. Some have expressed reservations about this, not least Lewis Hamilton who is one of several drivers who expects to quality of racing to suffer as a result. But it will have to be really bad for there to be any appetite to make another major change in this area in the near future.

Changes to the sporting regulations are theoretically more straightforward. At this late stage, changing the sporting regulations for the upcoming season requires the unanimous agreement of all the teams. They have until the end of April to pass any changes for the 2018 F1 season but do not require unanimity.

Intriguingly, Brawn has also revealed he was unaware Ferrari held a power of veto over F1’s rules for much of his time at the team between 1997 and 2007. Will a continuation of the veto really be ‘off the table’ for 2020?

Pirelli reveal 2017 tyres, Yas Marina, 2016
Tyres are already changing in a big way
Pirelli has been Ecclestone’s preferred tyre supplier since the sport needed a replacement for Bridgestone at the end of 2010. He thwarted FIA president Jean Todt’s initial attempt to strike a deal with Michelin, and the French manufacturer was passed over again when the contract came up for renewal last year.

This season sees the beginning of Pirelli’s new three-year deal to supply F1 tyres. Tyre blow-outs and wet weather performance have been two major criticisms of their product.

In 2017 Pirelli’s tyres will be under even greater scrutiny as new, wider, lower-degradation constructions are being introduced. Heading into a season where the quality of racing is widely expected to suffer, will Liberty be tempted to revise Pirelli’s brief once more – or consider a new supplier for 2020?

No more knee-jerk changes?

The core criticism Brawn has levelled at the management of F1 under Ecclestone has been its lack of long-term planning. He has spoken of treating F1 “like an engineering project” and taking a three-year period to evaluate and implement new rules.

Compared to Ecclestone’s autocratic, knee-jerk and often contradictory approach this looks like a breath of fresh air. But it also screams loud and clear that Liberty are unlikely to make major changes in the near future. F1 fans may have to patient.

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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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  • 51 comments on “Analysis: How soon can Liberty start changing F1?”

    1. If we weren’t patient, most of us would have stopped following Formula 1 a long time ago. We are living proof of true love.

      There is plenty to look forward to in the short time. We don’t know how race will turn out to be next year, even though the drivers suggest it won’t get any better, at least we can expect the drivers to struggle with the new cars, especially those who haven’t experience with high down-force machinery to date. These assumptions also come from reading raw theoretical data, and if there is something that cannot be simulated is the human in the car, who knows, we might be surprised. It is time to be optimistic, at least until March.

      We have seen a lot of quick changes in F1 this past years. I think everyone will welcome a pondered approach that will benefit the sport long term. The changes that we experienced where the result panic to try and improve the show, they all did more bad than good, we reached a point where every single modification was expected to have bad results, a change in that behaviour will be welcomed by everyone.

      Ross Brawn know that convergence in performance and therefore better racing will come by having a long term plan and stability in the regulations, and he seems to understand the importance of small teams in the sport. It might take time, but if we endure all the bad things until this point, I at least hope to be here to see the changes.

      1. If we weren’t patient, most of us would have stopped following Formula 1 a long time ago. We are living proof of true love.

        Boom, bang on. @johnmilk

      2. Couldn’t have put it better myself

      3. Thanks guys.

        Glad to know I am not alone in this crusade.

      4. “If we weren’t patient, most of us would have stopped following Formula 1 a long time ago. We are living proof of true love.”

        Alternatively, we are proof that the last thing to die is optimism…

    2. Liberty Group’s first good decision could well be banning DRS from next year forward. Or at least using it more imaginatively, at places where overtakings never ocurr anyway.

      1. @fer-no65
        Maybe I lack imagination, but where could you use DRS other than on the long straights? It works by removing downforce (more or less) so it doesn’t help in corners and is unlikely to make a difference on short straights.

        As much as I’d like to get rid of DRS, I don’t want to go back to the days when the attacker needed to be two seconds a lap faster than the defender to have any chance at passing. Some people say that they just want to drop DRS and go back to the days when defending was a skill; well in the days immediately before DRS was brought in defending wasn’t that much of a skill.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          31st January 2017, 16:23

          Put DRS on shorter straights. Perhaps the straight before the hairpin in Canada and the start/finish straight in Abu Dhabi.

        2. Given how liberally drivers used it in qualifying, when there was no limitations, there’s probably a few extra places where it’s useful.
          It might have been just be an extra 0.01sec here or there. But sometimes, in a race, you just need that extra few centimetres to make a move possible.

        3. DRS should be used anywhere the driver wants I think, and for how long he wants. Giving this kind of control for the driver is a good way to increase the gap between them, more decisions, more risks, more skill involved. And they can use it to defend the position too. The problem with DRS is that the guy ahead can’t use it.

        4. Allow drivers to use DRS anywhere they want and have http://www.trucknutz.com sponsor it. NASCAR will be SOOOO jealous!

      2. @fer-no65 I’d love to see it replaced by an active rear wing. One that makes all the cars faster on the straights, maintaining the downforce on corners and bends.

        1. @strontium
          DRS is an active rear wing which does make the cars faster on the straights while allowing high downforce for cornering. As @neilosjames says below, the whole point of the rules around using DRS is to make up for the fact that cars can’t follow closely through the bends, by artificially increasing the top speed of the chasing car when they get onto the straight (as long as the power and gearing permit).

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            31st January 2017, 14:55

            I suspect he meant that DRS should be used wherever the driver wishes, but then that cancels out the gain it provides.

          2. @jimg sorry I should have clarified, I meant active in the sense that it’s controlled by a computer system or similar, without a one-second rule. And as @mbr-9 points out, without giving any driver a gain.

            So basically I would like to see them scrapping the DRS advantage as we know it, and instead use the technology to make a genuine aerodynamic improvement to the cars, not controlled by artificial rules.

            1. Michael Brown (@)
              31st January 2017, 16:26

              @strontium Now, I’m not aerodynamically savvy, so how would both cars using DRS at once be different than neither?

            2. @mbr-9 It wouldn’t. I think they should get rid of the advantage and use the movable rear wing simply to make all of the cars faster, just like the current regulations are :)

      3. If they removed DRS and the cars were anything like they have been the last few years, overtaking a similar-pace would be pretty much impossible without a massive tyre advantage. A non-DRS slipstream isn’t capable of closing the gaps currently created during cornering.

        The issue DRS was created to fudge over – the cars being so difficult to follow closely – needs addressing first.

        1. the bottomline is the cars a creating a massive down force with is making the following cars difficult to overtake. DRS was brought to promote overtaking, and it looks artificial at best, they have to find a way to increase overtaking without inducing it by artificial means. one way is by decreasing down force but dont know whether they will go that route.

        2. Yeah the bottom line is that as long as cars perform drastically better in clean air, then cars in dirty air will struggle. Reduce the clean air dependency by mandating a limit to wing rake (speaking in rough generalities as I’m no aerodynamicist) and keeping more mechanical grip and consistency in the tires, and they should be able to eliminate processions and DRS. The problem has been F1’s addiction to aero downforce. It’s a marvellous science for getting cars around a track quickly…when they’re alone. It’s terrible however, for close racing, and one would think there have been enough variations over the last couple of decades in terms of tires, engines, car dimensions, etc that the one underlying and damaging constant is cars too dependent on clean air. I’m glad Brawn has already mentioned the mechanical to aero grip ratio.

      4. DRS is only needed because of wings and the ban on ground effect.
        Wings both disturb the flow of air behind the car and need clean air themselves to provide enough downforce.

        So ban wings like we have now and get something different.
        Diffusers also disturb the wake but are less sensitive to turbulence ahead.
        Ground effect is practically immune.
        With that the wake would help, not hurt, the cars behind.
        DRS would both be impossible and unnecessary.

        1. I agree with the concept of getting rid of the wings, but I’m told wings were introduced because at the high speeds of the cars the wheels were starting to lift off the ground. Maybe now that there is a better understanding of ground effect they can be discarded, but there’d need to be a whole lot of work done to show it is feasible and safe. Until then we are stuck with wings.

        2. Bart, I don’t mean to pick on you in particular, but I really do dislike the fact that the term “ground effect” is so widely abused. All of the current cars utilise the phenomenon of ground effects – the term “ground effect” is treated as being synonymous with a sculpted underbody, which is incorrect (that is a particular implementation of that phenomenon, but is not the only example).

          Similarly, I recall seeing a research paper which indicated that, whilst most people like to blame the wings on the cars for the sensitivity to the wake of the leading car, the real issue is more likely to be down to the shift in handling balance that occurs when the front of the floor stalls.

          People pick on the wings of the car because they are visible to all, and there is a misconception that they are the main downforce generating area of the car (when the floor is actually the most significant aero element). However, in the wake of another car the front and rear wing tend to lose a similar amount of performance and therefore the handling balance tends to stay relatively similar.

          With the floor, however, there tends to be a tendency for the centre of pressure to shift forwards and backwards as the front of the floor periodically stalls and then recovers performance – that is actually more of a problem for the trailing driver, since usually it is an inconsistent loss in grip, and therefore a changing handling balance, that is more of an issue for the trailing driver than the total loss in performance (they can usually drive around the latter, but less so around the former).

          Furthermore, it is incorrect that a sculpted underbody is not “practically immune” to the effects of a turbulent wake. It may not be quite as sensitive, but there are still issues with shifts in the balance of the car due to turbulence.

    3. There is plenty of time, take the time to do it properly.

    4. f1 cars are having too much down force, so the cars are not able to follow each other, liberty has to find a way to reduce too much down on the techinical side. the regulations should be changed in such a way that it promotes overtaking, and they have to bring technical freedom with some sort of budget cap so that it will help the smaller teams. yes it will bring some objections from the leading teams but they have to find a way.

      1. ”f1 cars are having too much down force” – The real problem is the way the downforce (most of it) is implemented, not the amount of it.

    5. After having read Ross Brawn’s book I would be very surprised if there were any major changes to the technical regulations or to the commercial arrangements that govern the relationships between the teams, regulator and commercial rights holder for at least two to three years. His modus operandi is to take a very methodical, analytical approach to things, it has been very successful for him to date so I don’t see him departing from that anytime soon.

    6. The official app should have live streaming on it this year featuring the in-car cameras & maybe team radio.

      The streaming part of the app may end up been Geo-blocked in certain regions due to the existing deals with broadcasters, Although I gather that there is some debate about if the exclusivity clause that most broadcasters have includes any of the additional content feeds such as in-car cameras.

      The streaming of in-car cameras (And some new timing/tracking data) was been tested over the final 4 races of last season so the infrastructure is in place, Just a case of figuring out the details with the broadcasters.
      https://f1broadcasting.co/2016/10/22/live-in-car-footage-set-to-take-centre-stage-in-revamped-f1-app/

    7. I’d say that for F1 to stream its own live streams it would require serious organization. Video stream is very expensive (I know that well with my work) and we don’t even talk about commentary that should be in a lot of languages.
      I wonder how they could achieve that and make profit at the same time.

      1. Simple solution. Stop the idle chatter. Keep the commentary off the streams. This isn’t radio – we have moving pictures – only audio I want to hear is the noise on track.

        Streaming is not so expensive for a multi-billion dollar sport. Bandwidth is not so precious as providers imply.

        1. Bandwidth is not so precious as providers imply.

          Servers are though.

      2. Ask Dorna. They seem to be able to cope with it for motogp, and it is a very good service.

        If F1 looked outside its little bubble occasionally, they would find a lot of things are possible.

    8. Force India has already requested an advance on its prize money payment to keep the cash flowing, only for it to be blocked by Haas.

      I believe this is now resolved. Force India is to receive an early payment as I now understand it. Haas will also be receiving their $20 million deposit payment early. (Deposit to ensure participation over the first 2 years on the grid) Haas was to receive the payment back after this year, but it appears they have struck a deal to get this early.

    9. A new player POV being featured in this years Superbowl:
      http://www.foxsports.com/presspass/latestnews/2017/01/12/fox-sports-teams-with-intel-for-new-player-s-eye-view-of-super-b
      It sounds like Fox is putting a lot into the production, I wonder if something like this might be coming to F1.

      1. Harder to do in F1 because of how many cameras you need covering every angle to make the image & get a full 360 degree view. With something like a football game in a stadium you can have cameras getting shots from every part of the field which enables the full 360 degree view to be stitched together. With a racetrack you can’t get the same level of coverage so it becomes much harder to stick together something like that.

        What can be done is what FOM were trailing as far back as 2008/2009 (Was used at turn 1 for the 2009 abu dhabi gp) & use trackside cameras & GPS data to create a 3D computer model.
        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xb0i3e_2009-f1-abu-dhabi-3d-virtual-replay_sport

        They were providing something similar to that to broadcasters last year.
        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3yxu49_alonso-guttierez-melbourne-2016-crash-skypad-analysis_sport

    10. Regarding the subject of race calendar: Should the number of races ever actually increase to something say 23-25 then perhaps they should start planning it based on geography primarily as much as possible (climates have to be taken into account as well) to reduce the amount of travelling (back and forth mainly) instead of basing it primarily on these ridiculous theories that ”having, for example, two geographically nearby venues close to each other on the calendar would hurt the attendances.” I’d be happy if they’d try Singapore and Malaysia on back-to-back weekends at least once before one of them (Malaysia after 2018) gets dropped from the Championship. At least with USA and Mexico, they care more about the geographical distance, and therefore, the logistics. I also wouldn’t mind about having the two Middle Eastern races run at the same time of year (either both in March/April or both in November), but I don’t really mind about them being at the opposite ends of the season either as they’re relatively close to Europe (compared to most ‘long-haul’ venues).

    11. Why not get Sky and all of the major broadcasters to offer a free stream. One that is peppered with adverts, advert breaks, etc with none of the analysis. I’d still pay my subscription, but it would give an olive branch to those who don’t / can’t subscribe.

      1. That is what is killing NASCAR TV coverage. The racing is virtually unwatchable hence the drop in viewer figures. Even the pay channels have adverts. Pay TV double dipping?

      2. @mattb Because the PayTV broadcasters like Sky are only interested in subscribers because thats how they make there money.

        If a free alternative becomes available it potentially cost’s them subscribers which obviously is where they make there money which allows them to pay for the sporting rights they have. Even if they ran a free service littered with ad’s it wouldn’t make up for what they would lose.

        PayTV broadcasters such as Sky pay a fortune for most of the sports they hold the rights to as well as the production cost’s they invest in covering them & they make a big chunk of the money to pay for all that from subscription cost’s. It’s why many go for exclusivity, Any free/cheaper alternative devalues there product which will hit there possible subscriber count.

    12. I agree that any significant change is a long term game, however here are a few short term suggestions for Liberty:

      1 – Consider reducing the race weekend format to 2 days. Currently F1 cars spend 3 hrs on track on Fri, 2 hrs on track on Sat and 1.5-2 hrs on track on Sunday. The amount of track time is actually the inverse of weekend spectator attendance, with race-day attendance seeing less than 2 hours of F1 action. Consider increased practice time on Sat morning, and adding a practice session prior to the race, to ensure 2.5-3 hrs of F1 action on both Sat and Sun. Fri could be left for local support races (some of the F1 drivers could even be encouraged to enter into these, which would be quite a spectacle) or not used at all.

      2 – Reconsider the tire compound rules. The introduction of a third compound worked well last season, however the requirement for the top 10 to start on the same tires as they qualify continues to reduce strategic options at the front. With fewer pit stops targeted for 2017, freeing up the tire rules will simplify the rules for spectators and will increase variation in strategy. Liberty could also consider scrapping the mandatory pit stop rule.

      3 – Clarify the rules surrounding track limits for all circuits. Either scrap them or enforce them properly.

      4 – Eradicate course-cutting. Short cutting chicanes should be heavily penalised. If a driver goes off at a chicane they should rejoin at the same point they went off, or face a stop-and-go penalty. Whilst heavy-handed, this would clean up wheel-to-wheel racing into chicanes and introduce an element of risk v reward which is sorely lacking at most modern circuits.

      5 – Get rid of driver penalty points. These are the 20 best drivers in the world, driving the fastest most sophisticated racing machines ever made. Handing out penalty points on a regular basis makes the drivers appear little more than naughty school kids. They know how to race, let them sort it out between them.

      1. Some nice ideas and some extreme ones, but I don’t think any of this has anything to do with the Commercial Rights Holder, it’s more the FIA’s side of things.

    13. ”If a driver goes off at a chicane they should rejoin at the same point they went off” – That would be asking for a big crash if the driver leaving the track had all the other drivers behind him in proximity like Hamilton had in Mexico. A safer way to make sure that a driver will lose time after an off-track excursion in the runoff area of turns 1-3 in Mexico, for example, would be to put the polystyrene bollard there to mark the mandatory route for rejoining the track like in Sochi, Montreal, Monza, and Singapore.

      1. This was meant to be a reply to @aussierod above.

    14. I don’t have much knowledge to make a well-informed comment on this, but I’m really curious to see how the new owners go about attracting the younger generations to this sport. How do you attract new fans, what would make them go, “Wow! I better check this out.”?

      I remember when Porsche announced that they’re joining WEC back in 2014, I saw this Ad. That kinda actually made me watch quite a bit of the WEC races after that. Before that I was only following live commentaries.

      I don’t really see many things like that in F1, apart from Red Bull…. love them or hate them, they surely do more than anybody else to promote F1 all around the world.

    15. I know that people are all excited about the Liberty take over and the appointment of Brawn in particular. I am a little more circumspect about it. Liberty may have a slightly different set of goals than Ecclestone had, but they still have goals and they are more similar than we might like to accept.

      Firstly, I am going to offer a defence of Ecclestone. I don’t like the man, but I do respect what he did for F1 in the early years. Ecclestone was great for F1 in the early years. This was due to him taking a disparate bunch of teams and turning them into a professional organisation. Ecclestone’s goals were always clear. Money and Power. In the early days, the needs of F1 were served greatly by Ecclestone’s goals. He made them professional. He banded them together to demand more money from the tracks and broadcasters. In the early days, teams were taken for a ride and Ecclestone stopped that happening and the teams benefited greatly and they loved him for it. I have no doubt in my mind that up until about the mid 90’s F1 was a much better place for having Ecclestone around. However, things changed and his goals and that of the F1 teams started to drift apart. As a result, he sold out to CVC. He did this for his own benefit and it allowed him to keep control of F1 at a time where he was under pressure. In the past, he had full control of F1 and now he had masters to answer to. His masters were a group of people who’s only goal was short term profit. They had no long term goals. The fact the Bernie kept them in F1 so long is probably a compliment to him, although it made us fans suffer longer.

      My defence of Bernie is this. Once he sold out to CVC, his goal had to shift. Profit had to be #1. And it had to be big profits and more importantly, short term profits. As a result of this, I think a lot of of the decisions made recently reflected that. We can blame Bernie, but his hands were kind of tied once he sold out to CVC as they were his masters. Some of his more strange decisions can take a new light if you realise that his boss was CVC and they were demanding short term profits before they sold. But I don’t want to go too far into defending Bernie and the indefensible.

      So we have new owners, but what has changed. Under Bernie and CVC, Profit was #1. Make to mistakes, under Liberty, Profit is still #1. We can be encouraged by the signing of Brawn and the murmurings of more equal distribution of money to teams. At this point, I just want to restate, that Liberty have profit as the #1 goal. The only thing we know for sure is that Liberty seem sure to expand the number of races. Why are they doing this. More races = more money. It’s the easiest thing they can do to increase profit. They also talk about a more equal distribution of money and also cost caps for teams. I haven’t heard them talking about giving more money to the teams, just about redistributing it and also helping teams to cut costs. I read somewhere that currently about 50% of the profits from F1 go to the shareholders and the rest to the teams. Giving even an extra 10% of that to the teams would solve a heap of problems, but I have heard no murmurings of that. Because profit is still #1. Restructure the teams to produce closer racing. Increase the races and you will get more money in the future. But there is absolutely no chance that the teams will get a larger share of the profits.

      I don’t want to be a downer here. I see the Liberty thing as being better than what we have now. The major difference is that they seem like they want to keep hold of F1 for a longer period, so are prepared to look at F1 in terms of a longer project. They want more people watching and will need to make the racing better to achieve that. That one mentality shift will be a breath of fresh air to F1 and will force a revival that we will benefit from. However, I throw caution to the people that are standing on roof tops shouting hooray, “the king is dead, long live the king”. In the short term, little will change. In the medium term, F1 will most likely get better. In the long term, the drive for profits will probably land us back where we are now.

      1. I agree with your analysis. Thanks for keeping it realistic. However, as I think you rightly pointed out, the key difference is this: CVC was all about SHORT TERM profit, while Liberty Media, while profit is #1, seem to be aiming more at long term profit, which I believe is somewhat more sensible and will benefit F1, the teams and the fans more.

    16. When I Read 25 races .. I am thinking Maybe Liberty should propose Non-championship race :D regular Driver can take a rest and the reverse drivers (and maybe pay drivers take the helm) we can see young prodigy in top cars :D It also an alternative weekends to replace the usual Testing :D Teams can also test new parts test their upcoming drivers, test the tires, their new/reverse pit crews in real races… Costly for the teams yes but they might figure a way out despite not all teams participate

    17. Just for the sake of having all the facts @keithcollantine, maybe it is good to include that the block from Haas on FI getting their up front payment has been lifted (after the FIA agreed to give Haas their entry fee/down payment back a year earlier – i.e. this year instead of after 2 years in the sport) as Reported in German AMuS during the weekend

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