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F1 must become attractive to new teams – Carey

2018 F1 season

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Formula One CEO Chase Carey says the sport needs to become ‘a place new teams want to enter’.

Speaking at the FIA Sport Conference in Manila, Carey described how F1 commercial rights holders Liberty Media is planning to make the sport more affordable and open it up to new competitors.

“There are a lot of things underway that will bring more competitive balance, more action on the track [and] more unpredictability,” he said.

“Predictability is not good in sports,” he said. “You want the unexpected, you want the memorable moments that you didn’t see coming. You want that underdog win, you want those sorts of things to happen.”

The disparity in revenue between the biggest and smallest teams has created predictable racing and made the sport unattractive for potential newcomers, Carey believes.

“The economics of the sport have got to a pretty challenging place for many of the teams.

“We want it to be a place that new teams want to come into. We want it to be a place everybody’s excited to be a part of, not just fans, the teams as well.

“We have a lot of things going on, working in partnership with the FIA, that can really bring the sport to where we think it can and should be to really engage fans around the world.”

The only new team to enter F1 in the last eight seasons is Haas, which arrived in 2016. Formula One last had a full grid of cars in 1995.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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 must become attractive to new teams – Carey”

  1. The barriers for entry are too high for new teams. Carey wants to turn F1 into a spec series with identical cars. Nascar and Indycar are spec series.

    1. I don’t know what he will do, but at least he is doing something which others failed

    2. No he doesn’t.

    3. no he doesn’t, he wants a flourishing, exciting and unpredictable sport from which he can make a vast amount of money.

      It is stagnant and boring at the moment and financially it is on a knife edge. The last time that the grid was full with 26 cars was 1995!!!

      I am fine for him to shake it up, the sooner the better but I don’t want it to become “americanised” either.

      1. Mind you, I wouldn’t exactly hold up the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s as an idealised example – if you look at, say, 1990, less than a third of the teams that were around then are still around now (just 6 out of the 19 teams that competed that year now survive – most of those teams collapsed within a few years).

        Equally, if people abused teams such as HRT, Caterham or the earlier iterations of Manor as being rubbish, that was nothing compared to some of the teams that were competing in that era. There might have been a lot of teams, but quite a few of them felt rather amateurish affairs and I imagine that there would be those here who would be outraged if a team of the quality of Eurobrun or Forti were on the grid these days.

  2. The problem I see is the time taken for a team to earn income from the TV rights payout. F1, thanks to its previous TV rights manager, prefers its races to be seen by a small and exclusive audience, meaning advertising on cars doesn’t generate sufficient money to pay for a season of racing. So teams rely on the TV rights payout to support them. However, F1’s current rules are they won’t pay out until a team has competed for something like three years. Meaning a team has to have saved up the equivalent of nearly 3 years of racing expenditure before they start racing otherwise they’ll run at a loss.
    This is completely wrong! A team that has two cars on the grid that should be paid because they are part of the entertainment. Just as every performer in a concert and every actor in a movie is paid, so every car that is in an F1 Grand Prix should be paid.

    1. I agree. The sponsorship issue is a major problem that can’t really be fixed due to the removal of F1 from Free to Air TV in its major markets. The only way to tempt new teams is to remove the stupid extra payments that Ferrari, Merc etc get and make it a level playing field. It is fine that Teams get paid bonuses for their finishing position but not fine that they get money just because they have been in F1 for a long time.

      1. Same old story lee1. Nobody would watch F1 without “Ferrari, Merc etc” (you have also to check your facts, Mercedes is not a long standing team).

  3. Total unpredictability is not good either. Remember Pirelli early days when the winner was defined by a car luckily hitting the sweet spot of the tyres…

    The performance gap should not be zero, but maybe a bit closer than now. Especially between top teams and the midfield. We had actually great battles up front and great battles into the midfield this year… Now we need to bring the two closer together so that they overlap and mix a bit.

    2 wins for each of the three top teams is nothing to complain about compared to previous year (and even in absolute)

    1. Surely the engine/gearbox package needs to be cheaper to acquire than at present
      time. There’s a huge cost barrier for enterprising racing teams to overcome before
      they can even think of competing in the magic world of F1. But as others have said,
      it would be first class for F1 if the grid were full of highly competitive cars with
      equally competitive drivers.

  4. 23 years since a full grid.

    What a disgraceful statistic. Laughable.

    Think of all the talented drivers that have missed out on opportunity. Think of intelligent engineers locked into being a cog in a mega team rather than a creative in a smaller team.

    Hopeless structuring. Terrible legacy.

  5. Chase Carey has become Captain Obvious in this interview

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      5th June 2018, 12:47

      Can I be Captain Obvious and ask What a full grid of cars actually is

      1. It is a grid with 26 cars on it – that is what the regulations are written for. See the linked story towards the end of the above article.

        1. @phylyp
          26 cars would be great. New comers will join when the rules equal out.

          As above barriers to entry are absurd at the moment, then throw in unequal income distribution, viewing behind pay walls – I stop there. HAAS should get a trophy just for joining !

          Equal income is such an obvious start- let’s start there.

          1. Amen, and I think if you have Aston Martin or Jaguar as a sponsor, it should have one of those drive trains in the car.

  6. Carey said, “Predictability is not good in sports,” he said. “You want the unexpected, you want the memorable moments that you didn’t see coming. You want that underdog win, you want those sorts of things to happen.”

    He perfectly described IndyCar.

    1. This would be the same IndyCar series where three teams have dominated the championship since 2003 and normally take more than 70% of the race wins per season (2017 is just such an example – 70% of the wins went to Ganassi, Penske and Andretti)?

      Indycar is a lot more predictable than you suggest – it’s pretty much guaranteed that the champion is going to come from Ganassi, Penske or Andretti, and indeed the drivers from those teams are currently locking out the top five positions in the championship right now.

      1. pastaman (@)
        6th June 2018, 11:51

        Yes, but there’s still a chance that almost any car from any team can win any race. Not so in F1.

    2. If F1 doesn’t get better soon, I’m going back to Indy car. They are having more road races now. I think the days of the ovals is about over.

  7. Thanks @keithcollantine for the link to the 1995 article – I need to go and find that race and watch it again.

    It is truly sad that we don’t have a full grid and haven’t for so long, but I don’t see any increase in teams in the next few years unfortunately. The sport needs to simplify without removing teams ability to innovate, and without harming the Formula – glad I don’t have to walk that tightrope. Until I am proven wrong – I have confidence in Ross et al to deliver not just change, but the right change to help this along. The financial imbalance speaks for its-self, but the aero arms race is out of hand now in my humble opinion, unfortunately limiting aero will also to a certain extent limit innovation.

    Hey Ho.

  8. In fairness, sure, Carey is right. There is much more they can do to make themselves more attractive to new entrants. At the same time I am mindful that we are experiencing a very tough global economy still, and have been for 10 years, with much uncertainty. F1’s task is challenging, but not insurmountable. In general simplifying, and prioritizing the basics seems the order of the day. Less complicated rules, less complicated money distribution, less complicated penalties, less complicated aero, less complicated pu’s, less complicated venue contracts, less gadgets.

    1. @robbie: Yes, that.

      And is LM willing to reduce their greedy Bernie cut to a more reasonable 20-25%? Maybe once the $8 Billion used circus fee is recouped. Which is scheduled to be fully paid just after the sun goes nova.

      Redistribution starts at the top, not the bottom, Chase.

  9. At least F2 is a great championship this season. It makes up for the F1 races blowing hot & cold.

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