Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

Mexican GP promoter denies backing FOPA statement criticising Liberty

2019 F1 season

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The promoter of the Mexican Grand Prix has denied supporting a statement criticising Formula 1 owners Liberty Media which was issued by the Formula One Promoters Association earlier today.

The statement was issued following a meeting between FOPA and representatives of Formula One Management.

“Following the statement made by the Formula One Promoters’ Association (FOPA), the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico promoters want to express their sympathy with the promoters from other countries understanding that each country and race is different,” said the Mexican GP organiser in a release seen by RaceFans. “In addition, the Mexican Grand Prix’s promoters welcome the ongoing collaboration and good relationships with the rest of the promoters.

“However, Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico did not participate in said meeting and appreciate the work that the new owners of Formula 1 are doing to understand the promoters’ requirements and concerns, as well as those from the fans.

“The Mexican Grand Prix’s promoters recognise that the new administration of Formula 1 has listened and been sensitive to their concerns, with both parties working very closely together. As a result, they do not agree with what was released by the Formula One Promoters’ Association on their behalf.”

The Mexican Grand Prix is one of five rounds on this year’s schedule which does not yet hold a contract to hold a round of the 2020 F1 calendar.

“The Mexican promoters and Formula 1 continue the negotiations regarding the renewal of the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico contract in private,” it added.

FOPA, which claimed to represent 16 grands prix including the Mexican round, challenged Liberty Media over its stance on F1 broadcasting rights, its development of the sport and plans for new races.

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11 comments on “Mexican GP promoter denies backing FOPA statement criticising Liberty”

  1. Ah, this is going to get interesting!

    1. @phylyp yeah! get the popcorn ready, man!

      I wonder if this is going to be the “big dispute” early in the season…

    2. If I am not mistaken, the Mexican race signed an extention of their deal with Liberty last year, didn’t they?

      1. @bascb – from what I recall around the time of the 2018 GP, it hadn’t yet been extended. This article from Oct 2018 mentions it is ending in 2019, and the promoters were waiting for the new government to come in after which they would open those talks.

        I’m not sure if things have progressed in the few months since then, but based on the above article, it appears not.

        1. Ah, I am probably mistaken on that account then @phylyp. Rather seems they might want to refrain from critisizing Liberty while in final negotiations then, understandably!

          1. @bascb – yeah, the last thing they’d want is for that to be derailed (by Liberty, or by their own government wanting to avoid controversy), which is why their press release is verbally supporting FOPA’s intent while not throwing their weight behind it.

            IIRC, Spa and Suzuka were among the recent venues that extended their contracts, you might have perhaps mistaken one of them for this.

    3. It is. It’s like having Bernie doing his divide and conquer move all over again.

  2. Oops. A Faux Pas by FOPA

    1. Montréalais (@)
      30th January 2019, 6:02

      Sumedh: +1

  3. This whole “FOPA Revolt” seems to be a manufactured story– When I heard about the letter, I was expecting insults, references to parentage, miscellaneous DNA influences, and threats to cancel existing contracts, or possibly options on new, personal, contracts.

    Instead, there are reasonable complaints (lack of free-to-air viewing), and requests (consider existing venues ahead of new venues) and a general complaint that contracts executed before Liberty Media took over the sport might have some exorbitant fees attached by one Ecclestone, Bernie.

    Then afterwards, members of FOPA admitted that Liberty had been totally reasonable in their discussions with the promoters:

    Pringle, the managing director of Britain’s Silverstone circuit, told Reuters afterwards the meeting had been constructive, “It’s a pity we felt it necessary, but we felt it necessary to make a statement such as we did.”

    “Actually it’s prompted a very positive dialogue today and we are all optimistic of making meaningful progress,” he added.

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