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French and Spanish GP promoters confirm support for FOPA

2019 F1 season

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Promoters of two more races on the 2019 F1 calendar have confirmed their support for FOPA following its criticism of Liberty Media last month.

FOPA wrote to F1’s commercial rights holders last month on behalf of 16 grands prix, raising concerns over the sport’s disappearance from free-to-air television channels and new races undermining the business models of existing rounds. However the Mexican Grand Prix promoters subsequently distanced themselves from the FOPA letter.

When asked by RaceFans this week, French Grand Prix general manager Gilles Dufeigneux confirmed their support for FOPA.

“Yes of course,” said Dufeigneux. “It’s an association letter so it was we had unanimity of the 15 promoters present during this meeting. Of course we are supporting the letter.”

Some F1 race promoters are under pressure as governments are less willing to put money into grands prix, Dufeigneux explained.

“The business model is very, very tough. We’ve got a chance to have public authorities and big subsidies back but it’s not the case [for] everybody, first of all, and [I don’t] think that will change.

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“Taxpayers are not ready any more in Europe, let’s say, it’s the case already in the UK, to pay fees for a grand prix. So we have to talk and to imagine a new business model. And Formula 1 Management, Liberty, is ready for that. They are very open-minded, really, but you have to tell collectively what’s your position. It was important to do it at this point in time.”

[smr0901]Vicenc Aguilera, president of the Circuit de Catalunya which hosts the Spanish Grand Prix, told RaceFans Liberty is beginning to understand promoters’ needs better.

“I think they needed a little bit more time [than] I expected to learn how is the business and how is the sport and everything. But today I think we are closer in terms of dialogue.

“We are dialoguing much more than before, we have more contact, [discussing] how should be the things in the future and I feel I would say comfortable with this dialogue.

“That doesn’t mean that things are going good enough for Barcelona. That is another thing. We will discuss and we will dialogue in the next times to see how to reach a balanced agreement between Liberty and Barcelona.”

The Spanish Grand Prix does not have a contract to hold a round of the 2020 F1 calendar, while the French Grand Prix’s five-year deal will keep it on the schedule until at least 2022.

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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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  • 4 comments on “French and Spanish GP promoters confirm support for FOPA”

    1. It seems FOPA FOM are closer aligned than those other guys visiting Hanoi ;)

    2. Time for us to band up and form a FOFA? Formula One Fans Association, not to be confused with the much richer and corrupt FIFA.

    3. I suspect much of FOPA’s aim is to set their flag out for when race deals and tv rights come back up for renegotiation. Many of the deals, especially the tv rights ones were negotiated by Bernie and his crony’s and Liberty had little to no control over contracts and deals signed before the tookover.

      Wasn’t there something a few weeks back about Bernie offering to negotiate for the FOPA and the promotors? They’d have to be stupid to do that imo. With Bernie negotiating for them, they’ll likely end up with a deal that looks better initially, but ends up with them paying most of their profits to Gollum himself.

      After all, he was the one demanding more and more from the tracks each time.

    4. Any confusion was merely a faux pas.

    Comments are closed.