Start, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2019

Revealed: What Liberty told teams about its plans for F1 2021

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“Liberty is fully aware that it will be impossible to make everyone happy, so their strategy is one of making as few people as possible unhappy,” one team principal told RaceFans after Liberty Media revealed to teams the latest on its plans for Formula 1 in 2021 and beyond.

But what exactly did they reveal? Will they overhaul F1’s prize money and introduce a cost cap? Will they scrap Ferrari’s power of veto, shorten grand prix weekends and create a new ‘qualifying race’?

The teams were tight-lipped publicly, but @DieterRencken has uncovered what they were shown last week, and whether they are likely to accept it.

The ways of Formula 1’s masters are baffling, even at the best of times. At a media briefing held in Melbourne during the build-up to the Australian Grand Prix, FIA President Jean Todt and Liberty Media CEO/chairman Chase Carey jointly announced that a post-2020 progress summit would be convened in London on March 26, held in conjunction with a combined Strategy Group/F1 Commission meeting.

So far so good, for news about the progress made by both motorsport’s F1’s governing body and the sport’s commercial rights holder towards a total revamp of F1 had been eagerly awaited by teams, race promoters, broadcasters, fans and media alike. The last formal session had been held a year ago, in Bahrain.

Yet during the meeting a vow of silence was imposed on all delegates. This begs the questions: Why whet the appetites of all and sundry during a media call, then not issue even the briefest of official statements afterwards?

Frederic Vasseur, Zak Brown, Guenther Steiner, Franz Tost, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019
Team bosses kept quiet over the Liberty summit
Does F1 have so little respect for its half-billion-strong fan base and all the entities that enable ten teams to blow two billion bucks annually on making 20 cars go fast on as many Sundays per year that they are kept in the dark about F1’s biggest overhaul in recent history?

One hears from sources that a template had been prepared, ready for copy and statements to be dropped in as and when they arrived – and then a news blackout was decided upon. By whom? That too is blacked out.

However, despite the veil of silence and some mixed messages, following discussions with sources during the weekend our (informed) perceptions are that there are six very good reasons for the silence. Simply put, seemingly very little if any tangible progress was made over the past 12 months on the six key items.

These are, of course: a revised governance process to replace the current cumbersome Strategy Group/F1 Commission/World Motor Sport Council procedure; more equitable revenue distribution across the board; realistic and auditable cost cap regulations; and a trio of cheaper and more effective sporting and technical regulations, with last-named covering both chassis and engine clauses.

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However, about the only attributable comments about the meeting were obtained during Friday’s FIA press conference, when this website asked the quartet of team delegates – Guenther Steiner (Haas), Zak Brown (McLaren), Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), and Frederic Vasseur (Alfa Romeo) – to describe the progress made since Liberty’s original proposal was presented – in Bahrain – a year ago.

All the right noises were made on Friday, then Steiner stated that progress had been made “in the understanding of what needs to be done that everybody agrees. And that is not written on paper”.

Pat Symonds, Paul Ricard, 2018
Liberty has recruited many former team staff
Don’t shoot the messenger, for Steiner was simply playing it as straight as ever – but his comments indicate that in the two years that have lapsed since Liberty acquired Formula One Management and with it the sport’s commercial rights, its executives are still trying to get a proper handle on the teams and their business models.

Brown’s response to the same question raises further doubts as to whether headway was made: “There has definitely been progress in that we now have a deal in front of us to react to…” Unsaid was that it took a year to reach a stage where “a deal is in front of us”, this despite a substantial number of ex-team folk recruited by Liberty over the past two years, all of whom have solid insights into the various team business models.

One team boss who was not in the press conference, talking on condition of anonymity, opined that the protracted timeframe could form part of Liberty’s negotiating strategy: “By leaving it this late they’ve closed the window for Mercedes and Ferrari to try and start a breakaway series, but it does mean that F1 has backed itself into a corner with the FIA’s 18-month rule.”

The source was, of course, referring to clauses in the FIA’s International Sporting Code that stipulate that F1 operates to 18-month notice periods for major regulation changes that could have a “substantial impact on the technical design of the automobile and/or the balance of performance between the automobiles unless overriding covenants such as a Concorde Agreement override these clauses.

The mere fact that no alternate agreements exist with less than three months remaining before the clock starts ticking down on 1st January 2021 indicates just how ill-prepared for 2021 the sport appears to be.

It was known last year that the ISC provisions could, yet Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff told Sky that the teams are now seeking to delay the process: “We’re discussing whether to extend the deadline. I think you could do it with a unanimous decision, but we need to check it from a legal standpoint.” How long do team lawyers need to check something that is so obvious, with scores of precedents?

Whatever, the deadline can be delayed, but that would require agreement from all – including the FIA and Liberty. Based on what some of Wolff’s peers said in Bahrain they are unlikely to agree, for compressed timeframes make life tougher for independent teams than for majors, as Williams recently experienced after the current regulations were signed-off late. Could that be the cornerstone of Wolff’s delaying tactic?

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From mixed messages floating about the Bahrain paddock it is absolutely clear that not one of the six key areas is totally sorted. Some are closer to final resolution while in other areas there seems to have been some regression since last year’s meeting.

One example: When I asked about the level of the budget cap, six team bosses, all of whom attended the same meeting, provided six different takes on the matter – including the proposed level of cap, and in/exclusions. Some said “under $200m all-in”; another said “way over”. There were non-committal answers about ‘pay drivers’: if driver salaries are excluded from the cap, is pay driver income included?

Indeed, one team boss didn’t know whether the ‘glide path’ to phase in the budget cap would happen. Were they feigning ignorance? Possibly – yet they had been open about all other aspects.

Nonetheless, based on our off-record conversations from last weekend the progress made in the six key areas can be summarised as follows:

Governance

FIA, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019
FIA and FOM will have a stronger rule-making role
The FIA’s area of responsibility after FOM, admittedly acting upon instructions of previous owner CVC Capital Partners, who conjured up the current dysfunctional process that sees half the teams effectively excluded from the regulatory process.

Ferrari will retain its power of veto of regulations changes. However it will become “softer”, effectively giving the team the right of appeal to the FIA only “if the DNA of the sport changes substantially”.

“The example used is the introduction of standard cars with V12s”, was how one source described it.

The proposal provides for streamlining the rule-making process. The Strategy Group will fall away and the present 24-member F1 Commission reduced to only the FIA, FOM and all participating teams – thus a sort of ‘Super Strategy Group’, with the teams having one vote each and the FIA/FOM 10 apiece, with no representation for race promoters and technical/commercial partners. Motions will be escalated to the World Motor Sport Council for ratification.

Although voting for most changes will be on a simple majority basis (50 per cent plus 1 vote), provision is made for a complex vote structure where major changes are tabled, or short timeframes are demanded. There are, though, concerns that voting is weighted in favour of FIA/FOM, placing teams at a disadvantage.

“I think the FIA is trying regain majority control, and who can blame them given the current debacle,” said a source. “But they risk alienating the teams in the process…”

Readiness: 6/10

Revenue distribution

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Melbourne, 2019
F1’s midfielders receive a small share
A contentious area: although a more equitable structure was discussed, team bosses felt final details were missing. Bonuses will be paid, but at reduced levels, with Ferrari in line for around $50m per annum, and others paid according to a heritage/performance table – based on a mix of historic championship wins and rolling ten-year classifications. Thus, over time, every team could conceivably earn a bonus.

Expressed differently, unless Haas scores some top results soon it is unlikely to receive bonuses but Williams – which celebrates 50 years in F1 this year and boasts an enviable historic record – would be in line for various payouts despite recently placing down the current order. The same goes for McLaren, while Alfa Romeo/Sauber would qualify for a heritage money, but not championship bonuses.

Thus there are three payment categories: Columns one and two as per the current prize money table, plus column three – based on performance/heritage criteria. According to a team boss the total ‘pot’, currently around $1bn, will still be about two-thirds of underlying revenues, with column three being significantly less than current bonus payments – in turn affecting Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren, in that order.

It seems the proposed ex-gratia $10m annual payment to engine suppliers has been scrapped.

A paddock straw poll indicated that the top three would be around $30m/annum worse off under the deal, McLaren down by around $5m and the likes of Renault/Racing Point benefitting by $25m.

Readiness: 7/10

Cost cap

Mattia Binotto, Toto Wolff, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019
Ferrari and Mercedes may have to slash their spending
The only certainty is there will be a cost cap but the devil lurks in the detail regarding the inclusion and exclusions as outlined above. While major teams are pushing for driver salaries (and earnings of up to three executives) to be excluded, one independent team boss pointed out that superstars bring valuable lap time, yet are not restricted by caps, as are other performance-related activities such as wind tunnel hours.

What sense in paying a driver $40/annum, but restricting wind tunnel time to 10 hours/week?

A three-year cost cap glide-path is likely, equating on paper to $200m/$175m/$150m – but the raft of exclusions could easily push that to realistically more like $250m/$225m/$200m. This is still significantly less than what F1’s richest teams spent in 2018.

Readiness: 6/10

Sporting regulations

A curate’s egg: on one hand little or no investment is required to bring changes to bear where on-track and weekend activities are concerned, but potentially a hornet’s nest when it comes to cost and manpower restrictions, and listed and standardised parts (strictly speaking these are sporting elements).

What has become clear is that weekend timetables will be condensed to reduce time spent away. Although events will still cover four days, programmes will start later so teams can potentially arrive a day later. Expect first practice to start after Friday lunch, with second practice running into evening, and various running changes to qualifying and tyre usage regulations. But, fortunately, no qualifying race, as had been threatened.

On the off-track side, further restrictions are planned to reduce manning levels and related costs, although the big sporting regulation is, of course, the cost cap.

Readiness: 5/10

Engine regulations

Effectively little change to what was eventually agreed last year after it emerged no newcomers had expressed interest after proposed changes aimed at reducing costs of entry were tabled – which would, though, have penalised existing suppliers, who would have incurred development costs.

Expect post-2020 engines to be much the same as present; subjected, though, to dynamometer restrictions and other cost-saving regulations under a revised sporting code. It seems the overall plan is to aim for a major engine revamp in 2025, when the current crop will have seen service for 12 years old.

Readiness: 8/10

Technical regulations

F1 2021 'India' concept
F1’s new 2021 concept car analysed
Plans for changes to F1 body shapes were largely based on research undertaken by FOM’s technical team headed by Pat Symonds working in conjunction with Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s head of single seater technical matters, and supported by studies undertaken by teams on their behalf, the 2021 technical regulations are edging towards finalisation.

Two chassis concepts resulted: Hotel and India. Intended to help cars run together much more easily than at present, they feature basic wings, no barge boards, but with ground effects and large diffusers. Expect covered wheel rims to reduce drag, fared-in halos and possibly canard fins.

An ‘India 2’ concept will be ready in May, in time for outline regulations to be submitted to the WMSC by the end of June.

Readiness: 7/10

Overall readiness: 7/10

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Conclusion

F1 logo, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019
The teams are no longer in the dark about Liberty’s plans
Until all keys required to unlock the various areas are available it is impossible to accurately gauge the progress made, but clearly much still remains open – particularly as many areas are interrelated, yet are not all are regulated by the International Sporting Code. For example, although the regulations may impose cost restrictions, the prize ‘pot’ falls outside the FIA’s ambit – yet ultimately affects teams’ spending.

Where to next? No formal meeting date has yet been set, but the teams met for breakfast in Bahrain on Sunday and another meeting is set for today 2pm at Racing Point’s headquarters. The indications are most team bosses will teleconference in rather than travel. Informal meetings are expected to be called during grand prix weekends, with a big one on Monaco Friday.

In the final analysis it is clear is that the FIA/FOM staved off the threat of a breakaway series while seemingly keeping Ferrari and Mercedes onboard. Yes, they may still exit F1, but the regulations provide no excuse for them to do so. Equally, the independents are smiling, for they again have a fighting chance.

It seems FOM achieved its objective of making everybody only a little bit unhappy.

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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...

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  • 65 comments on “Revealed: What Liberty told teams about its plans for F1 2021”

    1. Great stuff @dieterrencken Thanks for the summation of where they are at this point. It’s highly complex and no one said it was going to be easy, especially since they have to do some trimming and clawing back from a period of excess and greed. From my armchair I’ll take 7/10 of overall readiness at this point as a huge positive.

      1. I agree it’s a great summation and really well put together.

        The fact that there’s still a way to go is concerning, particularly when you have some (if not all) teams that have their own agendas.

        It a bit of a cat and mouse situation (and happened with Bernie too), everyone holds out until the last minute before getting agreements in place to force the other side into giving ground to “get the thing finalised by the deadline”. It’ll be interesting to see which team (and when) finally comes clean and is the first to say “we don’t want xxxxxxx” at which point the rabble will start.

        Invariably in any project, getting 70 or 80% there is pretty easy, getting that last bit finishe is the bit that takes a lot of time effort and energy.

        Given it’s only 7/10 with only a short time to go, I’m not sure I share your confidence @robbie but then that’s probably no surprise to you as we’ve disagreed on this previously.

        1. @dbradock Yeah I really see little need for pessimism as at some point the teams will come together and sooner than later, and many aspects of F1 that need improving are being agreed and addressed. Whatever negotiations and compromises remain, I don’t see any key aspect ending up worse than we got from the BE era. I don’t expect perfection from Liberty from day one of their first actual real and substantial influence post-BE-contracts, but they will all have a much better F1 from which to work. Even if a few aspects they are addressing don’t change right away, they will eventually, and the majority of aspects will be addressed. So for me, unless one were to try to argue the teams are at such loggerheads F1 will end after 2020, which is a ridiculous notion as there is no evidence of that, then I say it will all work out and it will mean better times ahead than we had from BE. Simply can’t see how F1 will be worse off under Liberty and Brawn.

    2. Reminds me of the Brexit joke. A lot of words but nothing happens. This will go on for some time still. And probably be delayed.

      Politicians say one thing, and then actually do the opposite. Its like Ross Brawn and DRS.

      1. I believe there will be a culmination point, because there has to be, where in a very short time span much of this will come together. The players are likely keeping their cards close to their vest for now.

        I don’t get your Brawn and DRS reference.

        1. Brawn: “I don’t like DRS, it’s a gimmick” [not a direct quote]
          2019 regulations: Massive DRS gap and more DRS zones.

          1. Pretty certain you’ll be eating your words in 2021.

            And the aero and DRS changes have already given us a classic race in 2019. Ross Brawn knows what he’s doing more than you lot.

            1. Ross Brawn knows a lot about lining his own pockets which is what he really is all about. He’s been saying all of this for decades and nothing ever gets done nor will get done. The rules will bounce around and when he feels he needs more attention there will be another “working group” in five years. Lather, rinse, repeat.

          2. Brawn: “I don’t like DRS, it’s a gimmick” [not a direct quote]

            In that same interview (if not sentence) Brawn said as well that in the short term DRS might have to increase.
            Look it up.
            @robinsonf1, @robbie

            1. Hey @coldfly and RB13! I was just helping @robbie know where the DRS/Brawn/politician similarity lies.

              What’s funny is that Ross says he doesn’t like something but goes against it anyway. Whether he makes an excuse for it or not, and however short term it is, it’s very much like a politician!

            2. @robinsonf1 I don’t see any DRS on the India Concept!

            3. @robinsonf1, this might be the interview you were referring to.

              As Brawn said, he hopes that DRS is “a feature we can turn off”.
              But he is crystal clear that it is here to stay, probably until 2021. No inconsistency there as alleged by the original poster.

            4. @coldfly I remember he said it in an interview with Martin Brindle on SkyF1 about a year ago, no reference/link I’m afraid.

              Anyway the technical/sporting regs for 2021 aren’t released yet so there’s still plenty of scope for some gimmicks. Maybe then we’ll be talking about the politician similarity again (say one thing and do the other) – although I hope not!

      2. F1 seems to be lightyears ahead of Brexit, @vjanik.
        But then again, even a chess game ending in stalemate seems to be lightyears ahead of Brexit

        1. “But then again, even a chess game ending in stalemate seems to be lightyears ahead of Brexit”
          Yes indeed, however many similarities here. Ferrari the DUP of F1!
          All they need to do now is to reject the plan and all alternative including not having a plan.

      3. José Lopes da Silva
        3rd April 2019, 23:31

        It’s not the politicians. The people voted for a thing and then elected politicians to do the opposite of that thing.

        1. So, just to be clear, I pretty much knew what @vjanik was referring to wrt Brawn and drs, but wanted to hear him expand on it.

          Brawn is no fan of drs and such a gadget will not be needed in 2021. For now Brawn and Liberty are stuck with these cars that they inherited that are too aerodynamically dependent on running in clean air for optimum performance. I think there are a number of people who have not read into what is going on carefully enough to understand that the only reason he has increased drs is because he is trying to prevent processions while he is stuck with these cars. That is not to be confused with the unprecedented work they are doing for the 2021 cars which will be might and day different.

          I repeat, just because Brawn has increased drs this year does not mean he is a fan of it whatsoever. He’s just trying to improve the show a bit with these cars that are not meant to follow each other closely. The next cars will have no trouble doing that.

          1. Do you know how many times i heard that?

            DRS was supposed to be a temporary thing, introduced in 2011. And here we are, two major rules overhauls later (2014 + 2017), and DRS is still here and even more powerful. I will believe it when it happens.

            DRS was just an example though. Who knows what else we will see. I think like with Brexit they will ask for an extension :-)

            1. @vjanik Of course, the glaring difference being Liberty and Brawn had no say in the last major overhauls, and their say kicks in post-BE-contracts through 2020. As we have already seen from the proposals of the 2021 cars, no drs is wanted nor needed.

    3. I don’t know whether to be concerned or optimistic…

      1. I’m confused. The article starts out saying there has been no progress in a year, but that it’s all going to work out. It feels like Bernie wrote the first part and Dieter wrote the second.

        1. I said little ‘tangible progress’ made, not none. That is the state of play – in that not much has changed in a year, but at least the ground rules are now more firmly in place.

    4. So, what’s the verdict @dieterrencken? Should we laugh…or cry?

      1. It’s too early for a definitive verdict – but whatever tears there may be, won’t be tears of joy…

        1. Thanks for the fair warning, Dieter. Will tissues be covered by Liberty or will we have to supply our own? ;-)

    5. Given F1’s form in this regard and what the top teams stand to lose, I’m quite pleased with the progress that has been made to date.

      1. Agree, @geemac. They are small concessions, but concessions nonetheless.

    6. Thanks @dieterrencken

      To a fan, the situation isn’t looking all too rosy, but it certainly gives me hope of something positive being accomplished in the months to come.
      After all that talk about a breakaway series and teams quitting in disagreement, I am glad they have taken a step towards progress.

    7. LM can not be the solution because they are the problem. The teams should break away and the FIA should join the. LM stealing half off the top will never allow F1 to be as great as it could and should be.

      Also, vettel is proving that it is far too easy for a mediocre driver in a dominant car to win multiple championships. So a reverse wdc grid sprint race to help determine the grid(along with low fuel qually as it currently is) of the grand prix would both improve the show and make championships much more an indicator of who the best driver is. It would also massively boost Saturday ticket sales and viewer numbers.

        1. Have any reasons or did it just hurt your feelings?

          1. @megatron The couple of attempts at a breakaway series failed miserably. Granted it was long time ago, but the chances that all teams would ever come to any unanimous agreement on anything are as non-existent as ever. As for Vettel, one does not become multiple World Champion by being mediocre driver…regardless of equipment. Besides, his first win came in Toro Rosso and nobody since then achieved anything remotely similar to that…Kimi with two wins for Lotus came somewhat close, perhaps.

            1. You are wrong, the teams had to unanimously agree to the rule granting a point for fast lap for this year. They also unanimously agreed to bernie’s idiotic Abu double and knock out qually, and then unanimously agreed to get rid of them. I guarantee you that the teams would unanimously agree to double their revenue, and that is exactly what would happen by getting rid of LM by way of a break away. All that is needed is the right person to put them together and for the FIA to back them.

              Vettel is mediocre, and proves it every race weekend. He probably isn’t even a top 5 F1 driver. Monza 08 was luck because of weather and all the fast drivers started from the back. It was a fluke, and that is exactly why he has never repeated it.

      1. Yes I always liked that on WTC. It forces the drivers in the fast cars to fight for it. It sure adds more overtaking.

        They would need to sort out the overtaking issues though. Although in Bahrain it seemed to go just fine. Half a race with one stop should allow for enough tyre to actually fight.

      2. Half the people “in the know” are always telling us that we are naive to treat F1 as a “sport” because it is simply all business. The other half “in the know” tell us that Liberty is sucking the life out of F1. The reality is that unless there is something of a level playing field upon which all teams build, the sporting aspect is a farce. Any Column 3 payments at all are unsporting and anti-competitive. Bonuses to Williams for what they did decades ago are ridiculous. Ferrari are extortion artists and should leave the sport if simple participation doesn’t provide enough financial and marketing benefits.

        Telling Liberty Media to leave and not let the door hit them in the behind on their way out is insipid and childish. Since LM owns ALL of the contracts and controls the F1 commercial rights, they ARE F1. The FIA sold out years ago. The people at the FIA are nothing more than bureaucrats and administrators.

        Column 1 basic shares, Column 2 payments based on previous year performance, and a $250 million budget cap (for starters). No column 3 payments. No more corrupt side deals. Every team is treated the same. If you want to generate publicity, sales, and prize money you need to do it by performing on the track.

    8. Negotiations like this, with opposing interests, only really begin a short time before the deadline; everything else is just posturing. It sounds to me like LM are doing a great job with that, steadily applying pressure to move the goalposts, without saying anything definite that the big teams could attack.

    9. Suvesh Misra
      3rd April 2019, 14:53

      Don’t like the sound of this: “Dynamometer restrictions” – That means HP restrictions on engines. This has never been what F1 is about.

      1. No, it means restrictions on dynamometer usage, otherwise I would have written ‘horsepower restrictions’.

        1. @dieterrencken, would those limitations be just on the time that could be spent using a dynamometer, or would there also be restrictions on the type of dynamometer that could be used?

          1. I believe they are looking at standard wind tunnel, CFD and dynamometer computing clusters for control and cost purposes

    10. Half-billion-strong fan base? This one seems pulled out of someones behind. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling the world and believe me when I say that 1 out of every 15 people on the planet being a fan of F1 is truly preposterous.

      1. The verified TV viewer figure is 400m and there are all sorts of online and hacked feeds.

      2. @darryn, Indeed. Sounds like they are adding everybody who watched some part of an F1 session at some point during the year. That doesn’t make them a “fan”.

        1. @f1osaurus Yeah. That’s what I figured as well. They must be including everyone that is in a household and pub at the time of the showing as well as the 100 million we just lost from the time that the article was written until now. I get why they want to inflate the numbers, but that is just ridiculous to increase it by 10 fold. It’s a niche of a niche and calling it a “fan base” makes it even more implausible. Maybe half a billion views if you count me as watching 40 sessions a year.

          1. BlackJackFan
            4th April 2019, 2:52

            It also used to be the case (I can’t keep up with all the more recent skullduggery) that viewing/attendance figures were arrived at by adding the people who watched/attended on each practice day to the race day figures… when it is probable that the Friday/Saturday people were the same people as were present on Sunday…
            To collate them all together for attendance figures is one thing but to claim these Friday/Saturday people as additional fans seems twisted logic to me – if not just dishonest.

            1. Suffice it to say the audience is large and Liberty plans on growing it. I’m sure the method for calculating the audience, even if it takes licence in some regards, is no different than it was in the BE days. I’ll take the word of @dieterrencken over a few armchair pessimists all day long.

            2. @robbie Of course. Some people will be able to use their own brain to think for themselves. While others just blindly follow (clearly made up) numbers on a blog. If the latter is your thing, go for it.

            3. BlackJackFan
              5th April 2019, 5:04

              Hi Robbie… But you also take the words of Horner and Marko above all… lol.
              Did you ever come across the song: Cockeyed Optimist…? ;-)

      3. I too enjoy laughing every time this figure is trotted out. But if it makes investors feel better then have at it!

    11. “Liberty is fully aware that it will be impossible to make everyone happy, so their strategy is one of making as few people as possible unhappy,”
      This is a bad sign. I think one of the few things Bernie had right that you need a dictatorship to run F1. This concept of trying to please everyone or even worse not make anyone unhappy is a recipe for disaster.

      1. Ya because dictatorships are just great.

        1. BlackJackFan
          4th April 2019, 2:59

          Hi Robbie… It is possible that some ‘dictatorships’ do (and have) done more for their people than some so-called ‘democracies’ – if only in the short-term…
          Some western ‘democracies’ have, in the past 10-20 years behaved more like ‘latent dictatorships…
          For a ‘half-full’ man I was surprised to see you so downhearted re. dictatorships… ;-)
          [No disrespect intended.]

          1. BlackJackFan Staying with the F1 theme of this site, and wrt BE ‘having it right,’ if he had it right Liberty wouldn’t have to be correcting all the aspects of the sport they find themselves having to tackle.

            It would be ridiculous to suggest BE made everyone happy nor cared who was unhappy except for the top teams toward which he handed too much power. Lesser teams are so ‘happy’ that now Liberty has to step in and try to balance somewhat the huge and unsustainable imbalance that a dictator created.

            1. BlackJackFan
              5th April 2019, 5:09

              Hi Robbie – I never mentioned BE, nor “having it right”, or “happy”, so I don’t know who you’re disparaging when responding to my post… ;-)
              Your comment referred to “dictatorships” in general, and I responded thus. Please do not subvert my comments to bolster your own views.

        2. @robbie What’s wrong with a dictatorship? My boss is actually a god which is one step further on from a dictatorship. We don’t vote on how much we get paid or how to do the work. He tells me and I do it. We’re also not talking about a government. All businesses I have worked for are dictatorships. I don’t think it’s good to have the employees(teams) having so much say and power.

          1. The teams are not employees of Liberty. At least not yet. They invest far far more money into the sport than Liberty has or ever will.

            Liberty May pretend to be the boss, but they are no more than glorified booking agents with exclusive venue contracts.

          2. @darryn Many people bring their talents to a company and that includes negotiating their salary and benefits. And once they are hired they expect to indeed be part of a team and have their say by adding their very talents that brought the employer and employee together.

            You equate the teams to your version of what an employee should be, and prefer they have neither so much say nor power, yet dictator BE gave four top teams an imbalance of power over the lesser teams and Liberty has to now clean up the problematic mess that has been left in BE’s wake. Yeah, no thanks, I’ll take Liberty’s approach over BE’s any day.

            1. BlackJackFan
              5th April 2019, 5:12

              This isn’t a discussion about: Liberty v. BE… You have twisted it to deliver your own rhetoric… lol.

            2. BlackJackFan
              5th April 2019, 5:13

              This isn’t a discussion about: Liberty v. BE… You have twisted it to deliver your own narrow rhetoric… lol.

    12. It seems the proposed ex-gratia $10m annual payment to engine suppliers has been scrapped.

      If there are going to be budget caps and head counts then there needs to be an exception for those associated with the designing and building of engines, and again there needs to be an exception for people who are designing and building hybrid systems.
      F1 is the premier open wheel racing series, and arguably it is the premier closed circuit racing series too. Because it is it needs to have the best engine and hybrid technology available. If engine and hybrid system manufacturers cut back on research and development then maybe F1 can pretend for a few years they are leading the world, but after that the engine and hybrid suppliers to other racing series will overtake those supplying F1, meaning F1 won’t be the premier closed circuit racing series and the premier open wheel racing series. The only way to keep F1 ahead of those other racing series is to ensure manufacturing power systems is funded correctly and have sufficient staff to do the necessary designing and building, which means exemptions for that in the head counts and budget caps.

      1. Agree, Unless Liberty/FIA no longer care for F1 to be the premier motorsport.

        1. BlackJackFan
          5th April 2019, 5:21

          I’m not disputing your main points here – except one. F1 has not always “led the world”. There have been instances where F1 has adopted ‘road-car’ technology… right back to when Mike Hawthorn had the disc brakes removed from his Jaguar XK and fitted to his F1 Ferrari… and perhaps further back…
          [No doubt anon will correct this if my memory is playing up…]

    13. So the single area that is given the highest readiness rating is also one of the lamest aspects of the sport at the moment. Nice. Fingers crossed for 2025!

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