Although as yet unconfirmed by the Formula 1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media, it seems certain that Ferrari will retain its right of veto over regulations changes.
By extension, the veto effectively grants Ferrari the sole right to approve any regulations changes – sporting and technical – should the Italian team consider these to not be in the best interests of F1. There is, though, the inherent danger that Ferrari exercises this right on the basis that ‘what is bad for Ferrari is bad for F1’, as it threatened to do in 2015 during a wrangle over future engine regulations.
Defendants of the veto point out that it has only been triggered once, back in 2009 when the FIA announced budget cap regulations. The matter was heard in the Paris High Court and, although Ferrari lost the case, this was more due to chronology and procedure than its right to veto. Although Ferrari considered an appeal, it was rendered moot after the FIA dropped said regulations anyway.
The original veto was granted to Ferrari back in the early eighties when the team was then one of few ‘pure’ racing teams in the sport producing its own chassis and engines. The team faced competition from what Enzo Ferrari called his ‘garagiste’ rivals: mostly British teams who built chassis around customer Ford Cosworth engines and Hewland gearboxes.
When asked to sign up to the first Concorde Agreement – and thus throw his lot in with the breakaway, British-centric Formula One Constructors Association against (FIA fore-runner) FISA – the Commendatore made the inclusion of a safeguard against prejudicial regulations changes a condition of his signature. Eager to have Ferrari onboard, Ecclestone agreed.
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This right has continued through all three FOCA/FIA Concorde Agreements, the 1998-2009 and 2010-12 trilateral (CRH/FIA/teams) agreements and current bilaterals (CRH/teams individually), albeit in modified form. Indeed, Ferrari’s veto right was reconfirmed by the FIA in January 2005 and July 2006, was recorded in the 2009-12 Concorde Agreement, and is referred to as ‘Ferrari’s rights and protections’ in the current bilateral agreements.
At an early stage indications were that Ferrari would lose its privileges (it also receives a substantial annual ‘Long Standing Team’ bonus) under Liberty once current covenants expire. But numerous F1 team principals in Monaco told RaceFans they understand Ferrari will retain both dispensations from 2021 onwards. One even suggested Liberty had “caved in after Ferrari threatened to walk”.
What does this retention by Ferrari of its privileges mean for other teams, and, crucially, F1? Far from providing protection for all teams, as Ferrari’s team boss Mattia Binotto implied in Spain when asked by RaceFans, it is likely to have the opposite effect, particularly where regulatory restrictions are introduced to level the playing field, and Ferrari disagrees with these for whatever self-centred reason.
Taking this argument to extremes, Ferrari could veto any cost caps that may be inserted into the sporting regulations, as it did in 2009, by arguing that annual cost caps of, say, $200m are prejudicial to F1. True, it lost the argument back then, but is likely to be better prepared this time around, while Liberty arguably needs Ferrari more than F1 did back then. In fact, seemingly all it takes is for Ferrari to threaten…
The same applies to all regulatory restrictions, be they technical or sporting; indeed, any area where Ferrari could or does hold an advantage over the rest and could lose out. The argument that Ferrari only once previously triggered it holds no water: that a ball lands on red once is no indicator where next it lands. Furthermore, Ferrari has since listed on the NYSE (RACE) stock index, and its shareholders seek maximum returns, irrespective of whether the competition they are achieved in is a fair one.
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Equally, Liberty, as a listed company, has a finite revenue pot, and any bonus paid to Ferrari dips into the amount available for distribution to the balance of teams. There is an argument that Ferrari ‘always received more than the rest’ (not true, incidentally, only since 1998) but this holds little water, for on that basis there would be no progress in F1. The sport’s strongest characteristic is that the sport (should) evolve with the times.
Consider a very real scenario: Should Liberty’s pot for any given season run to $1bn, and Liberty pays Ferrari $50m in bonuses (substantially less than the $75m to be disbursed this year) the additional payment reduces the amount available to the other nine by an average of a $5.5m. Indeed, $75m equates to an additional $7,5m for all teams, save for Ferrari, which would lose $67,5m. Imagine what midfield teams could do with that wedge…
And while some argue Ferrari could not spend any bonuses due to cost caps, it bears pointing out again that Ferrari could trigger its veto against cost caps in the first place.
By definition sport – whether individual or team, whether physical or motorised – is governed by an equitable set of regulations that serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. For as long as Ferrari derives benefits that are denied to its peers, F1 cannot be considered to be a sport. And that is prejudicial to the whole of F1.
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73 comments on “Liberty is failing F1 by letting Ferrari keep its veto”
3rd June 2019, 8:32
I thought Liberty would be better at negotiating that this. They actually let Ferrari keep this farcical right to veto… and still pay them $50mln regardless of their performance.
In return, Ferrari has proved themselves to be an incompetent team, which adds little to no value to the quality of racing. If viewers are complaining that the sport is getting ruined, it’s mostly because Ferrari are sub par competitors in an era of regulations that they should be excelling at.
I don’t see how Liberty will tackle much larger issues within the sport if they have already failed at negotiating with a team whose self interest is harming the sport.
Best of luck Liberty… you’re really going to need it.
3rd June 2019, 9:24
Your ability to negotiate depends on the leverage available to you.
Liberty bought a sport that simply didn’t exist beyond the end of the 2020 season for a price that anticipated revenues well beyond that point in time, hence their absolute need for Formula 1 to continue after the current commercial contract period, hence their position of non-leverage in the negotiations.
Luke S (@joeypropane)
3rd June 2019, 10:18
To be fair, in an era of pretty poor racing action, Ferrari’s incompetence has probably provided the best in-season entertainment.
3rd June 2019, 12:42
@todfod very well put.
3rd June 2019, 13:34
Agree with @proesterchen
It doesn’t matter how good you are at ‘negotiating’ if you don’t have a strong hand, it is (and only ever has been) about compromise.
It’s slightly off topic but this is why Brexit negotiations became torturous, there were lots of people who said they could do better but in fact it is heavily weighed in the EU favour. The best deal is available to those that are part of a group, in that sense the UK could only be worse off. As for Trumps negotiating that he is so proud of…oh dear.
3rd June 2019, 8:52
As a Ferrari and F1 fan, I was expecting something more from Liberty. I understand that Liberty is scared, but they should have planned a multi-year exit from this situation, something like “your bonus will be reduced to zero in the following 5 years”.
Ferrari is still a crucial component of F1 but I think we’re moving away from that. I may have my vision distorted by being in Italy, with all that Ferrari means here, but the openness of F1, things like their YouTube presence or Netflix show are giving the viewers more options. Also, Ferrari messing up race after race isn’t helping them. Still, I feel that the only team with a major follow is Ferrari. We don’t have as many Mercedes fans as Lewis’ fans, same goes with RBR and Verstappen. Maybe McLaren and Williams? Also there, results aren’t helping while a new generation of viewers is approaching the sport.
3rd June 2019, 10:36
Dont think even that would have gone down well with Ferrari. No enterprise would willingly offer to reduce its cash inflow unless it benefits them in a quantifiable manner.
3rd June 2019, 11:12
same sentiment here, @m-bagattini
Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
3rd June 2019, 9:00
Liberty should find an alternative. No matter what though, Ferrari mustn’t leave F1. Formula 1 needs Ferrari to survive.
3rd June 2019, 11:46
@panagiotism-papatheodorou Why would F1 need Ferrari? I don’t see a single reason. All other manufacturers went in and left I see no problem for Ferrari to do the same. For sure Haas and Alfa Romeo would have some problems but so it is for Mercedes customers if as the rumors goes it was leaving in 2021.
Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
3rd June 2019, 12:32
Ferrari is the most historic team and it isn’t even close. Most fans of F1 love Ferrari and the Tifosi are the most numerous fans. Some of the greatest drivers have raced for them.
Without Ferrari, F1 cannot survive. It isn’t the same. It part of its heritage and tradition.
3rd June 2019, 12:51
Without Ferrari, F1 would suffer, but I doubt it would perish. F1 would lose a bunch of fans, mainly Tiffosi, but there is still a large fanbase outside of the Tiffosi who would stay (and I doubt all Tiffosi would leave, anyway). If racing and entertainment improved due to a more level playing field, it could actually be beneficial in the long run.
However, without F1 Ferrari would also suffer. There is a delicate balance. I seriously doubt that Ferrari would just abandon F1 even if its veto and bonuses were revoked. They gain a great deal of prestige from being a historic F1 team battling for wins. They would threaten to leave, as they have done many times before, but I seriously doubt they would go.
Maranello staggering donkey
3rd June 2019, 20:47
Really, Ferrari are just another team. Yeah they have lots of fans, but the idea that ‘most’ F1 fans love Ferrari is nonsense, many do but plenty others don’t really care that much about them, and some actively dislike them. As far back as I can remember (into the 70’s) Ferrari have been arrogant and looked down their nose at other teams, and at times their own drivers, they’ve acted like F1 was their personal fiefdom, often with little reason if you look at their results. In recent years they were a slammed door, treating fans contemptibly by shutting them out, and frankly contributing little to the F1 ‘experience’, and it clearly did them little good. Binotto should be commended for his openness but let’s see how long they can keep that up.
The only thing ‘special’ about Ferrari in F1 is that they are the only team that have raced continuously in F1, plenty others have racing histories that go back as far, or further (Mercedes and Renault for example) but none have that unbroken record in F1. But I suspect that is worth more to Ferrari than it is to F1, because once it’s gone its gone, leave for one season and then come back and you’re just like all the other teams.
I say, next time Ferrari threaten to leave, open the door and say “do what you want”, I’d be sad but frankly I’d be over it by the second race of the season.
3rd June 2019, 12:55
@panagiotism-papatheodorou I don’t buy it. For sure Ferrari leaving would be an important milestone. But it would allow F1 to evolve to something better. And perhaps Ferrari rejoining 20 years later would be a nice story too. I don’t see why F1 would ‘collapse’ without Ferrari.
Pretty sure many manufacturers would be interested in a fair and sportive competition with reasonable budgets. The grid could even grow quite a lot. I’d say let’s get rid of veto and bonus payments, or get rid of Ferrari.
3rd June 2019, 12:57
It’s as if a single football club was telling the FIFA who needs to win and how must the payments go.
3rd June 2019, 21:44
You think if Ferrari exit F1, Mercedes will continue in F1?
But is seems most replies here are based on sentiment and not business decisions.
4th June 2019, 14:47
@rockie good question. I believe Mercedes will quit soon irrespective of whether or not Ferrari is staying. I think it shouldn’t be a problem and F1 should be able to exist no matter what brand is involved. I have no desire to see anyone go, just those unfair bonuses and vetos. Once it’s an equal and fair field i got no problem whatsoever.
3rd June 2019, 20:37
Well Ferrari are screwing everyone and themselves. They need to pull their head out of their ass or they can bring the house down sitting at the top.
3rd June 2019, 9:19
The veto is a prerequisite for Ferrari’s continued participation.
Without Ferrari, Formula 1 is worth considerably less to its owners and would generate significantly lower revenues for everyone left.
And on the point of teams left in the sport, who among the current teams would commit to participation beyond their current contract period without Ferrari also signed up?
One might argue that by continuing to grant Ferrari their veto, Liberty are indeed ensuring the continued existence of Formula 1.
3rd June 2019, 9:47
Ferrari’s position is clear, I agree.
F1 being of less value without Ferrari might seem to make sense, but it could also just be a short term effect. It depends on the other measures to be taken and frankly also depends on time. A few years up the road and less may care not seeing a Ferrari (they are a bit last generation as it is anyway).
To your point of competitors: maybe Mercedes would mind. All others will cheer for it. Why let a team participate that gets more money and more say. It is frankly unfair and will not suit a new generation of viewers.
So as to you conclusion, I would rather state: one might argue that by continuing to grant Ferrari their veto, Liberty are looking out for their short term shareholder interests, but killing the sport for a new generation.
3rd June 2019, 11:25
F1 can easily exist without Ferrari. As much as I like the team, I wouldn’t be worried the slightest if the grid was only made up of teams called Williams, McLaren, Brabham, Lotus, Tyrell, Minardi, Larousse, Matra, Ligier, Arrows, Osella, Jordan, etc.
Thinking of it, F1 might be better off buying the available names, award them all a F1 franchise, and sell them to aspiring F1 team owners.
If they also buy RBR and give each team the basics of an F1 car but allow them enough freedom to create their own final product, then you kickstart a new series almost overnight. Just make sure they all make money from day 1 (budget cap) and create value for each franchise.
3rd June 2019, 11:54
Cristian S (@crystakke)
3rd June 2019, 22:01
It’d be nice, but those teams would need an engine. Under current regulations, only 3 teams can have the same engine. If Ferrari leaves, they’ll take their engines with them too. Even if regulations are changed, doubt Mercedes would want to to supply half the field.
Also, if Ferrari leaves, I think Mercedes would be gone too within 3 years. That’s one more engine.
No other engine manufacturer would want to get into F1 with current regulations. If engine regulations are changed drastically, current manufacturers would bolt, including Mercedes and Renault.
It is fairly amusing and disappointing that the majority of people can’t see the implications of Ferrari leaving F1.
3rd June 2019, 12:11
Im certain a sport with more winners and chances of a fair fight will get more viewers than one where we are locked into 1-2 teams winning. F’s veto going is essential to get to that end point.
5th June 2019, 2:01
You think? There’s Champ Car, Indy, or whatever they’re calling it today.
3rd June 2019, 9:19
F1 should be stronger than one team, ‘should’ being the operative word, but situations like this show off how flimsy and fickle the sport actually is. No other sport would let itself be held to ransom by one team.
And Ferrari should be ashamed of itself, especially as its now common knowledge. It damages their brand and legacy far more than they realise.
3rd June 2019, 9:30
There is no grace in granting the promoters of the sport and their investors any higher percentage of the revenues generated by the teams than is absolutely necessary, nor in handing a third party leverage over your own future.
My Left Eye (@blik)
3rd June 2019, 9:34
3rd June 2019, 10:07
I don’t mind that, at all..!
3rd June 2019, 10:26
Bulls-eye Mr. Rencken.
3rd June 2019, 11:48
So true, we moan about DRS but this veto is harming F1 even more.
3rd June 2019, 13:49
Not really, because by that argument, football/soccer is also not a sport. A British team gets more money for the same achievement in the Champions League than a team from a small competition.
3rd June 2019, 14:13
I dont get your analogy. The British team gets more money because CL is a bigger competition as you stated.
What does it have to do with football not being a sport.?
Dieter calls it unfair because of the veto and the additional long standing bonus that only one team receives.
3rd June 2019, 15:59
No, if a British team makes the semi-final, they get more money than a team from a small country who reaches the semi-final. A large chunk of the prize money is given by country, not by actual result.
4th June 2019, 6:59
Ah. Didnt know that. Thanks mate.
Now your analogy makes sense, and yeah. By extension of Dieter’s argument, the British team does gets an unfair advantage.
3rd June 2019, 14:22
@aapje This is assuming an “achievement” is made in the first place. Ferrari don’t have to achieve anything to receive their exclusive bonus.
3rd June 2019, 17:05
@ninjenius Ferrari have to design and build an F1 car and show up for 21 races.
3rd June 2019, 10:59
If Liberty are truly trying to build a better F1, rather than just milk the sport for their own gain (which they are entitled to do of course, it is their train set) they need to be willing to let the teams walk. That includes Ferrari.
Ferrari having a veto and getting substantial bonuses just for turning up are bad for the sport and they need to go. Liberty should set the commercial terms, put them to the teams and if some teams leave, so be it. We’ll miss you but the sport will move on. Ferrari needs F1 to market its products, so I don’t see them ever walking away.
This attitude that some teams are more important than others is what got us here in the first place. Change, real lasting positive change, is difficult to effect and needs every one to buy into it for it to be successful. If some are just clinging to the “old ways” for the heck of it, they shouldn’t be welcome in the sport.
3rd June 2019, 11:30
Maths is never simple but dividing by 10 should not be that difficult.
There are 10 teams, every $50m paid to 1 team reduces the payment to ‘all 10 teams’ by $5m on average. The 1 team (Ferrari in this case) also gets a bit less ‘normally distributed’ payments.
3rd June 2019, 14:05
3rd June 2019, 14:26
@coldfly Perhaps it’s a veeeeeeery long-term back-pay process for the 9 teams to cancel out Ferrari’s payments :P
3rd June 2019, 11:50
The fact Ferrari have this veto and all this additional cash and still can’t win is grimly funny though.
Though seriously their veto and addtional cash needs to go – it’s completely unfair. If Ferrari walk then let them – where else are they going to go motorsport wise and have anywhere near the power, influence or fans that they do in F1? Be an almost-king in F1 with money or be an also-ran in another category? Ferrari’s will sell regardless of them being in F1 or not; I think people overestimate Ferrari’s importance to F1 and their bluff should be called.
Also with them gone maybe having cheaper engines, a realistic budget cap and fairer prize money distribution between the teams would be achieveable.
3rd June 2019, 12:08
Ferrari needs F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari. The accounting and projected revenues are blatantly clear.
Their sportscar brand is heavily dependent on its racing image so it’s in Ferrari’s best interest to throw a tantrum and retain absurd veto power.
3rd June 2019, 21:49
Ferrari’s ethos was to sell cars to fund its racing, when everyone else left, Ferrari remains the only team who has been there all along!
Try ordering a new Ferrari and you’ll understand how valuable the brand is!
3rd June 2019, 12:00
F1 will exist, perhaps even more successfully and more entertainingly, without Ferrari – everyone needs to wake up. It would be sad to see a grid without Ferrari’s but not more sad than seeing Williams at the back, or the litany of other teams through history that have fallen into administration and subsequent disappearance.
The arguments around Ferrari having such large negotiating power are laughable when you actually look at the numbers. That’s not negotiating – that’s called putting on a front to hide the fact that you’re in bed with Liberty. Liberty have shown little interest in actually progressing the sport in a meaningful way. All they’ve done are put up ridiculous statements and declarations to hide the fact that they are driven by short-term interests.
3rd June 2019, 12:41
If Ferrari didn’t have veto, they might going to leave F1 but we didn’t knew that. Even if Ferrari choose to leaved, the ones that going to reject new rule that good for F1 was only Mercedes, Renault and Honda. Just like when F1 try to get more manufacturers by ditching MGUH.
We didn’t need the veto but thinking other teams would choose the best for the sport than their own interest is just as naïve. It’s all about FIA/FOM vision on what good for F1 and how much courage they had on enforcing it.
3rd June 2019, 12:54
Surely granting Ferrari the continuation of their Veto will be on the condition of them signing up to the future regulation which will include the cost cap. Which makes the majority of this article moot.
Secondly, and from memory, wasn’t Ferrari’s objection to the original €40m cost cap on the grounds that it would cause a two tier championship with capped teams allowed to have greater technical freedoms such as twice the amount of power allowed to be produced from the then KERS system and movable wings etc.? Nevermind the then and continual wrangling over the monitoring process of capped teams and the fact that it was all due to be introduced in a bit of a rush the following season. It was all ultimately dropped by the FIA anyway which perhaps indicates that Ferrari was right to exercise the Veto in the first place.
TBH all this fuss about a Ferrari Veto that has only attempted to be used once and was rejected by the FIA anyway is a lot of fuss about nothing despite all the ‘what if’ scenarios that the anti Ferrari brigade like to trot out.
3rd June 2019, 13:01
You conveniently overlook that the power of a veto is not ‘using it’ but rather ‘having it’.
3rd June 2019, 13:23
3rd June 2019, 15:43
@coldfly Ahh the theoretical ‘power’ of having something that is never used or even threatened to be used. The only people who bring up the ‘power’ of this Veto are the media in their constant ‘what if’ and ‘Ferrari could’ comment pieces.
Can anyone point me to any rule/regulation change where Ferrari’s ‘threat’ of using the Veto has actually influenced anything?
Dieter Rencken (@dieterrencken)
3rd June 2019, 16:05
If it is only ‘theoretical’, the flip side is simple: why is Ferrari fighting to retain the veto? As for threats, there are two listed in the article, did you actually read it?
3rd June 2019, 16:39
@dieterrencken Why would I comment on an article that I hadn’t read? To be honest I have skim read it since your rather antsy comment and still can’t see a reference to a 2nd use of it!
3rd June 2019, 17:11
Well, the same case is mentioned twice. Maybe he feels that counts for two threats?
3rd June 2019, 18:28
@asanator, another example that is cited is 2015, where Ferrari vetoed the FIA’s proposals to amend the engine regulations to include a fixed maximum price that manufacturers could charge customer teams for supplying them with power units and gearboxes.
3rd June 2019, 21:07
I thought you were just looking for ‘any’ example; but maybe I misinterpreted that when skim reading your comment :P
3rd June 2019, 13:39
I’d be a little disappointed if Ferrari left… but I’m an F1 fan, and they’re damaging F1 by demanding special treatment. So I’d rather see them go than have the current unfair system stay in place.
Kim Philby (@philby)
3rd June 2019, 14:09
“For as long as Ferrari derives benefits that are denied to its peers, F1 cannot be considered to be a sport.”
What a naive and romantic statement.
F1 is a show run by a company whose only interest is to generate more revenue. Ferrari is the most popular participant of the show, the biggest name, and due to its marquee value gets a bigger cut. Businessess have been run like that for ages.
In the “mission impossible” franchise gets Tom Cruise gets the bigger cut, the same universal priciple applies here too.
Dieter Rencken (@dieterrencken)
3rd June 2019, 14:18
Last time I looked Mission Impossible was a Hollywood production and not a sport. Feel free to reduce current F1 to Hollywood’s level…Netflix may even agree with you.
3rd June 2019, 15:44
@dieterrencken Haven’t you heard? F1 is now entertainment don’t ya know ;)
3rd June 2019, 14:44
What I find strange about this whole veto and bonus situation is how many people can’t understand how Ferrari is behaving now.
Say you work with other 9 people. You work for the company since the beginning and are considered a good asset for it: the customers know you, the company can count on you and knows that part of the profit is because you’re there: is not that you’re selling a lot, but you keep on maintaining old time customers. So, in the years, you have accumulated some benefits your co-workers don’t have.
You have a car payed by the company as well as a conspicuous bonus at the end of the year. Surely, you’re not as brilliant as you were at the beginning: the new guys are smarter, faster, they sell a lot, but you can count on your experience.
Then the company changes property: the new owner now wants to look into these inequities.
What’s your approach? You go there and say “fair enough, we’re all on the same boat and my colleagues are as good as me, so here’s the key of the car”? Or you go there and say “I understand the company view but I gained these benefits because this and that, and I’d like to keep them. I’m here since the beginning and I’m here also because these benefits; otherwise, I’ll feel free to look elsewhere”.
What will the new ownership approach be? Everyone’s the same, so let’s remove these bonuses? Or something like “we can remove these bonuses, but if we lose the guy a good slice of long-term customers will stop working with us, since they follow him, not the company”?
David BR (@david-br)
3rd June 2019, 16:22
Presumably being booted out of Formula 1 isn’t their ideal scenario then?
David BR (@david-br)
3rd June 2019, 16:23
As in: no veto available, accept it or leave.
3rd June 2019, 17:13
Ferrari needs to be told – “Don’t let the door hit on the bum when you leave”.
A huge percentage of the bonus Ferrari receives is coming from the UK, in payments made by us to Sky. Oh, how the red team must laugh at the home of F1 topping up their bank balance.
As for the veto, there should be no argument, it’s cowardly and would not be allowed in any other sport.
3rd June 2019, 17:15
I have to say the additional $100 a year was worse than the veto. Even worse was the FIArari attitude that the FIA was actively aiding Ferrari. Even going so far as to go and fight their own stewards decisions in front of the council with some ludicrous interpretation of the rules just to help Ferrari.
Not sure what Ferrari has to gain with this veto though. They claim they don’t use it, so why keep it. If a veto needs to exist for the sake of F1 then maybe grant it to a majority vote of all the teams?
3rd June 2019, 19:18
No, no, no!
You got all wrong!
Liberty is allowing Ferrari to protect and save F1! ;)
3rd June 2019, 19:50
Well, if Ferrari is really adamant to keep their veto then give the same right to everybody else.
Therefore all the decisions on changing the rules in F1 can only be achieved with a consensus of all the participating teams. Which pretty much guarantees nothing will ever be decided, even things that Ferrari wants to push through, unless everyone is prepared to compromise.
Then we might start moving in the right direction.
3rd June 2019, 21:12
And let them veto vetoes, so only a veto stands if more than half the voters want to veto a decision ;)
4th June 2019, 20:40
3rd June 2019, 21:34
No team should have a say in the regulations of the sport. So denying Ferrari their veto and bonus is just part of the solution.
But I’m afraid Liberty and the FIA don’t have the long term b***s to do something about it…
Up to then, like Dieter says, F1 is not a sport.
3rd June 2019, 22:18
Running the sport in fear that Ferrari will walk is to invite disaster. Liberty overpaid for F1 and now risk making a bad situation worse by entrenching one of the problems they most need to fix. F1 is losing viewers at a rate of knots. Getting f1 back on terrestrial TV – especially in those countries that have historically been big F1 markets – must be a priority. Making the racing better must also be on Liberty’s to do list. Compare F1 with MotoGP and weep. When only three teams have won a race in many seasons, it is little wonder viewers are slipping away. Why pay to watch something that is so contrived, so over-managed, so predictable? The role of Ferrari is central to all this. Without their special payments and veto (used more as a threat than anything), they wouldn’t ever win a race. Give half that money to Renault or Williams and they’d be racking up the silverware like mad. Ferrari are holding the sport to ransom – we get our way or we walk. How I would love to see that ultimatum come about. Where else are they going to go? No other series would ever give one team such special status – it would be decried as favoritism, or worse, cheating. Liberty risk far more by caving in to Ferrari than they do by calling their bluff.
3rd June 2019, 23:52
Liberty is failing would probably have been a better headline as this is yet another example of things pretty much continuing as they are.
In some ways I can understand why – they bought an entity that was pretty much performing at peak profit for the owners but was locked in to the very rules and regulations that they find themselves unable to change.
What I can’t understand is why they bought it thinking that it would just continue to be the cash cow that it was.
Maybe they’ll make a Netflix show out of the “crucial last minute negotiations” that will happen over the new few weeks as they actually try to put together the regulations for 2021 and beyond because the only think they seem to understand is the word “show”.
4th June 2019, 1:08
I disagree with your article completely. The reason Ferrari got the veto are still valid today, perhaps even more so. Without Ferrari, Formula 1 essentially becomes “British Indycar”. Three quarters of the fans would go away, along with most of the money. Ferrari is worth every penny. Liberty, the FIA and all of the other teams know this. Negotiating with Ferrari to keep the veto might be one of the few things Liberty has done right.
4th June 2019, 7:24
It has long been said that F1 is a business that turns itself into a sport only at the weekends. This is true, the moment a F1 team runs out of money its doors close and goes out of business. But look at football, my local team who have never done anything are £2m in debt and have been for 15years!!!!!! How are they still allowed to operate? But now look at Mercedes, they have crushed the opposition for the last 5 years with no competition, yet come 2020 they will leave the sport as a full team and resort back to engine production only. Would anyone like to explain that? Are they so upset of Ferrari’s veto that they are leaving? no. Are they concerned that they don’t get enough money from F1? no. They are leaving cos it suits them. And when it suits them they will come back just like Renault and Honda and Ford have both done in the past. Yes we need equal parity for the teams and the regulations so the veto must go, but what are you left with if a sport cannot retain the people to back it? There maybe a price to be paid to have 1 company tie itself to you, the balancing act is not to tie yourself so closely you both drown.
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