If you replaced Bernie Ecclestone what would you do with F1?

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    What would you do if you owned f1?
    tell us everything from rules and regulations too tracks and TV deals


    Get rid of double points (or double the race distance in Abu dhabi – it’d be even more of a lottery but at least it’d be fair), paint tarmac run-offs with some kind of colour (preferable green), live streaming licensed under a copyleft license (but with CGI) or a paid CGI-less feed (and drive TV channels to the latter one way or another).

    Oh, and do the post-race interviews.

    And a race in France.

    And monsoon tyres.


    yeah that’s what I would do to. I would alos add more classic European tracks like Anderstorp in Sweden and I would sign tv deals with FREE TV channels so more people would watch F1


    The main thing that I would do is change the points system so that it goes right down to the back marker teams.

    In years gone by, how will we know how competitive Virgin, Lotus and Hispania were in 2010? They all scored no points, thus at first glance appear to be equal. Likewise drivers like Kovaleinen looked as talented as Karthikeyen and Yamamoto. Plus a storming recovery drive from last to 11th looks the same points-wise as a disappointing last place, lapped 4 times including by your teammate through no reason other than bad driving!

    It will also emphasise reliability, as DNFs will still get no points.

    Other than that, Id stop all of these stupid “improve the show” ideas. Change DRS (to a set amount of use per lap, used anywhere and anytime the driver wishes – like KERS), no double points (maybe have double points but for double distance etc).

    Iestyn Davies

    Firstly, I would immediately change the prize money structure. Give Ferrari’s ‘special payment’ to Caterham/Marussia, so they definitely survive, and implement a more equitable Column 2, more like the Premier League, i.e. 100-90-85-80-75-70-65-60-55-50-45-40-35m = $850m decided by WCC position. $150m can be an ‘engine hybridisation subsidy’ of $11.5m each, making $1bn prize money, added to Column 1’s $35m for each team entry, another $455m, making $1.45bn.

    Thus, teams would get: $146.5m, $136.5m, $131.5m, $126.5m, $121.5m, $116.5m, $111.5m, $106.5m, $101.5m, $96.5m, $91.5m, $86.5m, $81.5m. This eases the pressure for pay drivers, allows thousands more staff to be hired, and 13 competitive teams, with the smaller ones not seconds off the pace. Haas would be team 12, while Caterham/Forza Rossa will probably merge next year, so team 13 can be a new one or another junior team (McLaren?).

    From a $1.6bn turnover, this leaves $145m, for benefits like cheaper tickets through less hosting fee pressure, to push forward innovations like a race in NYC, LA etc. while allowing some leeway for moving back towards free-to-air TV, along with the digital platforms being opened up. If no team 13 could be found, that also frees up another $81.5m for projects beneficial to F1.

    On tracks, I would also start to put pressure on Monaco to start paying a hosting fee, with the threat of a French GP at Paul Ricard instead, if they don’t play ball. Keith already outlined why this would be a good thing to do, as Monaco are at present the only GP free of hosting fees, despite being such a rich tax haven. Monaco paying some money could free up pressure on other circuits (Silverstone, Nurburgring), or allow expansion to a lost GP (Istanbul).

    PS. I would use a rough ‘rule of thumb’ of cars on track for half the year (26 weekends). We’re not far off that now, having 20 races and 4 tests in 2012, but I would aim for 20 for now, with 6 for testing time, and half of that designated for test/development/reserve/sim drivers. If races are added, testing gets replaced. Logical usage of back-to-back races (e.g. Aus-Mal, Tex-Mex, Rus-UAE) would minimise extra race disruption as much as possible.


    I’d add some more races with better start times for the Americas. I mean, nobody should have to get up at 7 AM just to watch a race at Abu Dhabi or Sochi.


    Get rid of DRS once and for all, as it deprives us of good, skillful overtaking which actually requires some challenge. Relax engine regulations so that V8s and V10s are permitted. Bring back a tyre war so that tyres are designed to go as fast as possible around the track, rather than degrade for entertainment purposes. Replace all tarmac run offs with grass and gravel traps, so that mistakes get punished. Distribute prize money more fairly for smaller teams. Loosen circuit design regulations so that people like Tilke (preferably not Tilke himself though) actually have more freedom to design a challenging but safe track, also including some old-school classic circuits such as Estoril, Zandvoort and Imola. Design extreme wet tyres that can clear more water and provide more grip so that the race isn’t stopped as soon as the rain gets worse than drizzly. None of that hideous CGI which looks unprofessional and ridiculous. Make F1 available on free to air TV, as that would counteract the drastically declining TV figures.

    Don’t forget the double points. That idea needs to be obliterated into thin air and never seen again.

    Marco Freire

    If I were Bernie Ecclestone, there are a huge number of things I would change in F1. Here are a few things:

    -pressure the FIA to:
    – Keep the current 1.6L turbocharged formula, but lessen the engine regulations and allow for 4, 5, 6 or 8 cylinder piston engines in either V, in-line or horizontally opposed configurations, and 2 or 3 rotor engines. Having Mazda, Ford/Cosworth, BMW, and Audi (without the Audi badge on its engines, like TAG/Porsche in the 80’s) in addition to Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda in the sport all as engine suppliers would be nice.
    -Rewrite the car design rules so that they are less reliant on aerodynamics. Lessen the aero to the point where the cars become more of driver’s cars and also there must be a hole in the air that a car is creating, so that natural overtaking can be accomplished, thus eliminating the need for DRS.

    -Turn the entire Formula One corporation and all of the companies it owns into a not-for-profit organization. The only people who deserve to make money from sports are the people that invest money into the teams that participate in the sport to make them competitive.

    -Divide Formula One’s total earnings (TV rights, sponsorship deals, racetrack prize money, ticket sales, etc.) into a specific percentage to the teams, track owners and the F1 corporation itself. For the percentage that the teams will receive, that percentage should be divided in such a way that the teams earn money based on how well they did during the season (i.e. how many points they earned, etc.)

    -No PR at any of the race meetings. Drivers will be free to say what they want.

    -No double points for any one race.

    The schedule, however, is where I have the most ideas. My idea for the schedule is a crazy one- but hell, this is what I would actually do.

    -For starters, the season will start in January, in South Africa. The South African Grand Prix will be part of the Cape Town Motorsports Festival, which is a whole festival of different racing disiplines from all over the world taking place on different times over the 5-day period. The circuit used will be a 5.1 mile street circuit located in the Green Point neighborhood of Cape Town. With 79F (26C) average weather with no humidity or rain during this time of year there, Cape Town is IMO the perfect place to start F1 or any other motorsports season.

    -The next race would be in the United States, at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, on the second weekend of February. COTA will be slightly modified (the hairpin at the top of the track will be made longer and faster, and the last corner will be faster and banked; both corners will be 4th gear).

    -Then it’s off to Asia to start the first tour there. The first of two stops would be in Phuket, Thailand, on a 9.3 mile street circuit, half of which would be in the city of Phuket, and half would be in the jungles surrounding the city. This would most likely be the toughest race of the year- high temperatures and humidity plus a rough track would add to the challenge.

    -A week later, the teams would arrive in India to a much modified Buddh International Circuit. Turn 3 would be given the COTA-upper hairpin treatment- it would be changed into a long, sweeping 3rd gear corner. Turns 5,6,7, and 8 would all be taken out and bypassed. This would make it a very fast circuit.

    -The next race would be 2 weeks after India, and it would be the first ever Carribean Grand Prix, on a 6.2 mile street circuit on the island of Sint Maarten. This would be one of the best and most challenging driver’s circuits of the year.

    -A week later, the teams would go to Mexico to the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City. I would add a .7 mile infield section after the first 3 corners. After that, I would keep the current layout that is already in place with the flat-out blast through the Peraltada. I would also resurface the track to make it as smooth as possible (particularly at the Esses and the Peraltada) and expand the run-off areas at the circuit.

    -2 weeks later, the teams would be off for the one and only Middle Eastern race on the calendar- Abu Dhabi. I quite like the idea of having a race in the Middle East- and normally, I would go to Brazil at this point, but any later in the year, and it would be too hot to race in Abu Dhabi. This circuit, like Buddh, would be substanially modified, and almost every slow corner on the present circuit would be made redesigned and made faster. The chicane after Turn 7 would be bypassed, and Turn 7 itself would be given the COTA hairpin treatment and be made a 3rd gear corner. Turns 8 and 9 would be transformed to a very, very fast 5th-gear kink, and the street circuit section at turns 11,12 and 13 would be bypassed with one long 4th gear sweeper. Turn 17 would be made much faster, as would Turn 19, and Turn 21 would also be made faster and also banked. This race will remain a day-to-night race. There will be no Bahrain Grand Prix- what a waste of space that race is. The circuit stinks as does the country’s own problems.

    -2 weeks later, it would be off to Brazil for the first South American race. This race would alternate yearly between the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo and a newly built Autodromo Jacarepagua in Rio de Janeiro. This race would conclude the 1st world tour for F1.

    -2 weeks after the Brazilian race, it would be back to Europe to start the European/North American East Coast tour. And the first race would be the Monaco Grand Prix.

    -2 weeks after Monaco would be Spain. Now this is where it gets interesting: 5 circuits will rotate hosting this race over 5 seasons, and the circuits will be: A renovated Jarama circuit near Madrid, then Catalunya, the Circuito Ricardo Tormo near Valencia, the Circuito Navarra in northern Spain, and then finally Jerez in the south, near Seville- all in that order. A number of the European races will have multiple circuits hosting their country’s respective GP.

    -2 weeks after the Spanish race, it would be off to start the 2-part North American East Coast tour, beginning at New York City for the United States Grand Prix East, on the second weekend of June. This would be held on the proposed Port Imperial street circuit.

    -A week after the NYC race would be the Canadian Grand Prix, with the new Mosport Park near Toronto and the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal rotating the GP yearly. Mosport Park would have 2.3 miles of all new track added to the exisiting layout; that layout will not be touched in any way. The circuit would go off on a tangent after the first corner and rejoin the classic course right after the existing Turn 3, making the circuit 4.2 miles long.

    -2 weeks later, it would be off to the UK for the British Grand Prix. This would be another of the European races with multiple facilities hosting every year: Silverstone, the Circuit of Wales, a brand-new 4.6 mile circuit in the Scottish Highlands an hour north of Glasgow, a re-built and slightly extended Croft circuit in northern England, and a brand new 2.8 mile circuit in County Ards in Northern Ireland, near Belfast- all in that order.

    -A week after the British race, it would be off to Finland, a country that has long deserved a Grand Prix, in my opinion, considering how many world champions it has produced. The race would be on a 6.7 mile street circuit in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, winding and twisting through the streets there. Although it will run on a slow circuit, this will be one of, if not the longest race of the year on time, and certainly one of the toughest and most gruelling races of the year.

    -2 weeks after Finland, F1 would be off to Germany, and to yet another 5 circuits rotating the race, all in this order: Nurburgring GP, the old 4.2 mile Hockenheimring, the 7.6 mile Lausitzring (with a few bits added on), the slightly modified Oschersleben circuit, and a brand new 3.9 mile circuit near Munich in Bavaria, which will be something like the old Rouen-Les-Essarts circuit.

    -A week after Germany would be the annually rotating Hungarian and Turkish Grand Prixs. The Hungarian Grand Prix would be at the Hungaroring, and a year later, it would be the day-to-night Turkish Grand Prix at the Istanbul Autodrom.

    -A 3-week break would take place, and then, it would be off to Morocco at a newly built 2.9 mile circuit on the beaches of Dar Bouazza, just outside of Casablanca. This circuit will be based on the original Zandvoort circuit in Holland.

    -A week later, it’s the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. This is one of the few European rounds that would not alternate venues annually.

    -The next round is where things get a bit complicated. The French and Austrian Grand Prixs would be rotated annually like the Hungarian and Turkish rounds would be. But every time the French Grand Prix is held, it will be at a different circuit each year. Between the two races, the French GP would come first, and it would be held at the Paul Ricard circuit near Marseille. Then, the Austrian Grand Prix would be held at the Red Bull Ring, which would be rebuilt- again. The circuit will be much like the original Osterreichring was- the abandoned section at the bottom of the circuit will be revialized and the now-dead Tiroch Kurve would be brought back, albeit modified so that it isn’t flat out for today’s cars. What is the hairpin at Turn 3 will be modified into a 4th gear sweeping right hander, and the two left handers afterwards would be extended and made faster, although not as fast as they once were. This new Red Bull Ring will be very, very fast. Going back to the French Grand Prix, the next French GP would be held at the remote 2.3 mile Val de Vienne circuit near Limoges, and then another Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring, then a French Grand Prix at the renovated and extended 3.4 mile Dijon-Prenois circuit in the eastern part of France. Then another Austrian GP, then back to Ricard for another French GP.

    -A week later would be the final European race: the Italian Grand Prix. This is another race that will rotate venues, in this order: Monza, a newly rebuilt 4.8 mile Enna Pergusa circuit, Imola, Mugello, and the Vallelunga circuit near Rome. I am still not enitrely sure I want to be away from Monza for 4 seasons, however.

    -2 weeks later, F1 would return to Southeast Asia, for the annually rotating Singapore and Malaysian Grands Prix. Singapore would be held first in that rotation on a totally-different route being used in Marina Bay, and then a year later, the Malaysian GP would be at Sepang.

    -A week later, and off to Russia, once it has sorted it’s political problems out. The Sochi circuit would be used, however, every corner on the existing circuit would be made much faster, and no corner would be slower than 4th gear. The chicane section near the pits would be removed and the circuit would go under the bridge there. This will be the fastest circuit of the year. If Russia can’t get rid of it’s own problems, then it is off to Azerbaijan for a similar-type speed circuit.

    -2 weeks later on the 3rd weekend of October, and F1 returns to South America at the Portero de Los Funes circuit in San Luis, Argentina. The Argentine Grand Prix will feature the longest and most challenging circuit on the calendar. This circuit will be 15.6 miles long, making for a 12 lap race. This circuit, made up of existing roads modified for racing use, twists and turns through the Andes Mountains and goes through 3 towns. 8 1/2-9 minute laps would be expected for this track. It is 7-8 miles from the city of San Luis and about 500 miles west from the capital of Buenos Aires.

    -2 weeks later on the first weekend of November, F1 will cross the globe once again to make another final Asian visit, starting with Japan. This race will rotate circuits- the Suzuka and Autopolis circuits will rotate hosting the race.

    -And a week later, Hong Kong will host its first ever Formula One Grand Prix on a 5.8 mile street circuit that twists and turns through the Hong Kong mountains, where narrow streets and buildings dominate the landscape. This circuit, made up entirely of narrow city streets expanded (at least where they can be expanded) will be extremely challenging to drive.

    -2 weeks after Hong KOng, F1 will make its 3rd and final visit to the United States, to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, about 45 minutes or so outside of Los Angeles. This circuit would be unique in that it is a Roval, a course that utilizes 1.8 miles of the 2 mile banked oval superspeedway and a 1.7 mile road course situated inside the oval portion of the track, making it 3.5 miles in length. This circuit would have a decently fast chicane before the pits, which need to be upgraded to F1 standards. Because the finish line at Fontana is located on a banked part of the track, starting the cars there would be impossible- so the start line would be located on a straight on the interior road section of the course, which means that the race distance would be 54 and a half laps, like Long Beach was in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    -And finally, the 27th and last race on this totally insane calendar would end in Australia, on an annually rotating series of circuits: a new 5.1 mile Adelaide street circuit that would have a whole new top section of circuit added to the existing layout; the 3.2 mile Albert Park circuit in Melbourne; and the 2.8 mile Sydney Motorsports Park in Eastern Creek, near Sydney.

    And those are the changes I would make! Jesus, I need a break…


    Wow that calendar speechless WE NEED YOU AS THE NEW BERNIE ECCLESTONE but you could tone it down a bit for all the teams employees as they need to see their families


    Oh, yeah, well just magically make all those hairpins 4th gear sweepers! I thought we were playing Bernie not GOD


    I’d make sure the American races (USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico) are all moved 24 hours earlier. Being Aussie I’m dead come schooltime after waking up at 3am for the race.

    Marco Freire

    If something like that calendar would be run, F1 would need to do something like NASCAR does: the teams’ personnel would have to be rotated for races, as doing 27 races a year would be impossible for the laboring members of an F1 team; they would never get to see their families. And changing the hairpins into faster corners- just change the profile of the corner to make it faster, that’s what I meant. It wouldn’t be that hard. Expensive, but not difficult.


    Do the same what Bernie does, only with more sustainability and more new media.
    Oh, one more thing: I’d issue a ban for Silverstone hosting F1 events for now until the end of days.

    Iestyn Davies

    As a matter of interest, Joe Saward suggested a calendar free of constraints to look like this:

    March: Austin, Long Beach, Melbourne
    April: Singapore, Bahrain, Sochi
    May: Monaco, Belgium
    June: Canada, New York
    July: France, Britain, Germany
    August: Italy, Japan
    September: China, Abu Dhabi
    October: Brazil, Mexico

    I would probably add Barcelona back in, making 20 races, perhaps where Sochi is, moving it back-to-back with Abu Dhabi in September. What do you make of a season starting in the USA? :D

    Marco Freire

    The calendar should look like this, regardless of financial constraints:

    1. Brazil (Sao Paulo) March 2
    2. USA (Long Beach) March 9
    3. India (Buddh) March 23
    4. Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina) March 30
    5. Russia (Sochi) April 13
    6. Spain (Barcelona) April 27
    7. Monaco (Monte Carlo) May 11
    8. Austria (Red Bull Ring) May 25
    9. USA (New York) June 8
    10. Canada (Montreal) June 15
    11. France (Paul Ricard) June 29
    12. Britain (Silverstone) July 6
    13. Germany (Hockenheim/Nurburgring) July 20
    14. Hungary (Hungaroring) July 27
    15. Belgium (Spa) August 17
    16. Italy (Monza) August 31
    17. Portugal (Algarve) September 14
    18. Singapore (Marina Bay) September 28
    19. Japan (Suzuka) October 5
    20. USA (Austin) October 19
    21. Mexico (Mexico City) October 26
    22. Argentina (Buenos Aires) November 9
    23. Australia (Adelaide or Melbourne) November 16

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