The Formula One racing promoters have criticised Liberty Media for the current direction of the sport and published a joint statement expressing their concerns.
The FOPA Promoter Association met on Monday, to talk about the current development of Formula 1 and almost everyone is concerned.
Traditional routes such as Silverstone, Monza, Barcelona or Hockenheim are facing an uncertain future, while new events are partly given special conditions. In addition, the promoter ensures the continuing trend towards pay-TV, which lowers the number of viewers and thus the interest of possible ticket buyers.
In a statement, 16 FOPA members have expressed three main concerns:
- It is not in the long-term interest of sport, that fans lose free access to content and transmission
- There is a lack of clarity about new initiatives in formula 1, and there is a lack of exchange with promoters about their contribution
- New races should not be introduced to the detriment of existing events, Although the association finds the alternative business models for possible venues encouraging
The latter is seen as a reference to the planned race in Miami, which was offered a profit-sharing model, instead of paying only many millions of dollars to be able to carry out the race. Many races with expiring contracts therefore also want to have better conditions.
“Miami seems to get a free deal like this”, Silverstone promoter and FOPA board member Stuart Pringle gets angry with “The Daily Mail”. “The Daily Mail” is a big problem. It didn’t work out for everyone, at least not the guys in Austin who work hard to make their races profitable. If this continues, formula 1 will continue to run on second-class courses –if at all.”
He adds:”Everyone is angry. Liberty’s ideas are not the same. We have all followed and been quiet so far, but we are very concerned about the future health of our sport among the people who are currently leading it,”says Pringle.
The promoters demand a more community approach to development and the possibility Their experiences.
“Formula 1 should become more real”
However, not all promoters agree: Russia, Japan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and China were not part of the talks according to information from “Motorsport-Total.com”. Russia, in particular, does not want to participate in the criticism of Liberty Media and does not agree with the FOPA statement because it believes that the problem areas are not in the hands of the Americans or are already being addressed.
“The statement is quite toothless, Because all the problems mentioned are solved in the current communication format with Liberty, Sochi-Promoter Sergei Worobiew plays the annual Promoter Meeting, which will take place this week in London, opposite “Motorsport-Total.com”. This was called on the initiative of Liberty Media and he sees no point in having another meeting of some promoters.
The views and criticisms of Liberty Media by FOPA CEO Pringle do not share Worobiew and considers the approach “not constructive”, as he says. He also does not understand the discussions about Miami, because there is no race there yet: “What is the point of having theoretical discussions about what something could be? First of all, you have to see the right agreements.”
However, he agrees that formula 1 has to change:”Formula 1 should become more real,”says the Russian.”The formula 1 should become more real.” There should be fewer rules and less outside influence on the race.”Also, formula 1 should rethink engine issues in order to have”more real”races again.” But I believe in Ross Brawn and his abilities,”he emphasises. There will be plenty of opportunities for discussions this week.