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Promises, promises


With a 21-date calendar scheduled for 2018, Chase Carey says there are even more races in the pipeline for 2019 and beyond, but what about the teams.

Next season, while we lose Malaysia, courtesy of deals concluded by former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, France and Germany return to the F1 fold, meaning that as in 2016 there will be 21 race on the calendar.

Keen to see Super Bowl style events that see the Grand Prix become the highlight of week-long happenings as the F1 circus hits town, Ecclestone's successor Chase Carey has revealed that he could "fill a page with the number of locations that have asked to meet and discuss the opportunity to host an F1 race".

Ignoring the fact that it is quality not quantity that matters, perhaps Mr Carey should not get too excited just yet.

"Our first focus is making our 21 races (in 2018) as strong as they can be," he tells "We've talked about them being bigger events and maximising things like hospitality, clearly the high-end customer is important at these live events, and we are focussed on that.

"We have not really targeted a number of races," he admits. "We know there's an opportunity to add them, but we want to engage more with teams before we get into the specifics."

Ah, the teams.

In its determination to improve the show, FOM has already admitted that it is looking to level the playing field in terms of spending and while this may not mean a budget cap per se, another area that is being looked at is how the prize pot is divided.

Though the current agreement remains in place until 2020, there has already been talk of Ferrari losing its 'historic bonus', while similar payments to other teams are said to be in jeopardy.

Following the initial bristling things have died down, though the big teams have made clear their concerns, Christian Horner summing up the situation when he said he is happy to see the likes of Force India receive more money as long as it doesn't comes out of Red Bull's pocket.

Earlier this week it was claimed that despite finishing third in 2016, at $180m (140m) Ferrari walked away with the most prize money, courtesy of that historic bonus, thought to be worth $68m (52.5m) last year.

World champions Mercedes is understood to have collected $171m (132m) and Red Bull $161m (124m) - even poor old McLaren pocketed $97m (75m).

Taking away those bonuses and sharing out the (2016) prize pot of $940m between the existing ten teams would see Ferrari's share fall by around 50%, with Mercedes and Red Bull similarly 'hit'.

Though it is a couple of years away there is a storm heading in, and before FOM starts adding new races to the calendar, which will need the agreement of the teams, it will need to find a way to keep them all happy and on board.

Though the likes of Sauber, Haas and Force India will be salivating at the thought of that level playing field, the big guns will defend their hard-won incomes rigorously and will hold FOM over any available barrel.

Ahead of the forthcoming General Election in the UK, all manner of promises are being made, and as ever there is no light shed on where the money to fulfil these promises will come from.

The same can be said of F1. Before further increasing the calendar, FOM must ensure it has the teams on board to participate and that is a battle equal to anything ever likely to be seen on track.


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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 11/05/2017 11:23

"Same old, same old...It's deja vu all over again.

It's becoming increasingly clear that F1 as we know & love it is entering a death-spiral. This is inevitable given the contradictions between the desire of the "Rights Owner" to maximise their ROI (Return on Investment); the desire of the teams to win at all costs; and the fans to see engaging exciting racing.

Historically it has been the FIA's role to try and mediate between these often conflicting interests, but lately FIA and Jean Todt appear to be happy to leave it all to FOM and the teams. That is why the "Technical" Regulations governing the cars include so many elements designed to 'improve' the 'spectacle'.
Call me old-fashioned, but surely Technical Regs should cover the basics of car layout & safety, and it's up to FOM to sort-out the 'spectacle'?

If FOM want to change the ways teams are paid: that's their business. The Teams really can take it or leave it. Both parties will evaluate the cost-benefit. if (say) FOM think a Ferrari-less F1 is viable, and Ferrari reckon they can flog their Road Cars without F1 then so be it.

As for us fans, we too will either take it or leave it. But it would all be so much easier if FIA were to do their jobe and bang a few heads together"

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2. Posted by imejl99, 11/05/2017 8:42

"Ferrari gets most prize money almost always, but last title was 10 years ago. McLaren has top-four budget in living memory, last title 9 years ago, so money is important, but F1 never was about leveled playing field. And, hopefully, it would never be.

For Super Bowl style event, who cares? All the way back since I follow F1, and that was before Hungaroring existed, it is like: look up for qualifying results, check if everybody is unhurt, watch the race next day. Really don`t care if celebrities shows up, or if there is a free concert. Hell, even the Super Bowl Half Time Show is something that is pretty annoying.

Nowadays they call all of those events "additional value", being grumpy old men I can call it "my product is no good so I have to give you other products for free to lure you into my product".

So, leveling playing field, budget cap, qualification format, race format, refueling, tires, events, celebrities, Super Bowls, Grand Slams, star ships, aliens... all placebo for the fans.

Loosen the rules, let them be creative, don`t ban everything imaginable, and let them race. It always was all about who was the smartest and who was the fastest. Preferably we all wanted to see fastest man in the best car, in every era. Not like Fernando driving hybrid lawnmower, more like Senna driving V12."

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3. Posted by DJ, 11/05/2017 6:15

"if Ferrari want to run off if they lose the $80 million for showing up, why should anyone give a shit!! F1 is 1000% bigger than Ferrari and does not need them. For the same reason get rid of the Monaco GP, aka the Grand Procession in Monaco because it is a joke! Have a race there with the grid reversred or something equally stupid but don't let it count for anything because it is meaningless from a racing point of view."

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4. Posted by edllorca, 11/05/2017 2:13

"This is all good for the sport, it just has to be introduced deftly and gradually so as not to shock the system (teams) dead."

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5. Posted by mittagongcalling, 11/05/2017 0:58

"Poor old Bernie, for years he's been blamed for all the problems with F1, his main fault was losing free to air TV and the addition of a few daft tracks at the expense of a few good ones. Most of the blame should be placed right at the feet of the FIA and the mindless rules & regulations, think Charley safety car Whiting!! etc etc.
Anyway, if you thought Bernie was bad I think you are about to be in for a BIG shock.

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6. Posted by stackvideo, 10/05/2017 23:08

"No mention of "focusing on the fans""

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7. Posted by F One, 10/05/2017 18:05

"Not one single team is indispensable."

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8. Posted by @R1Racing71, 10/05/2017 17:10

"Focus on the High End customer.......
So as long as we all become multi millionaires we should have nothing to fear."

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