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Brown fears Vegas threat to Monaco's future

NEWS STORY
04/04/2022

Zak Brown believes that the addition of Las Vegas to the F1 schedule could signal the beginning of the end for Monaco, long considered the sport's jewel in the crown.

The long-awaited announcement finally came on Thursday, as Las Vegas joined the Circuit of the Americas and Miami as hosts of rounds of the Formula One World Championship in Liberty Media's back yard.

Las Vegas, like Miami, will be joint-promoted by Live Nation, which is owned by Liberty Media, and represents a major gamble for the sport's owners.

Putting it simply, Live Nation - ergo Liberty - is carrying the risk and will reap the rewards if the events prove a success... though, equally, should the events not prove a success it will pile more pressure on the American company as it seeks to offload a sport that has never reaped the financial rewards expected.

Confident that the event will be a success, McLaren's Zak Brown believes that in time the Las Vegas race will threaten the future of Monaco.

"Monaco always stood for the most glamorous part of Formula One," brown tells Reuters. "I think Miami, Singapore, Las Vegas are starting to add some pretty glamorous markets.

"I think Monaco needs to come up to the same commercial terms as other grands prix and also maybe needs to work with ways they can adapt their track because as our cars have become bigger, the racing has become more difficult," he adds.

"You do need to take into consideration history," he admits, "but then I think you need to take into consideration how's the show that it puts on. There is also an element, which shouldn't drive our decisions but should be part of our decisions, of what's the economic contribution to the sport.

"I'd much rather have Monaco than not, but just like the sport is bigger than any one driver or team, I think it's bigger than any one grand prix."

"It looks very proper and all the right people are behind it," he says of the Las Vegas event.

Asked about the fact that the race will be held on a Saturday, he responds: "We want to respect the history of the sport but there's not many sports that haven't changed in recent times to adapt to a changing world. I think a Saturday night race in Vegas is the obvious thing to do.

"I think these are three awesome markets," he adds. "I think it's almost the perfect schedule from an American standpoint."

Asked about Stefano Domenicali's claim that there could be as many as 30 races a year, Brown admits: "If you could wave a magic wand I'd like to see something like 21 or 22 races. Seventeen or 18 as permanent fixtures and seven or eight that rotate because I do think to continue to grow the sport the more quality markets we can be in the better. I'd love to see us be in 30 markets but race 21 or 22 times a year.

"I think there are A markets and B markets that we race in, maybe your B markets (should be) every other year."

Previously, Monaco had a 10-year deal with hosting fees of an estimated 4.5m ($6m) a year. However, this deal ended last year and the terms or even the length of the new deal are not known.

That said, if it had been a long-term deal with a sizeable hosting fee F1 would have been shouting about it from the rooftops, so one can assume that it's possibly just for a couple of years.

On the other hand however, Monaco remains the jewel in the crown as far as the teams are concerned, not so much for the racing but because it is where some of their best commercial deals are agreed.

Indeed, there is talk that Monaco was used by F1 bosses as leverage in its negotiations with the teams, who were given the stark choice, 'agree to an additional race or we drop Monaco'.

Ever the marketing man, Mr Brown appears to be doing Liberty's bidding though he will know from experience the true value of the Mediterranean venue.

While Monaco has unfortunately become the playground of various dubious oligarchs in recent years, it retains a certain glamour, whereas Las Vegas couldn't even tempt Adelle.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Defiant, 05/04/2022 21:36

"I understand that Liberty is in the business of making money, and Vegas may bring them a lot more of it but if anyone at that morally bankrupt company genuinely thinks it could swap Vegas parking lot nonsense and a genuinely historic F1 venue and track without any kind of backlash they must be high.
Brown may have a genuine fear..(lets face it, liberty likes to errr.... take liberties). so maybe he's hinting at the f1 world to start vocalising its displeasure with the idea before the colour of money talks to loudly"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Tardis40, 04/04/2022 20:54

"Don't touch Monaco. The layout is perfect."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by JClark-Monza1967, 04/04/2022 19:43

"Comparing the trashy glitz of Las Vegas to Monaco? Seriously? Seems like he's trying to deflect talking about McLaren's abysmal showing so far. If this keeps up, he may gone before the Las Vegas race..."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Lapps, 04/04/2022 15:50

"Vegas provides great night life. But the track appears to be closer to a ‘car park race’ than any sort of classic. "

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5. Posted by Jet Jockey, 03/04/2022 15:53

"Doubt it very much…

I think it is rather Vegas’ race that will disappear sooner than later.

I don’t think “The Strip” and surrounding areas of this street circuit/circus are going to tolerate at least a week’s worth of major headaches to get the streets ready fir the race.

"

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6. Posted by kenji, 03/04/2022 11:50

"I now know where 'chicken little' lives these days?"

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7. Posted by Roli, 03/04/2022 9:37

"If Monaco goes off the calendar, it will be the end of F1"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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