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F1 has "never been stronger", says Brown

NEWS STORY
29/06/2022

McLaren boss, and so-called sponsorship guru, Zak Brown insists that, despite the financial crisis, F1 has "never been stronger".

The American's comment comes at a time we are told that new sponsors and race promoters are queuing at the door, and while Michael Andretti's pleas to enter F1 may be falling on deaf ears, the door is wide open for Porsche and Audi.

The boom is largely the result of the success of the Netflix series, Drive to Survive, a 'documentary' that appears to give unique insight into the personalities that run the teams and drive the cars.

Indeed, such is the success of the series that Apple is to make an F1-related movie involving Brad Pitt and Lewis Hamilton, who is also working on a documentary based on his career, while Daniel Ricciardo is set to produce a scripted TV series for (Disney owned) Hula "set in the world of F1"... let's just hope that it lives up to expectations, eh Zak!

Alongside the Netflix series and obvious dramas such as the events of Abu Dhabi, as the world emerges from the shadow of COVID, the high-octane soap that is F1 offers a form of escapism to the masses, and this, combined with Liberty's desire to take the sport into the heart of the big cities whilst promoting its popularity with celebrities, appears to be doing the trick.

"I've never seen Formula 1 stronger, commercially," says Brown. "To bring on companies like Google and Cisco and then you see Formula 1 bringing on the Salesforce and the Workdays of the world, I think the Formula 1 economy has never been stronger.

"Of course with everything, that is going on around the world, of course that's a concern because that means everyone will tighten their belts some," he admits, "but the industry leaders, which is what Formula 1 tends to attract, they also know to sometimes double down, if you'd like, when things get tough.

"It's an opportunity for them to get more market share in their respective businesses. So it's very strong, anticipated being very strong, but also can't be naive to what's going on around the world and know that that will present some challenges."

Brown's comment comes at a time ESPN is said to be on the verge of agreeing a new deal with F1 which will see its annual fee rise from $5m to around $75m - $90m, and circuits, such as Melbourne, agree hosting deals that take them into the next decade.

Of course, as a stakeholder, Brown has to play along and talk up the boom, however the fact is that Liberty is looking to sell F1, but doesn't appear able to find a buyer.

While the future of some races, especially in Europe, is said to be in doubt, one has to wonder why F1 is securing such long-terms deals with the likes of Melbourne, when, should the boom continue, a far more attractive offer could be made three or four years down the line.

Take a close look and you'll see that almost every aspect of the sport has a 'your name here' label on it at present, as Liberty seeks to capitalise on the good times... while they last.

By the way, we hear that the Silverstone weekend will witness a major initiative to get a woman into F1... another significant item on Liberty's agenda.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Max Noble, 30/06/2022 2:58

"Given the $$ splashing around the LIV Golf saga, I’d agree that ARAMCO can afford it, but might be waiting for the utter bargain basement fire sale price before opening the spare-change wallet… Just for the fun of giving Liberty the smallest amount possible."

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2. Posted by kenji, 30/06/2022 1:23

"If Aramco wanted to buy Liberty out for, say, US$9.0 billion that would be approx 4 /6 weeks profit fo the global giant. Peanuts by comparison. "

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3. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 29/06/2022 16:57

"Saudi's waiting for the recession to hit its height before tendering an offer?"

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