Carey hits out at "complicated rules and penalties"


Just days into his new job, F1 boss, Chase Carey, criticised the sport's previous management in terms of the various revenue streams it had missed out on.

Despite assembling a costly, dedicated marketing division, after almost three years the sport has yet to sign a single significant series sponsor, Carey recently admitting that "the sponsorship world has probably been more challenging than we would have expected it to be a couple of years ago".

Another area in which Formula One Management has splashed the cash is the 'improved' graphics and data realisation as fans express the desire for as much info as possible from one of the world's most technical sports.

Yet while providing more and more information for fans, including the still unconvincing tyre wear graphic, Carey complains that the sport is difficult to follow, and thereby a turn-off.

"We have got too many complicated penalties and rules," said the American at a recent investor conference. "We have got a 100-page regulation book.

"We have got to get the business to a place where it is easier to follow and has fewer complexities that fans out there really can't follow," he added.

"It will always be a complicated sport that is a marriage of sporting competition and technology but we need to make it something that is more in line with what the fans want to see and what excites and energises them."

While most will agree in terms of penalties and the seeming lack of consistency in how they are applied, few would agree that the regulations make the sport difficult to follow.

While fans don't like many of the regulations, DRS being a prime example, they understand it.

What they don't like is seeing Lewis Hamilton on the podium only to be subsequently demoted to seventh, while Carlos Sainz misses out on his debut appearance simply because the stewards took so long to reach a conclusion.

Similarly, they do not like having to wait several hours after the race has finished - as was the case in Austria - before the race-winner is officially confirmed.

Ignoring the various unsafe releases, fans are mystified that the Alfa Romeo drivers were both given 30s time penalties for receiving "outside aid" at the start of the German Grand Prix, and the Renault pair were disqualified after "benefitting" from an illegal driver aid in Italy, while, in the eyes of most, most notably Max Verstappen, Ferrari was 'at it' in terms of its engine legality and fined just €50,000 for its inaccurate fuel declaration in Abu Dhabi.

According to the Independent, over the last 11 years, F1's global television audience has fallen by 18.3 per cent to 490.2 million viewers, mostly due to the increasing move to Pay TV. In the UK alone, the sport has lost more than 6 million viewers after Sky's new mega-deal saw the company become the sport's exclusive broadcaster of all but one round of the world championship.

Though it is not exactly a Gerald Ratner moment, Carey claim was ill advised, and is further proof that – Ferrari vetoes aside – the sport needs someone like Toto Wolff at the helm, someone who understands the sport, its rules and its customers, the fans.

That's assuming, of course, that Eddie Jordan is wrong, and the Austrian isn't heading to Maranello with Lewis in tow.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 16/12/2019
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