F1 rule changes a must to entice new teams - Carey
Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey says Liberty’s plans to change the power unit regulations for 2021 and address spending are necessary to attract new teams to the sport.
Proposals for simpler engines with more standardisation were not well received by the current manufacturers when they were announced earlier this month.
However, F1’s new bosses see the changes - along with the yet-to-be-finalised plans to control spending by the teams - as vital to expanding the grid.
“I think the most important thing we can do is make the business model for owning a team much better,” said Carey.
“Today when I talk to some of the entities that you’d like to have in the sport, or think about being in the sport, they’ll end up saying today it either costs too much, or if we’re more disciplined on what we spend, we’re competing at the back of the pack.
"If those are our two choices, that isn’t that attractive. That’s why we’re pursuing cost and engine initiatives that will still have differences in the cars.
"Each car is unique, but the competition is more balanced, and the economics are more predictable.
"I think if we can create our business model, it will benefit our existing teams, but I think it will make it much more interesting to an array of potential new entrants.”
Carey acknowledged that there will have to be compromises, but he remains hopeful that current teams will accept that they should spend less than they do at present.
“In the past it was a little bit every man for himself, who could lie, cheat and steal [from] the other guy," he said.
"It made the business 'one plus one is one and a half'. We want to have competition on the track, but a shared vision of where we think and want this sport to go, and bring everybody along with us.
“Obviously there will be differences, we’ve got to find the right compromises, but we can make 'one plus one equal three'. Certainly within that, the teams are uniquely important.
“We have teams today pay the better part of half a billion dollars per year to put a car on the track, or two cars on the track. It doesn’t deliver any value for fans, it’s done to compete with the other guys.
"We’re pursuing initiatives on costs, engine, aerodynamics, others, and we’ll have a unique opportunity to both improve the competition and make the economics much better.
“We want this to be a profitable business for the teams, and we obviously want to get our share of that improved profitability. It makes it healthier for the teams, and it certainly makes it more attractive for teams coming in.”
Carey cited 2020, the year before the new engine rules come on stream, as a deadline for signs of clear progress.
“It’s early days for us," he added. "2017 and ‘18 are in many ways foundation building, fixing some of the issues that we inherited from the past, that I think we’re comfortable we’re on top of.
"The stake in the ground we’re looking at is 2020. At 2020 we’ll still have initiatives that are early days, growing in the US, growing in China, Over The Top.
“But we really think that by 2020 we can really take this sport, whether from a fans’ perspective or business perspective, and really transform it, take it to another level, and really have the sport on track to it being everything it can and should be as one of the truly unique spectacles in the world.”
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