Formula 1
Formula 1
29 Aug
-
01 Sep
Event finished
05 Sep
-
08 Sep
Event finished
19 Sep
-
22 Sep
Event finished
26 Sep
-
29 Sep
Event finished
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Weekend debate – do F1 fans agree with Liberty Media’s priorities?

shares
comments
Weekend debate – do F1 fans agree with Liberty Media’s priorities?
Jan 28, 2017, 5:51 PM

Formula 1’s new Liberty Media-installed management has spent much of the last week outlining its future plans for the series.

Formula 1’s new Liberty Media-installed management has spent much of the last week outlining its future plans for the series.

And F1 fans have been reacting on the JA on F1 comment boards, with their thoughts on where the new management team's priorities should lie.

Chase Carey, who replaced Bernie Ecclestone as F1’s CEO, explained that Liberty wanted to focus on growing the championship, while the its new sporting managing director Ross Brawn put forward ideas for simpler rules, keeping individual team designs, installing cost control and focusing on long-term prospects.

Sean Bratches, F1’s new commercial boss, told CNN that the four things he would centre on would be refining the championship’s brand, improving its approach to digital marketing, taking a more democratic approach with partners, and producing a better experience for trackside and TV spectators.

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

He said: "There are four real things I am going to focus on," he said. "One is the brand – the brand is the entry-point for any company, any brand, any sport. And we are going to work to understand the brand.

"We are going to polish it, we are going to elevate it. It is going to be really central to what we do. That will allow us to enter new market places. It will allow us to take out of the market place what we should on the commercial side from sponsors, from rights holders, to promoters.

"The second is digital. I think there is a huge opportunity in the digital space to re-imagine the digital products that F1 has today, and to engage fans in very new ways and also to use sponsors to activate it.

XPB.cc F1 TV

"The third is creating a much more democratic approach in terms of how we approach our partners – from teams/sponsors/promoters and rights holders. There is a lot of opportunity to leverage the F1 IP to integrate it to their businesses.

"And the last one, is the race experience. Creating a better race experience that engages fans, spectators there and on television is a huge opportunity."

How JA on F1 readers would change F1

Earlier this week, we asked JA on F1 readers what they thought should be at the top of Liberty’s list of priorities for improving F1.

The return of free-to-air broadcasting was an idea that featured prominently among the 131 comments left on the article, as did calls for Liberty to introduce a dedicated streaming service for on-track action.

Sauber Manor

Another popular idea was an improved system of financial distribution throughout the grid so that the risk of smaller teams closing was reduced. Others called for more of a focus on F1’s history, the preservation of classic venues, and rules that promote innovation, control costs and lead to higher levels of competition.

Here is a selection of the best comments:

Curly: “First and foremost you don't get new fans if your TV coverage is behind a pay wall. Existing fans may be willing to chip in a little for TV coverage, but nobody new is going to take a punt on something if you have to pay to view it. So the fanbase is getting older and older, which means your fan base is ultimately dying off one way or another.

“If they are serious about growing the fan base, then free to view is the only choice for TV, with perhaps additional access/coverage via online subscription if they want it.”

Sky_TV_Malaysia'12_032

Nezi: “I'd happily pay a fair price for a dedicated, easy to access, online steam of F1. But I'm not willing to pay the price of a full Sky package when there's little outside of F1 that interests me in live scheduled TV these days.

“That said, a return to free to air full season would be preferred, and I think the larger audience they get from that would benefit them more than the paywall paycheck. The signals are that these guys understand that, but we'll see. I'd probably even be willing to pay for a premium online subscription even if it was it's free to air. But if it does go Sky-only in 2 years as planned, they and their sponsors will lose my attention.”

Tubbysi: “Innovation is the key to making the sport exciting, I miss the days of radically different ideas on different cars, be it aero, engine or suspension. I know the cost cap was a failure, but a situation where all top teams had a similar budget to deploy how they wanted with much freer technical rules would make things exciting and provide some opportunities for extra technical content on TV/internet.

Lewis Hamilton

“It would also be likely to lead to more car failures which adds to the unpredictability. Give the teams a max budget for car development and a maximum amount of fuel for a race distance and let them use it however they choose.”

Peter: “The lack of any real presence of the sport in an online platform has been most obvious. It wasn't that long ago when F1 didn't even have its own YouTube channel and even that is very light on content with generic ask the driver features that neither interests the casual or hard core fan base.

“Personally, I would love it if new owners recognised and heralded the incredible history of this sport. No sport around the world matches the imagery, nostalgia or the characters that Formula One has provided down the years. You only have to look at the success of films like Rush and Senna to show that this is a sport that can connect with people even for those who thought they had no interest in the sport.

Rush Movie

“If you get people to connect with the history of the sport then they will have greater appreciation of it today and a greater care for where the sport is heading in the future. Tapping into an archival treasure trove for fans (both casual and hardcore) to access and indulge in would be a great start.”

JP-BNE: “Two immediate issues come to mind. First is that steps have to be taken to allow smaller teams to survive. Manor having no prize money while Ferrari gets rewarded for being Ferrari is a decision that lacks business sense.

“2nd issue is fan affordability. Grand prix tickets are astronomical, they are a huge barrier to any potential new fan seeing the races and getting hooked. Crowd numbers are dropping globally, steps have to be taken to counter this.”

XPB.cc 2016 European Grand Prix Baku

Johnny Canuck: “There are many, many items that need to be addressed. Personally, I'd most like to see close racing with cars that are able to follow and attempt passes, hopefully without the use of artificial aids. Bring F1 back as much as possible to the skill and bravery of the driver. We'll see how this year's regulations work on this front.

“It would also be nice to go into a GP weekend with more than one or two teams having a chance to win on a dry track. There have always been dominant cars, but it would be grand to have real shootouts with three or four (or more!) teams at every track.”

Do you agree with the ideas put forward by F1 fans? What do you think of the comments made by Chase Carey, Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches this week? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.
Next article
Magnussen: F1 2017 cars will help with my biggest weakness

Previous article

Magnussen: F1 2017 cars will help with my biggest weakness

Next article

Analysis: Teams split as F1 2017 braking forces go up by 25 percent

Analysis: Teams split as F1 2017 braking forces go up by 25 percent
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1