Bernie threatening to axe some European races

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Bernie has gone on record in saying that some European races will have to go to make way for venues such as New Jersey or Russia. Interestingly, he highlighted Spain for having two races per season. Could we see the end of Valencia as a racing venue? ( )

Source: ESPNF1
 

Matthew Little

Points Scorer
fat_jez said:
Bernie has gone on record in saying that some European races will have to go to make way for venues such as New Jersey or Russia. Interestingly, he highlighted Spain for having two races per season. Could we see the end of Valencia as a racing venue? ( )

Source: ESPNF1

FWIW, I wouldn't mind seeing Valencia get the axe; that is not one of my favorite circuits...........

The Troll's continued threats to axe European races don't surprise me, though. He's been threatening to axe some of the more traditional venues for years, so saying the above is classic Berniese-speak. Of course, whenever he starts to mention changing the F1 calendar, you can almost hear the purse-strings being loosened(Wall Street should take lessons from the Troll on how to fleece the racing public, promoters, and track owners out of their money.............).

I still don't see F1 coming to Manhattan though(as mentioned in the above linked article); ChampCar tried to explore the possibility of a street race in NYC a few years before "mergification" and the NIMBYs' there wouldn't let them even begin. Then again, I wouldn't seeing Formula 1 race at, say, Road America. Don't think it'll ever happen, but one can dream, right?...........
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
I think the problem with holding a grand prix in America is that it has no appeal. Don't take this the wrong way, but when it comes to sport, Americans are quite insular and tend to only follow their own sports, e.g. Baseball, American Football, Nascar, etc - all sports with a huge draw in the US and significantly less following elsewhere. US F1 might have helped in this respect, if they had been able to sign a local boy (and get a car as far as the grid).

Further afield, I can see a grand prix being popular in Russia, but at what cost? Would we be looking at a repeat of Turkey or China, with tickets priced beyond the reach of the true fans, leading to empty grandstands? I don't know what the average salary is like, but we can be sure that Bernie will be negotiating keenly, although whether an F1 race would get government backing is probably debatable, which leads me to believe that the average ticket price would be out of reach of the average fan.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
fat_jez

I don't agree about the perceived lack of interest in an American GP. It was always one of the best-attended events on the calender, drawing 170k-200k+, even after the 6-car debacle at Indy in 2005. To me, that event showed that the powers that be in F1 (primarily Spanky and the Poison Dwarf) harbor a clear anymosity towards the US. Several methods to allow that race to go ahead on schedule with a full grid were proposed but shot down by the FIA. Now ask yourself, would that have been their response if it had happened at, say, Monaco? Imagine their reaction if the problem had been with Bridgestone and happened at Monza-- would the race have gone ahead without Ferrari? I think not. Then BE (curse him) wanted to hugely increase the fee he charged for Indy to continue to host the race. :givemestrength:
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Well, the only viewing figures I could find for an F1 race in the US were for the first 2 grand prix in 2002, where the average viewing figures were 145,000, which doesn't strike me as brilliant (source: grandprix.com). As hard as I've looked, I can't find anything that compares viewing figures per country for last year, as FOM's only show total figures, year on year.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I believe the little fella has had a problem with the USA ever since the management of the Long Beach race refused to bow to his demands and went off and signed a deal to run Indy cars. Having said that, there remainder of the 80s saw races in Vegas, Dallas and Pheonix so there couldn't have been too much damage done.

The F1 calendar has always been a bone of contention for everyone because the last thing you want to see is your own countries race being withdrawn from the calendar. Having said that, there should no longer be a European GP. So Valencia should be the first circuit to go. Maybe some of the less attended GPs could be assigned places on a rolling basis with a small list of circuits being given gaurenteed status.

Hungary is an interesting one because the track was a novelty when it was introduced since it was the only circuit behind the iron curtain and it has some history on the calendar now.

The biggest problem is introducing circuits not for the prospect of great racing but the prospect of state of the art facilities and the money they can generate. It's funny that the amount of people who actually benifit from these facilities are such a small fraction of those who watch F1 but generate such a large proportion of the income that's put into the sport. Hence we are left with races where the most money can be generated and not where the most fans would like to see them.

As for an F1 race in New York. Bernie has been trying to get that one off the ground since the early 80's. A New York race was on the original calendar of Bernie and Max's break away series during the FISA / FOCA war and was on the provisional F1 calendar a couple of times. It's such a shame that there is an obssesion with this race when there are so many great tracks in the US.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Ignoring for the minute that Turkey isn't technically European, it looks like it might be one of the first casualties, as I posted about last week.

Ecclestone wants to increase the hosting fee from £9.3 million to £17.9 million per race.

Considering the very low attendance, I doubt the circuit owners can afford to pay that.

So instead F1 will lose one of the best modern circuits on the calendar but I suppose Bernie has to start the cuts somewhere if he wants to fit the new US GP in, as well as the Indian GP and anywhere else which is willing to pay his extortionate fees.

Over the course of the Turkish GP weekend, Ecclestone spoke with State Minister for Sports Faruk Nafiz Ozak and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, the Englishman subsequently claiming that he was hopeful that a new ten-year deal might be agreed.

However, Ozak claims that Ecclestone was quite blunt in terms of his demands, telling him: "I leave it up to you. India and Arab countries are all ready to take your place".
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
Spain doesn't need 2 races :no: :no: considering that both circuits are impossible to overtake on

F1 used to only have races in Europe and the Americas, Japan & Australia up until the late 90's and now with Asia & the Middle East having multiple races, F1 has now become a worldwide event.

Africa will never get a race because no-one has the money (or police) to develop a half decent track
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Doesn't Bernie own the circuit in Istanbul? The F1 race is one of the few events that takes place there so talk about biting your nose to spite your face!

Check that, Bernie had the "operating licence" for Istanbul Park from 2004 to 2011. During that time he appears to have done nothing to promote the circuit and, hence, has made it reliant on the Grand Prix. It would appear that others are interested to run the circuit and bring other forms of racing to the track. Another example of the ivory tower Bernie lives in?

http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-212212-f1-boss-wants-26-mln-for-istanbul-lap-or-no-deal.html
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
There used to be a MotoGP race there and it stopped in 2007

Bernie would rather no crowd and a crap circuit (Bahrain) than a sellout crowd, challenging circuit (Silverstone, Montreal) :censored: :censored:
 

Matthew Little

Points Scorer
Life_W12 said:
There used to be a MotoGP race there and it stopped in 2007

Bernie would rather no crowd and a crap circuit (Bahrain) than a sellout crowd, challenging circuit (Silverstone, Montreal) :censored: :censored:

It's all about the money for the Troll and his minions these days...............I mean, why have an F1 race at a venue that actually draws fans when you can race at any one of the numerous Tilke-built tracks around the world where the racing can be so :censored: sterile the tracks could substitute as hospital operating rooms........... :censored: :givemestrength: :o :o :o :o
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
Why doesn't he get a race in Poland :dunno: :dunno: ? Kubica is a national icon :dontmentionit: :dontmentionit: and the crowds would be massive but he'd rather 100 people turn up to Turkey :embarrassed: :embarrassed:
 
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