F1 too expensive? apparently it's our fault !!


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After his comments about the TV deal, the Williams chairman Adam Parr now comes up with this little gem.


He thinks F1 fans should be more behind cost cutting measures in the sport and that we have to realise it costs money to put on "the show" for our benefit.

I'm wondering if that's the case and everything they do in F1 is for our benefit then why do they feal the need for multi-million pound "brand centres" behind the garages which they still laughingly call motor homes? I mean, we as fans don't get to see them at race weekends because as average mortals we aren't allowed near the paddock area.

In order to ensure there is still a race at Silverstone each year, FOM has demanded that the facilities are updated. Hooray I hear you cry, no longer do we have to shell out £130 pounds for a ticket only to stand on a muddy grass strip at some of the least desirable parts of the circuit. Ah, no, the Silverstone Wing is built for the benefit of the few hundred members of the paddock club and the improvements are signed off.

Ok, so I'll do my bit for the team and buy a T-shirt. Just an ordinary polo shirt, nothing too flash. Blimey, £38 for a Williams Polo Shirt, £39 for a Mclaren Polo Shirt, £50 for a Team Lotus Polo Shirt and crikey £70 for a Ferrari Polo Shirt !! (oh and by the way, A Manchester United Polo shirt is £17 !!) (all prices taken from official websites)

Something about "glass houses and stones" springs to mind.

Mr Parr's job is to reduce costs and increase revenues for his firm so that they can have some upside earnings momentum.

Remember, he's a chairman of a firm that has publically traded stock in the market.

What else is he going to say? He's there to create value for shareholder...not to make that dreadful car go faster!

It's obviously a far cry from the days of Frank and Patrick running a tight show with Alan Jones as their Number 1.

Isn't it?

Williams F1 issued it's Initial Public Offering (IPO) at Euro 25.

It's currently trading at 16.80, barely off the closing lows of 16.65 around the Canadian Grand Prix.

Anyone who bought the IPO on March 2nd is sitting on a loss of ~ 32.8 percent. :embarrassed:

Nice, eh? :snigger:

So, as you can imagine, Mr Parr has his neck in a noose. He's speaking directly to shareholdes, not guys like us. That's why he talks about costs and profits and losses and revenues.

He's not there to discuss the lack of downforce on the FW33 or how the Pirellis are working on that hideous car of theirs! ;)
"I'd like the fans, perhaps, if they felt supportive, to be a bit more supportive of some of the things we are trying to do to reduce the cost in the sport."

I'm sorry, this looks like a direct appeal to fans to me. I can't read anything more into it than that.

Can anyone tell me what exactly are they trying to do to reduce costs? The deal with BBCSkyB went through on a nod and wink from FOTA because they were getting an increase in TV revenue. Giving teams more money to spend isn't exactly helping to reduce costs is it?

The most ironic thing is that the one guy who did say that rising costs in F1 were unsustainable was Max Mosley and pretty much everything he tried to introduce fell foul of a FOTA veto or has subsquently been abandoned by the teams. Yes Max did get a fair few things wrong such as insisting that the new teams use Cosworth engines or not get a license to go racing but how many of these new crusaders against rising costs were against budget capping?

I fully understand Mr Parr has a company to run and wants to achieve the best results for the team while keeping a watchful eye on the accounts but you can't blaim the customer for complaining about the cost when you are sat at the top of your nice shiney and newly constructed ivory tower.

If Mr Parr would like the fans backing on efforts to reduce costs in F1 then lets see action rather than words.
After his comments about the TV deal, the Williams chairman Adam Parr now comes up with this little gem.


He thinks F1 fans should be more behind cost cutting measures in the sport and that we have to realise it costs money to put on "the show" for our benefit.

"We have to reduce costs in F1 as we are skint"

not to make that dreadful car go faster!

"Make the car go faster and we won't be so skint"

I wholeheartedly agree.

Just an FYI for all concerned this thread is concerning Parr's comments about the fans "duty" to F1 - should you wish to discuss the relative merits of Williams please go here thanks.
Totally agree CaT...

Max was right on that, as on many things, but his undoing was a combination of the way he tried to impose it, both in arguement and practicalities, and choosing it as a fight with the two most powerful groups within F1 - Ferrari and Bernie. Both of those groups have always resolved their problems with huge amounts of cash over anything else.
It's up to the teams to cut costs, the fans have never been asked about it and nor are we ever likely to be. If we had, perhaps a few quid would have been saved on KERS?

I don't know what suggestions Parr has for cost-cutting measures, but if it means further dumbing down and more standard components then I hope he fails. As a general principle I think the teams have to change to suit the sport, not the other way around.
Yet more disingenuous comments from the teams/FOTA attempting to justify the nonsensical BBC/Sky deal.

As I said in the other thread, if any teams go under because of it, I won't shed any tears.
I find it constantly baffling... Essentially, Parr has come out and said "We need the TV deal with Sky because F1 is too expensive"... but then says "Oh if you supported us in cost cutting, then we wouldn't need th deal with Sky"...

So, what he's saying is that it's the fans fault that F1 has gone cap in hand to Murdoch. All I can say is this is complete cobblers! F1 has become so expensive because of an arms race amongst teams and manufacturers. None of the fans would have noticed if the budgets of the early 2000s had been quartered! However, now they are used to wasting, sorry spending money, they find it difficult to cut back... So who's to blame... ah yes, the fans!!!

Mind, as a further aside.... Parr says we should support the cost-cutting now that they've gone to sky... So they're getting MORE money from the broadcasters, but we should support them for spending less!!! That's surely the wrong way round isn't it?
Every time Adam Parr opens his mouth it would appear he is merely doing so in order to insert his foot...:rolleyes:

Does he really think that F1 fans are so stupid that they will not see through this fatuous piece of gainsaying?

Mind you - Frank WIlliams has been hoodwinked by this rectal smoke-blower...it's the only thing I can think of to explain how he has reached a position of importance, because it certainly isn't through being good at running an F1 team!:crazy:
I take your point about Sam Michael, Ray, but I feel that his expertise and experience might still be a loss to the team. He could still have had a valuable role to play, even if not as head designer.

Whereas Parr does not seem to have done anything positive for Williams, at least on the face of it. He certainly does not appear to have attracted too many new sponsors to the team.

He also appears, from his public utterances, to be quite divorced from the real world:

The possibility for large numbers to watch F1 on TV is important to sponsors in order for them to maximise their exposure, as well as important to the fans themselves. It appears that Mr Parr has not grasped this point yet.

Fans are not all made of money at the best of times, but in today's financial circumstances we are even harder hit. Wages have stagnated or fallen while the cost of fuel, food, entertainment etc. has risen, for the last three or four years or so. It's already expensive to watch at the circuits, and to pile more expense on to TV viewers now is grossly unfair as well as unwise. If fans are turned away from following the sport they love by being priced out of it at every turn, and if new fans are not attracted for the same reason, the sport will surely die sooner or later.

Parr uses the example of comparing the Cirque du Soleil to a cheap local circus. But what F1 fans are being asked to swallow now is more akin to someone who has hitherto been prepared to pay good money to see a high quality Cirque du Soleil performance, being told that they will from now on only be able to see half the show and must pay three or four times more again to be able to see the whole thing in the future. To then lecture those fans on the high cost of 'putting on the show' is like rubbing salt into the wound and grinding one's boot into it for good measure.

Also, Parr suggests that we need more races and shorter, or at least in some way modified, events. This is a classic example of seeking to fix something which ain't broke. We need to maintain quality, not add more quantity. 20 races is plenty (some would say too many). We don't need more.

If Parr's attitude prevails I fear that we will experience the eventual dumbing-down of F1. Maybe it has started already.
Chad, you have some extremely good points in there.

First, you're quite right...Michael could still play an important role in the team.

Secondly, i'm in complete agreement with you that pay-per-view will limit viewer expansion and, very likely, hurt existing viewership and, as a result, dent sponsorship funds to the teams.

I'm very certain that Mr Parr would know this. If he doesn't, then he should resign. Most likely the only reason he's willing to live with it is probably because he feels that this decline might be off-set by pay-per-view revenues...or something else that we don't know.

Perhaps they know something we don't? I would never underestimate Sir Frank's ability to be fiscally aware...lord only knows he let enough of his freshly minted World Champions see their way through the doors at Didcot or Grove rather than pay up to keep them. So, somehow, I feel Mr Parr is only Sir Frank's mouth-piece...but a much less eloquent and elegant version of it.

In the end I think pay-per-view is a bad bet...but i'm not one of the guys making the decision...and, as I said, I don't have all the information to make a proper judgement.

My sympathies, though, to all of you good folk over there who are going to have to pay to watch some of the races.

Cheers. :)
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