Liberty Media buy F1


Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Liberty haven't done anything much yet. Too early to say. No grid girls and a 10 minute later start time. Whoop dee doo.

As for Ross Brawn the best analogy I've seen was he used to be the 'poacher' but now he is now the 'gamekeeper'.

Who better to make the rules than someone that used to bend them to breaking point.
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Valued Member
Andyoak - My experience is that the attention span of young people is as long as it’s ever been; however brought up in a world of choice they don’t have patience for rubbish.

If it’s on C4 and it’s dull, off to another one of 200 channels, Netflix, a games console, social media or top-quality motorsport fora. Or read a book.

If it’s good, it’ll last. Make it entertaining.


Race Winner
There was an interesting bit on Today (R4) about the changes in the way the England team are allowed/managed. A fine balancing act between team building to include the fans.

I'm too drunk to be nuanced tonight but F1 could learn a lot from it.

Lose the automatons.
Build a sense of team and sport involvement.

But remember it's still the game; the race; the competition that is the heart of the sport.

Close racing is competition.
It is what F1 should be about.
But it has to be the people not the technology.

People care about people.

They want people competing with people.

If all you have are fireworks and fluff it's going to die as a spectator sport.


Not dead
teabagyokel I couldn't agree more. The 'short' attention span always makes me laugh especially when it comes go TV. When I was young a TV series was just ten standalone episodes now days the most popular ones are continuous stories where you have to watch 13 hours of TV to know what's going on. But hey yeah everyone has short attention spans.


Valued Member
There are 5000 people a game willing to watch fourth-division football in the UK. That’s not due to fancy graphics.

I’m pretty sure the biggest F1 film recently (‘Rush’) focused on Lauda and Hunt, not the McLaren and Ferrari designers and engineers without whom the whole thing wouldn’t happen.

So I totally agree again.

For a sponsor-led global sport to consider delving behind a paywall at this time is insanity. Especially in its bigger markets.

And, yes, Western Europe is F1’s big market. America or China might be bigger economies but if you’re selling rugby kit, you don’t say the population of New Zealand is too small...

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
teabagyokel - I think the reason that the paywall is seen as possible is because the relative income from sponsorship has fallen significantly- firms are unable to justify paying sufficiently to ensure that teams can be competitive. The money comes from TV deals, and from the pyramid scheme which is hosting fees.

If F1 had moved to maximum budgets of £50m, then perhaps the paywall wouldn’t have been necessary or feasible!


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Bernie ran F1, in the end, to make as much money for himself as he could. Liberty Media saw Bernie become a billionaire on the back of F1 and want a piece of it.

Don't get carried away that these Americans, with their bizarre facial hair and bonhomie, are here to be altruistic and run the sport for the benefit of either the teams or the fans, it's a cash cow which they will milk until it has dried up and then they will toss it to one side and move on to the next one. Oh, and the man who owns all this is described on his Wiki page as being a "Libertarian" so expect nothing unless you pay for it.


Happy to help.
Pay per view tv for F1 is insane, I've always thought that. Where are the new viewers going to come from? Given what they charge to watch it you'd have to be sure you like it first. How will you ever know that if it's not available to watch for free? It's going to get to a point where it's not viable for the tv channels like Sky to pay all these millions into the sport if they don't get the viewers.

As for the boredom/attention span thing it is ridiculous. When a fan who has been watching F1 as long as I have finds the races getting boring lately you have a problem. There is little racing going on and if you can pretty much predict the winner from lap1, what is the point? Get the racing right, make it exciting and unmissable and you will get all the fans you so desire. Whether they will pay for the privilige of watching is another matter.


Valued Member
The Artist..... I believe the question is one of cause and effect. Is sponsorship down because sponsorship is naturally down? Or is sponsorship down because in some markets the actual exposure of that sponsorship has been halved and it is thus a worse deal?

I don't know. But I think those sports that thrive behind a paywall are either culturally ubiquitous (football), have a showcase that's free-to-air (Rugby Union - Six Nations and Rugby World Cup, Rugby League - Challenge Cup, Tennis - Wimbledon, Golf - The Masters and The Open etc.) or are massive, convenient live spectator sports.

The pressure on corporations to be seen as environmentally friendly is extant, but I believe that were Formula One a mass-viewership event the financial implications would easily override that.

There's a faint sense of mortality around Formula One at the moment.

The Artist.....

Champion Elect

For me, the bigger issue is that ceteris paribus, the cost of running F1 cars has outstripped the amount that (particularly small) teams can raise in sponsorship.

I have long believed that the moment that destroyed the ability of F1 to go forward was the Lola MasterCard project- this led to the £48 million bond that was introduced for new teams, led to the focus on manufacturers, and led to the colossal growth in budgets...


Valued Member
Beautiful livery; awful car.

That was the last time an independent constructor built a machine with essentially the backing of a single sponsor, and a pretty rich one at that.

I think this other beautiful livery; awful car also had an effect:

Caterham got a load of sponsors on board and a decent team behind them. They were professional, they hired two experienced developmental drivers and a whole range of former F1 engineers. They weren't struggling to actually get to the track (like HRT) nor did they appear to be cursed (Manor). If not them, then who?


Valued Member
Bill Boddy - I think the question is whether the sponsors leaving was a response to the pay-wall or vice-versa.

Personally, I feel it’s one heck of a vicious cycle.