The consensus within the System 1 paddock is that Liberty Media is on the precise path.
The System 1 summer time break has given the F1 circus time to take a breath and have a look at the seven months for the reason that American media firm took over the System One Group from Bernie Ecclestone. Up to now, most like what they see.
“We now have been actively engaged with all groups to form a shared imaginative and prescient for the game that may create actual worth for all stakeholders,” says Chase Carey, the chairman and CEO of System 1. “We’re happy with the collaborative discussions we’re having with the groups. These discussions will take time, however we recognize their receptivity towards additional aligning our incentives for the long-term good thing about the game.”
Carey says that Liberty will not be overly eager on pay TV until the markets help it. This isn’t the case in a lot of F1’s heartlands, which have suffered from switching away from free-to-air (Forbes reported in 2015 that F1 claimed losses of 25 million viewers worldwide in 2014 and pointed to pay TV as a significant motive).
Liberty needs to get F1 again within the dwelling rooms whereas additionally creating social media.
“From the outset, we have now centered on getting followers nearer to the motion and broadening the enchantment of the game,” says Sean Bratches, F1’s new business head.
Fernando Alonso spends time with the followers forward of this summer time’s F1 British Grand Prix.
Crimson Bull staff principal Christian Horner, an Ecclestone ally, says that F1 and Liberty Media are nonetheless within the honeymoon stage.
“Up to now, it has been very encouraging,” Horner says. “It’s actually completely different. Bernie did an exquisite job in constructing the enterprise into what it’s as we speak. Liberty has a special method, which is concentrated on partaking with followers, driving the eyeballs, creating nice occasions. And we’ve seen them utilizing different avenues that beforehand weren’t out there, notably social media. I feel they’ve been very proactive, working with promoters. They usually have relaxed among the guidelines with the groups, resembling branding, and they’re actively making an attempt to advertise the game with issues like F1 Experiences and, in fact, the F1 fan occasion in London, which was an amazing success.
“I feel taking F1 to the general public is creating higher consciousness, a greater following and a greater sport for enterprise. Chase is a pointy man. He’s constructed a very good staff with Bratches and Ross Brawn on the technical facet, and what’s clear is that they very a lot drive what the product of F1 goes to be.”
Niki Lauda, non-executive chairman of Mercedes-AMG Petronas, has an analogous evaluation, with one reservation.
“I feel they’re doing a very good job, no query about it,” Lauda says. “The one factor the place they might have been stronger is with the ‘Halo.’ They may have made the purpose to the FIA and stated, ‘Look guys, for our sport, there must be a bit of little bit of hazard left in order that these drivers are acknowledged as one of the best on this planet.’ However they’re making an attempt exhausting to grasp all of it. Ross Brawn is doing a very good job. He speaks our language, and talking with him is straightforward and doesn’t want any translation.”
Haas drivers on the F1 Stay occasion in London.
Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul says that they’re doing “a unbelievable job on the promotional facet” and believes that they are going to be good for the game. “They nonetheless have lots of issues to be taught with the politics of System 1, however they’re intelligent folks, and I’ve little doubt that they are going to make their imaginative and prescient of the game work in the long run.”
McLaren boss Sheikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa thinks the paddock wants to offer Liberty Media a while.
“The perspective that Liberty has introduced is extra collaborative and strategic,” Khalifa says. “Because of this it’s one thing that everybody within the paddock must get used to. It’s a utterly completely different means of taking a look at issues. They will strive new issues, however they’ve a long-term view. We now have to be affected person, however they appear intent to make the game develop. They need sustainable groups and a sustainable sport by making it thrilling for the followers and sustainable for the promoters. The one means for them to do this is to develop the game. That’s their philosophy, and we simply must be extra accepting of change and extra collaborative. We simply want to offer them an opportunity, pay attention and take a long-term view.”
Lewis Hamilton has purchased into social media in an enormous means.
Others, resembling 1997 F1 champion-turned-commentator Jacques Villeneuve, are skeptical.
“I’m not positive but,” Villeneuve says. “What Liberty has finished with London was nice. It was enjoyable. It was picture, nevertheless it doesn’t actually have an effect on the racing, which is what actually issues on the finish of the day. That’s my largest fear since you ought to by no means attempt to create a greater present. Each time you strive it, you destroy it. There may be at all times the thought that this modification might be wonderful, however the different 10 issues that include it usually are not considered, and they’re really damaging. That’s why it is best to go away it alone and let the boys be males.”
Race promoters, like Canada’s François Dumontier, are optimistic.
“Our relationship with the F1 new administration has been fairly constructive,” he says. “I had the chance to debate the longer term with them within the latest months and through our Canadian GP, the place they’ve been proactive.
“I totally help their imaginative and prescient to deliver our sport nearer to our followers.”