The end of Bernie and the Coming of Liberty

Being able to race a Formula one team is incredibly expensive. Consider the overheads, first and foremost the car needs to be developed to the maximum potential that it can which requires a wind tunnel and specialist personnel to design it. An engine supplier needs to be found to come on board or several have to be  purchased from one. Then there is the cost of shipping the cars around the world every two to three weeks from April to October and paying all the engineers, hospitality,  mechanics and admin staff that you need to run it. How then does a team make any money? Whatever the case as a fan as long as they race it’s hardly a consideration for you and to get up close you should certainly join F1 Paddock Club Abu Dhabi for a start and is the place.

Image credit

Teams are usually a bit cagey as to how much money they make. One of the issues was that the head of Formula one Bernie Eccelstone was the person making the most money over everyone. Eccelstone was a team owner who took the sport by the scruff of the neck and turned it into a much safer, professional business that earned big earnings in prize money for  the major teams like Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Mclaren. As long as they stayed in the top 4 they won a lot but those below received little reward.  A case in point is the Williams  team, dominant in the 1980’s and 1990’s now facing extinction as it cannot compete.

At the grand age of 83 Bernie was finally forced to accept that he could not run Formula one forever and he sold the rights to the sport of the media giant Liberty Media. 2 years on and Liberty have done little to change his model despite several ideas being floated. Should the teams get a fairer split of prize money? What can be done to reduce costs? How can the sport grow? (the idea here being to expand in Far East with a race in Vietnam or more processional street circuits like one in London). Who are Liberty Media anyway?

Image credit

Liberty Media are just that. The own a whole load of media that provides entertainment and sports. The Starz Channel output  is there’s plus the QVC and Discovery Channel. They do have a lot of experience growing and developing Major League Baseball and if any one can make that exciting they must know what they are doing.