Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

F1 promoters urge owners Liberty Media to take a more 'collaborative approach'

The Formula One Promoters' Association critical of American conglomerate's move to go behind the pay wall, and perceived favouring of new destinations over existing venues

Formula One F1 - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - July 7, 2018 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel during qualifying Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Formula One F1 - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - July 7, 2018 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel during qualifying Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Formula One's circuit promoters are set for a collision course with the owners of the sport after they issued a critical statement of its regime.

The Formula One Promoters' Association (Fopa) has taken aim at Liberty Media, the American conglomerate which bought F1 for £6.4 billion (Dh31bn) from Bernie Ecclestone two years ago, for a lack of engagement with promoters.

Following a summit in London Fopa, which represents 16 of the 21 races, was also critical of F1's move to go behind the pay wall, and perceived favouring of new destinations over existing venues.

For the first time, the race at Silverstone in July will be the only live grand prix available on British terrestrial TV this season, while Miami may not have to pay a fee if a deal is struck to race there next year.

Silverstone will have to pay around £20 million to stage what is set to be the last British Grand Prix this summer.

The Northamptonshire venue, which hosted the first world championship race in 1950, is one of five circuits out of contract at the end of this year.

Monza, Hockenheim, Barcelona and Mexico City are also up for renewal.

A statement released by Fopa read: "It is not in the long-term interest of the sport that fans lose free access to content and broadcasting.

"There is a lack of clarity on new initiatives in F1 and a lack of engagement with promoters on their implementation.

"New races should not be introduced to the detriment of existing events.

"As we enter a new season of the sport that we have promoted for many decades, the promoters seek a more collaborative approach to the development of the championship, and an opportunity to offer their experience and expertise in a spirit of partnership with Formula One and the FIA."

Fopa is chaired by Silverstone managing director, Stuart Pringle.

Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, Pringle said: "Everyone is disgruntled. Liberty's ideas are disjointed.

"We have all been compliant and quiet hitherto, but we have great concerns about the future health of the sport under the people who run it now."

The first pre-season test is in Barcelona next month, before the campaign gets under way in Melbourne on March 17.

Updated: January 29, 2019 03:04 PM

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