In an Alternative Universe, on a world much like our own, it was a dark, dark time for the planet’s premier single-seater racing series. Corruption and manipulation of the competitors was rife amongst those that ran the sport.
The owner of the commercial rights to the series was a megalomaniac whose greed for infinite wealth was driven by a state of psychological turbulence that could be traced to a childhood of neglect and relative poverty.
These delusional fantasies of ultimate power and omnipotence were evidenced by the need for the sport’s Mr. Big to be seen constantly in the presence of the kings and Princes and the great merchants of the numerous provinces that the world.
Mr. Big was a stony faced poker player and drove hard bargains with the television broadcasting agents and the merchants to bring untold riches into the coffers of the sport. The teams laboured night and day to find that extra competitive edge to beat their opponents and provided joy and excitement to hundred’s of millions of viewers across the planet.
However, they received a mere third of the riches in the sport’s war chest. The rest was kept by Mr. Big and his associates to further his delusions of grandeur. Whenever the teams considered breaking away from the clutches of Mr. Big, he would employ tactics of divide and conquer amongst them, and out of fear and disunity this would result in arguments between the competitors instead of them fighting their common enemy of oppression.
This state of affairs continued for many years until one incredibly powerful province demanded a reduction in their hosting fee for the round of racing that they hosted. Mr. Big made a concession and it was this began mutterings amongst the other merchants and the broadcasters joined the chorus – over the exorbitant fee’s they too were forced to produce.
The telecast broadcasters had hiked their subscriptions to viewers so high to pay Mr. Big, that their audiences fell by half. The merchants too had inflated their ticket prices to attend the racing events and attendances were collapsing year on year.
In a desperate bid to keep the competitors on side, Mr. Big gave them a 10% increase on the monies they received to fund their development of racing machines. But the tide had turned. As with all dictatorships in all worlds and every universe – eventually their time has run its course – and their demise is most usually swift.
Finally the competitors united and put aside their petty rivalry and tired of being exploited they decided to act. They withdrew from the racing series run by Mr. Big and created their own with structures of governance and principles subject to the ordinance of ‘fairness for all’.
Enshrined in their association and born out of the scars of history was a desire for remembrance of their dark past; there too was a commitment to a future culture and principles by which they would act. So the called named their new premier racing series – Formula Libre.
A legal association was formed consisting of 13 racing franchises. Each Franchise is a legal entity within its own right and there is a Franchise Committee of 13 representatives, 1 from each team, that decide certain matters by democratic vote. The number of franchises can be increased by unanimous agreement only.
From this body a regulatory organisation is proposed and formed. Again each representative has one commissioner on the panel of the regulatory body, together with specialist advisors appointed by majority vote.
The regulatory commission negotiates all contracts with the telecast broadcasts and the merchant venue owners, and sets limits on the charges either can make to those wishing to attend or view the racing from their homes.
Now 75% of the monies received go directly and equally to the competitor teams and the remainder is used by the regulatory organisation to employ specialist race officials, scrutineers and marshals who travel the planet as full time qualified employees.
The wining team receives a 5% bonus as reward for their efforts over and above the basic funding awarded to each of the others. This is to be paid directly to the employees of the team.
Whilst the competitors can raise incremental funding from sponsors and merchandising, there is a spending cap restriction placed upon the competitors. Should this cap be broken the owner of the franchise would suffer immediate withdrawal of his franchise rights and a new owner would be sought. proper ‘fit for purpose’ tests were applied to any potential owner wishing to take on a racing franchise.
Formula Libre is now master of its own domain, restrained by its collective need to find continual agreement. It supports charitable organisations across the planet and is known to be an icon of unity across nations.
The person who conceived of this plan is a shadowy, mysterious individual who is spoken of reverently in the annuls of Formula Libre history.