F1 As a Mirror of The Global Economy

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Tyre Warmer

Rapacious capitalists only concerned with their own enrichment, dwindling public participation, rising inequality, corrupt leadership, a wilful disregard of the real nature of problems to protect the incumbents, and a rotten sense of decline. These days Formula One is pretty much a perfect reflection of the global economy as whole!

The news coming out of F1’s strategy group meeting confirms that there is an amazing refusal to engage with the salient issues. Just as we see European politicians desperately trying to ignore the fact that Greece is entirely broke by rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic-esque Eurozone, the burghers of F1 grasp at regulatory straws.

While the world’s central bankers seem genuinely surprised that simply enriching the top one percent doesn’t do much for everyone else, the pinnacle of motorsport wants to have a crack at some quantitative easing of its own: will 1,000bhp be enough, how about 2,000 just to be sure?

The comic book render Ferrari produced of a possible future F1 car at the beginning of the year encapsulated this sorry state of affairs perfectly by being laughably irrelevant to the sport’s woes.

Having cars that look like something from the Bat Cave re-sprayed will do nothing if drivers can’t overtake each other, races are too expensive for people to attend, crippling unfairness in the distribution of money blights competition, and the beguiling history of the sport is jettisoned for a short term monetary fixes.

The latest non-solution is customer cars.

While the details are scant on exactly how things will work, the Spanish Grand Prix suggests a Mercedes customer car would have a fair chance of beating the works Ferrari. In MotoGP it’s not unusual to see the satellite bikes usurping the factory teams but if that started to happen in F1 it would really cause a stink.

Imagine Dr. Helmut Marko’s rage if his edgy-energy-drink-mobile was beaten by a customer Merc sponsored by Horlicks! Worse still, imagine if you had paid millions for a version of this year’s McHonda, you’d be asking for your money back!

There are considerable doubts any thought has been put into the ramifications of customer cars. It is just a desperate attempt to keep the private equity vultures happy and control the sport through an oligarchy of teams with FOM revenue streams acting as puppeteer’s strings.

No doubt it will get worse.

The grasping nature if those in charge means that free-to-air Grand Prix will eventually disappear altogether. The consequent decline in eyeballs and thus sponsorship cash means even more power for the commercial rights holders. They will pick the winners and F1 will cease to be sport, becoming instead a brightly coloured ‘crony capitalist’ procession. F1 will go the way of boxing and disappear up its own over-financialised backside.

F1 fans desperately need Bernie to inject some meritocracy back into the sport before he departs us to the big super-yacht in the sky. Unfortunately that doesn’t look very likely at present.


Disclaimer: TheJudge13 provides a platform for Formula 1 fans to publish their voice on matters relating to Formula 1. The views expressed in Voice of #F1 Fans are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.


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7 responses to “F1 As a Mirror of The Global Economy

  1. Is there any other world sport where the participants receive such a small amount of the income? Successful sports like football and baseball don’t. They ensure they get the money generated by their sports.
    The F1 teams have been led by Bernie, Mosley, etc into the current situation, by setting them one against the other, when there is no need for it.
    If/when F1 goes down the crapper, blame Williams, Ferrari and McLaren for being so bloody stupid.

    • When trying to compare F1 with leagues like MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, EPL etc. it must be understood each team owns an equal share of the league. This is why expansion teams in these leagues have a $200-300 million, up to $1 billion franchise fees just to establish a new team. They have to buy their spot. Most of that money is then distributed to the rest of the team owners.

      If F1 operated like these leagues, how many people can afford to pay hundreds of millions just for their F1 entry? Unlike those other sports, tax payers won’t be there to build the factories needed, they wont be their to fund initial R&D. That sport business model wouldn’t work in F1.

      Back in 2005 if the teams each came up with $260 million USD they could have outbid CVC and made F1 a franchise association, but what team would/could have done that?

  2. Until Bernie has passed, there won’t be any real significant change happening in Formula 1. His world is populated with the top 1% of the people. Formula 1 caters to the top 1% of the population because that is what Bernie has set up Formula 1 to be. He’s not concerned with the younger generation of fans because he probably isn’t around them much and he’s not that concerned with modernizing F1 global reach and it’s presence in the digital world because it’s not part of his generation’s reality. Formula 1 the way it is now is what Bernie knows. Taking the sport backwards with V8’s and customer cars (that is what started IndyCar headed towards the current state that it’s in), is not the answer. If he were to update it for the good of the sport, it might have to face that is in the twilight of his life and he may not be ready to do that yet.

  3. I see no problem with the likes of Ferrari being beaten by a customer car. What are they [Ferrari], some kind of a sacred cow? If Ferrari gets beaten by a customer car, then Ferrari should up its game. Moreover, Mercedes cars are also fast because of who is driving them. I doubt an average rent-a-driver would be anywhere close to them.

    At least we could see some wheel to wheel racing and fights of podium finishes, instead of seeing Ferrari take its “guaranteed” podium spot week after week.

  4. We have to look at the picture as a whole. If customer cars appear,what will happen to the investment that has been injectect into the mid field teams? We know that Lotus is potentially up for sale and most of the value in that team is the entry into F1 plus all the intellectual property of the organisation. Let’s for argument sake put a figure of 200 million on the table..why would anyone invest here if they can buy a ‘Ferrari’ tub for 60 million and then place a Merc power unit in the back for 40million..that’s no development costs,no factory to manage and realistically no chance of a development breakthrough.i can think of 6 teams who’s investment and value will be wiped off in one pen stroke. I do have to wonder if the mini todt has some insider knowledge as to which direction we are headed with the sudden interest in farming out a f1 team,as for Has he would be mad to enter this grid until everything is nailed down again, the lies of a cap a few years ago show the risk involved as only one team has even dragged itself this far.
    Do we want a race series littered with Lola,delara or even a red bull flavoured motors?..F1 has always been about different approaches to a set problem,if they allow a single solution then F1 risks becoming a super GP2 series.

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