Where will the pursuit of more money take Formula One?

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Bernie Ecclestone’s underpinning philosophy for Formula One has always been the sport should be exclusive.

Product exclusivity drives premium prices and sees demand exceed supply – which drives prices even higher.

This notion of exclusivity was particularly evident in the number of F1 races which were scheduled each year.

Ecclestone himself admitted in 2010, “We really should be at 16 [races], to be honest. 20 is plenty, that’s the limit. No more. I’ve been able to squeeze in 20 but I wouldn’t want to increase it…there’ll be mayhem otherwise!

‘We have enough countries waiting (to come on board) but I think we have to stop now,’

The debate over limiting the number of races swept through the upper echelons of F1 like wildfire following the publication of the 2011 calendar – which for the first time featured 20 F1 race weekends.

“For me, personally, [20 races] is too much,” commented former FIA president Max Mosely. “In my honest opinion it will be too many Sunday’s for the fans who will have to adjust their Sunday afternoons to fit with the sport. At some point it becomes a nuisance.”

Since Ecclestone began to reform the sport of Formula One back in the 1980’s, the number of races each year tended to settle around 15, 16, 17, but in recent years has pushed its way towards the 19/20 events per year mark, and for many this is simply untenable.

Ross Brawn explained in 2011: “I think you reach a point where, if you go beyond it, you have to look at rotating people, crews and that gets very difficult particularly with engineers who are very closely linked with their drivers.

“With some of the others, mechanics and technicians, we can do that. So 20 races I think is the sensible limit.”

Martin Whitmarsh also reflected, “we used to think going beyond 16 was tough and it is,” and there were others too who feared the implications of an ever growing F1 calendar.

“Going above 20 would be too many,” said Monisha Kaltenborn. Then again, counting has recently proven not to be a strength of the Indian born Sauber Team Principal.

Despite all this rhetoric, the proposed 2016 F1 race calendar has 21 races, which interestingly will have implications on the number of engines each car is allowed. The rules state that up to 20 races, each car is allowed four engines but above 20 this rises to 5.

Clearly, in the pursuit of ever increasing bundles of cash, Bernie Ecclestone has changed his philosophy from one of exclusivity – to stack em high and get as much for ‘em all as you can.

With Races every other weekend throughout the 2016 season and seven back to back events, we the fans will be able to fill our boots with F1 on our screens.

Yet as Max Mosely pointed out – is this really the kind of saturation F1 fans want? Because this is where the pursuit of money is taking us.

 

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16 responses to “Where will the pursuit of more money take Formula One?

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, adding more races decreases the value of each one.
    Imagine theoretically having 100 races. missing one won’t be so bad then, right? see where I’m going with this?

    While I’m at it, the summer break is stupid. The momentum is totally killed. Let’s stick to 16 high quality races in relevant consumer regions spaced evenly two weeks apart.

  2. You point the finger at Bernie, but don’t you think it is CVC who is behind this?
    Bernie over and over again stated the 20 was the limit, and less was favorable. Sure he benefits, but CVC is more and more calling the tune for Bernie to dance to.

  3. Personally, I think 20 races are too many, taking up too many weekends….. Theoretically, should be able to record and watch later but the race result is reported on every news channel without any advance warning so its impossible to avoid and find it pointless watching a race when I already know the result. Also pre and post analysis means it takes all day to watch, tend now watchTed’s notebook.

  4. “Then again, counting has recently proven not to be a strength of the Indian born Sauber Team Principal.”
    To the racist slur, you may as well to add a sexist insult – that Monisha is a woman.

    “Despite all this rhetoric, the proposed 2016 F1 race calendar has 21 races, which interestingly will have implications on the number of engines each car is allowed. The rules state that up to 20 races, each car is allowed four engines but above 20 this rises to 5.”
    Ecclestone didn’t get where he is today without being an extremely clever scheming fox. He knows there there won’t be 21 races. It is purely a ploy to get some tracks to get their act together, he will drop one or two which fail to meet his expectations. Also, getting 21 races on the final official calendar (if they do get on the final list) allows him to bypass the FIA restrictions, the teams get to the use of 5 engines and one of the tracks then gets dropped off for some convenient reason.

    p.s. Are you not going to run a negative Lewis Hamilton story of him partying with Rihanna, claiming that that will harm his race craft? It will help drive up your traffic in the summer shutdown doldrums.

    • Please explain why racist Craig… She is Indian born… We regularly read about the Spanish Samurai, the German Vettel or Englishman Hamilton… Need to get your knickers out of a twist mate

      • @Donkey Named Ote

        Identifying a race, or someone’s race, qualifies as “racist” nowadays… didn’t you know?

        @CraigG

        I attributed the “counting” jab directed at Monisha to be as a result of her penchant for hiring 3, 4 or 5 drivers for 2 race seats. She almost went to jail in Australia for it.

        @TJ13 Community

        Someone mentioned Lewis’ holiday preparation for Belgium. In that spirit, here’s my latest meme… enjoy. (I’m always happy to oblige)

        http://s30.postimg.org/aruixy7xd/image.jpg

        • I now see why Lewis was off this game at the last race. I think he has taken Lauder’s advice literally when he said ‘when you enter a corner make sure you are right behind your opponent so that you can nail them on the straight’

          • I’ve been found out. Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King Lewis, the LORD of F1.

    • Lessee here: She had two cars, so two seats, and four drivers; four into two doesn’t go. Explains the counting remark to me.

    • Finally someone who mentions it. I for one am jalouse of Lewis. Talk about an upgrade from Nicole. If I would be a double (triple) world champion I sure as hell would try to get her. 😂

  5. The Dwarf is a dealer, secondhand bicycles, motorbikes, cars, anything for a quick quid. He’s left a trail of upset buyers, sellers and staff over the years. Giving him access to untold millions has made him even greedier. He doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions, he’s only interested in accummilating money, for himself and CVC who are equally as greedy.
    F1 might be lucky to survive Bernie, but he’s going to have to go soon, before it’s goes all Gerald Ratner on the sport.

  6. Why do the Bernie/CVC attackers always forget the F1 teams make more money off of Bernie’s dealings than they do? You don’t think they encourage this search for money?

    Also consider the fifth engine that comes out of a 21st team. What are the chances this was deliberate to also lessen the number of silly engine penalties?

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