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Liberty Media hit out at Ferrari, Mercedes and Haas for going public with F1 future doubts

Utkarsh Bhatla


Liberty Media’s vision for the sport hasn’t gone down well with a few of the teams as they have expressed their concern over Liberty’s plans with regard to the ‘new engine formula’ and probably levelling the field for all teams involved.

Ferrari have been very open with their criticism and have even threatened to leave the sport, with Mercedes and Haas suggesting an exodus as well.

Ferrari President, Sergio Marchionne is not happy with the proposed power unit regulations and Ecclestone has revealed that they have even entertained the idea of a rival F1 league.

Liberty Media’s CEO, Greg Maffei isn’t happy with all the public statements being issued/leaked as he would prefer all the business related aspect of the sport to happen in private.

“You’ve seen some of the public discord where we’re trying to build more balance by things like trying to build cost caps in, trying to level the payments out, so they’re not so favourable to the winners,” said Maffei.

“Why? We want to create the NFL perspective, where on any given Sunday somebody can win.

“There’s some tension around that, and it’s probably noisier yet than we thought it would be, and there will be more as we go through the period when we move up to renewing the Concorde Agreement for 2020, and renewing the relationship – or a different relationship – going forward.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise how noisy all that is. Most of us are used to conducting business like that in private.

“Anything around F1 gets blared out across the headlines of the world, whether you like it or not.” he added.

A lot of teams seem to be in a hurry to get all terms for the post 2020 era to be formulated and agreed upon. Some teams apparently want to gain an advantage by becoming the first one’s to sign up.

One of the issues is that it doesn’t really have to get fixed until 2020. Everybody would like it, and there is a lead time where you need to have some of this fixed, but as we sit here in early 2018 there is not a hard deadline yet that gets everybody there.

“There’s a lot of people who want to get there sooner, and other people who see perhaps that it’s in their interest to play out the old hand.

“There are several teams who have been saying publicly that Liberty should put the terms on the table, we should get signed up, and we should stare down the other guys who don’t want to sign up.

“We’ve tried to take a tack more of ‘let’s see if we can get everybody in the boat, and row together, rather than draw a hard line’.

“I think that’s [Chase Carey’s] demeanour, that’s Chase’s general operating procedure, but I totally agree. He’d first like to see if he can come up with a compromise that works for all the 10 teams, even though the 10 teams don’t necessarily have similar interests on every level.” he said,

With respect to a decision on the 2020 power unit regulations, Maffei feels that teams that prefer the current spec would want to try and and delay the details regarding the new spec.

“Depends who you ask! And perhaps the people who like the old spec have an advantage in waiting for the spec to be later, rather than earlier, right?” he concluded.

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