Liberty Media has been trying to bring about a lot of radical changes to increase the appeal of the sport amongst the masses and to make the sport far more interesting for the existing fans as well.
Liberty have already come out with the F1 TV, a OTT subscription service that is all set to change the way the sport is viewed across the world.
Now, Liberty had also proposed a radical change in the F1 calendar, grouping all the grand prix’s into clusters, something that could help in increasing the popularity of the sport and decreasing the costs associated with it.
Sean Bratches, the commercial chief wanted to implement a calendar that would start in Europe, shift towards America and finally end in Asia.
However, Liberty is finding it tough to get all the grand prix’s on board with this shift in calendar, as Australia want to continue being the opening grand prix and Abu Dhabi wants the final grand prix spot.
“From an aspirational standpoint, I am an optimist – but I am also a realist, and based on some of the contractual commitments we have, and based on weather issues, it will be a while before we can get there – if we can [at all],” Bratches said.
“We are trying to point this ship in that direction which will be much more efficient for fans, because we can navigate them for a period of time in the same timezone.
“It will also be more efficient for F1 to avoid the expensive travelling, and it will also create opportunities from a sponsorship standpoint because if somebody wants to activate in Europe, or the Americas, or Asia, it is difficult to do as we bounce all around right now.” he added.
The other aspect that Liberty has been looking into has been the amount of races that could be fitted into the calendar.
Talk has been about how a 25-race calendar could be formulated, with Miami, Vietnam and Argentina GPs to be added to the list of existing circuits.
However, teams have expressed concern over the length of the F1 calendar and how it could affect drivers and their costs.
“We don’t have a target number of races,” said Carey.
“We certainly could add races, we’ve got a lot of places that would like to have races – not always places that we’d consider – but I think there are actually quite a number that would be real positives for us.
“But I think our real focus is to ensure quality over quantity. We have the capacity and the rights to add races, and can ultimately go to 25.
“But our focus at this point is getting the races to be what they should be, and really all the components behind it.
“It’s not just the race, but it’s the hospitality, local partnerships, the event itself, the cities that support it, the public support to engage, and I think we’ll continue to evolve those opportunities as we deal with renewals.” he concluded.
Does the F1 schedule that has grouped GPs make sense?