More on F1 Ownership
Further to my recent post on Who Owns Formula One? and the clarifying comments by Mark Higgins, it now appears that CVC may be regretting their purchase. The ongoing dispute between the FIA and the GPMA (the F1 manufacturers association) over implementation of the engine freeze is making the future of F1 unsure and this impacts upon CVC’s ability to predict revenues from the sport. According to Update-F1, CVC has told the manufacturers to end the dispute.
This is interesting in view of the fact that the FIA announced yesterday that agreement on the issue had been reached. Today F1-live dot com reports that a spokesman for the GPMA, Xander Heijnen, has denied that any agreement has been achieved as yet.
Pardon my cynicism but this seems fairly typical of the way F1 is administered; contradictory statements, unnecessary disputes and rigid refusal to compromise have been the norm for over thirty years. What surprises me is that CVC do not appear to have known this before they ever became involved. If they had done their homework before investing such huge sums in purchasing F1, they would have realized that it is a sport in constant turmoil where nothing is written in stone except that “change is here to stay”.
It is hard to feel any sympathy for CVC; they have bought their bed and must lie in it. But I must thank them for highlighting an aspect of F1 that is extremely irritating for the fans and the teams: the arbitrary decision-making of the FIA and its lack of effective consultation with those who have to abide by the rules.
Of course, the GPMA must accept its share of the blame too. Their inability to present a united front has not helped at all in this situation. I cannot see that the judicious use of compromise could not have brought about consensus between the manufacturers. When dealing with the FIA, you need unanimity or you’ll get nowhere.
Sometimes I wonder how F1 manages to remain the pinnacle of motor sport. Uncertainty is hardly a good basis for management of such an important sport. Can anyone else remember way back when the rules used to stay the same for year after year?
It would have been nice to add a picture of the F1 logo to this post (it’s a clever design, I think) but CVC would probably come after me demanding money if I did that. So I found a pic of what it’s really all about instead – F1 cars racing at Monaco.