Formula 1 Must Address Financial Inequalities Before Expanding Race Calendar

By
at Internationaled.org

Published: November 20, 2016

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Quick show of hands: Who wishes this Formula One season had an extra three or four races?

What, you don't want to see a few more near-guaranteed Mercedes victories?

But that may be exactly where we are headed. Liberty, the U.S. media company that is purchasing the sport's commercial rights, wants to expand the calendar from its current 21 races (itself a record number) to maximise its investment.

"There is a general line of interest if you increase the number of races to a point," Liberty chief executive Greg Maffei said recently, per Reuters' Harro Ten Wolde. "The FIA [the International Automobile Federation, which governs the sport] makes more money, the teams make more money, we make more money."

That is true; the problem is that F1's current prize money distribution scheme is heavily weighted toward the larger teams, and increasing the prize money pot would only enlarge the performance gap that exists between the teams.

In turn, this could lead to more Mercedes-style dominance, rather than the closer racing everyone wants to see.

Before Liberty sets about adding races in Las Vegas or Buenos Aires or who knows where, F1's new owners need to fix the way the sport's revenue is distributed among the teams.



In 2016, for example, Ferrari received a larger payout than the three lowest-paid teams combined, according to Autosport's Dieter Rencken and Lawrence Barretto.

Yes, by adding more races, the size of the revenue pie will grow—but so will the differences in the sizes of each team's slice. And not only that, but adding more races will also increase costs for the teams if they have to hire more staff.

"Burnout is becoming a serious problem," longtime F1 journalist Joe Saward wrote on his personal blog, "and it is nonsensical to try and double the size of the crews because some people just aren’t replaceable."

Merce...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Formula 1

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