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F1 organizers demand more transparency from Liberty Media

Formula 1 Grand Prix organizers are demanding that Liberty Media be more open in their running of the sport after several key failings from the current owners.

With rumors swirling that Liberty Media may already be selling its financial stake in the series, the F1 Promoters’ Association — which represents 16 of the 21 Grands Prix — have sought clarity over a number of issues surrounding the championship, chiefly concerning the new regulations and the potential new Grand Prix to the calendar.

Five of the current Grands Prix — Britain, Italy, Spain, Germany and Mexico — have their contracts ending at the end of the 2019 season and while they all want to continue to host Formula 1 races, all are being priced out by Liberty Media.

Taking the championship to destination cities was one of the key desires of Liberty Media when it purchased the championship from Bernie Ecclestone three years ago. So far, however, schedule changes have been the return of the French Grand Prix and the addition of the Vietnam Grand Prix, starting in 2020.

 

“Everyone is disgruntled,” said Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle. “Liberty’s ideas are disjointed. We have all been compliant and quiet hitherto, but we have great concerns about the future health of the sport under the people who run it now.”

One of the reasons for this apathy toward the current owners is that Miami was reportedly offered a Grand Prix for free while other current venues, such as Silverstone and the Circuit of the Americas, are expected to pay upward of $33 million for the privilege.

“Miami are seemingly getting a free deal,” continued Pringle. “That has not gone down well with anyone, not least with the guys at Austin, Texas, who are working hard to make their race pay. If this continues, Formula One will be racing on second-rate circuits, if any at all.”

In a statement, the F1 Promoters’ Association added, “There is a lack of clarity on new initiatives in F1 and a lack of engagement with promoters on their implementation.

“New races should not be introduced to the detriment of existing events although the association is encouraged by the alternative business models being offered to prospective venues.”