Liberty presents vision for future of Formula One

Formula One has today (Friday) unveiled its vision for the future of the sport from 2021, with a cost cap and more equal revenue distribution on the table.

Formula One’s owners, Liberty Media, staged a presentation on the sidelines of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix to teams and the International Automobile Federation (FIA). Key strategic initiatives were broken down under the five banners of power units, costs, revenues, technical and sporting regulations, and governance.

While precise details were not disclosed in today’s post-meeting statement from Formula One, Liberty has stated it intends to implement a cost cap that maintains F1’s position as the pinnacle of motorsport with state-of-the-art technology.

Adding that “we believe how you spend the money must be more decisive and important than how much money you spend,” Liberty stated that while there will be “some standardised elements, car differentiation must remain a core value”.

Power units, another key area of debate in the sport, were also singled out. Liberty has proposed that new PUs must be cheaper, simpler, louder, have more power and reduce the necessity of grid penalties, a major blight on the sport at present. Liberty said PUs must remain road relevant, hybrid and allow manufacturers to build unique and original engines. The owners added that new rules must be attractive for new entrants and customer teams must have access to equivalent performance.

On the subject of governance, Liberty said a “simple and streamline(d)” structure must exist between the teams, the FIA and Formula One. In a statement, Formula One chairman and chief executive, Chase Carey (pictured), said: “Formula One is a sport with a rich history. We want to preserve, protect and enhance that history by unleashing F1’s potential, by putting our fans at the heart of a more competitive and more exciting sport.

“We are driven by one desire: to create the world’s leading sporting brand. Fan-centred, commercially successful, profitable for our teams, and with technological innovation at its heart.”

In October, Formula One stakeholders put forward a “roadmap” for simpler, cheaper and noisier engines from the 2021 season, as part of efforts to attract new manufacturers to the championship.

F1 is committed to running the current power units until 2020, meaning a new configuration can be introduced from 2021.

Liberty has long stated its goal to level the playing field for manufacturers, a subject that has caused concern for certain teams, along with engine changes. The Concorde Agreement, the document which currently binds F1’s teams and stakeholders together, is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2020 season and F1 heavyweights Ferrari and Mercedes have both been vocal in their concern over the possible direction that Liberty may seek to take the sport.

The Motorsport.com website said Friday’s meeting was more a presentation than a debate, with discussions to continue at a later date. “It was a more a meeting to pass the information and to pass the views onto the teams,” Formula One’s managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn, told Motorsport.com.

“The teams need to digest it now, and then the discussion proper will start. It was a straightforward meeting with no major controversies.”