Formula 1 has a rich history but has bizarrely been opposed to granting fans access to explore it. However, with their latest innovation, Liberty Media has liberated the archive.
Following Tuesday’s Silverstone break clause bombshell that threatened to dampen this year’s British Grand Prix, F1 needed a tonic. What a difference a day makes, with Wednesday’s F1 Live in London event delivering a pre-race pick-me-up in some style.
Accessibility on an unprecedented scale, incredible noise and drivers allowed to express their personalities and share an incredible experience with those who consider them superheroes. What’s not to love?
Liberty Media’s mission statement upon arriving on the F1 scene was to create a more immersive sport. Chase Carey – leader of the ‘three wise men’ – referenced his desire to create ’21 Superbowls’ with races becoming week long spectacles which enhance fan engagement and add value for money to the ticket.
This weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone seems to be the first instance of Liberty flexing their creative muscles. This will be a British GP acting as a statement of intent.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is Formula 1’s oldest tradition. The venue held the first ever championship event back in 1950 and in 2017, Silverstone remains at the heart of the sport.
Despite its popularity, however, the event is seemingly in a precarious position. Reports suggest that the circuit’s owners are on the brink of activating a break clause which will see Silverstone’s contract terminated after 2019, as the financial implications of a contract penned in the sport’s previous governance have made the event unsustainable.
The question is whether a new deal can be concocted that will please all parties.
Liberty made a bold statement of intent last night, removing Bernie Ecclestone – widely regarded as Mr.F1 – from a throne he had occupied for four decades. A seismic shift that I have been slightly sceptical of thus far.
However, Liberty has followed up yesterday’s bombshell with a number of lines that have had F1 fans grinning from ear to ear.
None more so than the announcement that Ross Brawn is to take up a role as Managing Director of F1. Sliced bread comes to mind…