Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Special feature - It's time for Formula One to become more accessible and affordable but how should this be achieved?

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

Former FIA President Max Mosley believes that Formula One is on its way to financial collapse if the sport does not do more to help the smaller team’s facing problems. Is it time that the sport introduces a budget cap or at least something similar to the financial far play system?

Formula One is already effectively split into three categories. There are the big three teams, Ferrari, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Mercedes and Williams Martini Racing, there are the midfield teams, the Lotus F1 Team, Sahara Force India, Toro Rosso and the Sauber F1 Team and at the back there is the Manor F1 Team.

It is time that the sport is officially into three sections? If it was to be done there could be financial bonuses for the smaller teams who manage to break into the top ten during a race.

It could also be extremely beneficial and would make financial sense if a bonus point was awarded to the team who receive the fastest lap at each race. There is already a trophy for the most number of pole positions so the sport should introduce bonus points for the Constructor who takes pole position so say for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at the Malaysian Grand Prix they would each receive a bonus point.

In Formula One points mean financial prizes at the end of the day and the financial system needs to be overhauled if the sport wants to avoid losing more teams. At the end of the of the day it is a business as well as a sport and when a team like Caterham is forced to close its doors it’s not just the employees that are affected by the closure but also their families and the suppliers of the team. 

Some of the team members from both Marussia and Caterham were fortunate enough to find work with other teams on the grid but for many they were not able to.

Something needs to be done to make the sport more sustainable and affordable not just for the teams but also for the fans as attending a Grand Prix is expensive.

So does Formula One need to be completely overhauled, and if so, what would you suggest? One this is certain the sport needs to be made more accessible to the fans. A way of attracting new fans and holding on to the existing ones would be to incorporate a Paddock tour into a weekend grandstand ticket.

For example, if you attend a Formula One Grand Prix currently, with a three day weekend ticket you have the opportunity at some circuits to walk the pit-lane as it is opened up on the Thursday of the race weekend. It would be very easy for the sport to extend the pit-lane access on a Thursday to include access to the paddock on a Thursday only as it would be a way for fans of the sport to watch the teams set up and see what goes on behind the scenes.

© Ben Johnston 2015 

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