A couple of years ago, when it was announced that Liberty Media would take over F1, it was a sad moment for fans across the world. It meant that F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, the boss for 40 years would no longer be in charge. But it also had a certain excitement to it, with a new owner meaning ushering in of a new era and the prospects of having American owners, the masters of marketing was something to look forward to.
Needless to say, the excitement did not last long. Liberty Media set about strutting around and proposed several changes which did not live up to tradition or maintain the old-world charm of F1. Their idea of revolutionising the sport did not match those of the fans.
Here, we list out certain decisions which have infuriated F1 purists and hardcore fans of the sport:
Why, Liberty Media why? Probably the most bone-headed decision by Liberty has to be changing the F1 logo at the start of the season. While we understand the need to put their stamp on things, the ‘new’ logo does nothing to offer anything new. The old logo was so easily recognisable that even people unfamiliar with F1 could identify it. No one seems to really know how changing a legendary logo could ‘revolutionise’ anything.
While this decision seems a good one when taken at face value, considering that hiring grid girls is actively objectifying women; on further scrutiny, you realise it essentially breaks an age-old tradition.
We are all for feminism and not objectifying women, but it was not like the grid girls were made to wear skimpy or revealing clothes. They were not there for merely eye candy. Grid girls were the ones who introduced the drivers, holding their names on pit boards and lined the way when drivers made it upto the podium. It was in a similar vein to ball boys/girls on a tennis court.
As former grid girl, Kelly Brook claimed, “It was the best job I had in life.”
Is there anyone who does not agree that Liberty Media’s proposed changes are ridiculous to say the least? Being innovative is imperative to make sport exciting but Liberty Media does not seem to care for the parties involved. It has introduced its own rules without judging market trends or asking for fans’ opinions. If only they did, they would know how opposed they are to the decisions.
The rule changes for 2019 include aerodynamic changes to improve overtaking. While F1 may get exciting with more overtakes, the USP of F1 is speed. These proposed changes are expected to reduce the cars’ speed by almost 1.5 seconds, which in racing terms is a huge number. A thrilling aspect of the sport is the constant breaking of track records by these F1 beasts and surely these will not be seen from 2019.
Their latest proposal of renovating tracks to degrade tyres has met with criticism from track managers while the introduction of budget caps has made teams like Ferrari and Mercedes make threats of quitting the sport. Teams need to be able to spend enough for research and fit their cars accordingly to race. If Liberty Media takes that away, they are just impeding the development of the cars and consequently the sport.
It curbs innovative abilities and teams will have to change their whole budget plan, which represents an arduous task especially when coupled with the ever-changing rules and regulations.