In recent times, F1 races have become less exciting with the top 3 teams blazing away while the midfield and backmarkers are hardly competitive enough to give them a run for their money. They are involved in their own battles, which themselves are few and far between. So, Liberty Media have come up with the radical solution of renovating tracks to degrade the tyres faster.
Liberty boss, Greg Maffei said, “One of Ross Brawn’s tasks is to work on things to make things more exciting on track. And there ae a host of really simple things from when tracks get resurfaced, or tracks are rebuilt or renewed, that you have the right kind of surface so there is tyre degradation so that there are enough tyre changes to make it an interesting story.”
One of the major roadblocks that this idea might face from various tracks around the world is the cost involved. Reportedly, the resurfacing cost comes to around 2.6m pounds. If the tracks are relaid, it makes the tarmac tougher, making it too tough for racing series other than F1, which reduces the revenue source for the tracks as they would not be able to host them. They already pay a hosting fee of 22.5m pounds with a 5% increase each year.
This idea is the latest in a long line of changes that the Liberty Media have planned for the sport of F1, with the 2019 regulations already stirring up controversy while their decision to introduce a budget cap has drawn flak from top teams like Ferrari and Mercedes, who have threatened to quit the sport.
He also cited some examples to around the world to justify the financial rule changes. “In some ways, the most socialistic one is the NFL. Hard salary cap, strength of schedule, drafts that are low to high in terms of what you order. At the other end, something like La Liga where 90% of the TV money goes to the top two teams is unlikely to create diversity, so we are trying to tilt the playing field a little bit more like football where there is a cost cap on what can be spent on the car, there are rules around simplifying the engine and being able to create neutral suppliers.”
This new development may not be well-received by the people involved with track layout and management of races. The cost considerations and lesser revenue source factors are sure to play on their minds and it seems like Liberty Media would be facing a lot of protests.