F1 Race Promoters Revolt Against Liberty Media

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Catalan GP
The Circuit de Catalunya

Formula One’s new owners are facing a rebellion that could destroy their hold over F1 in a landmark meeting at the Royal Automobile Club in central London on Tuesday.

Race promoters, including Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, are furious with Liberty Media’s handling of their contracts and are ready to quit.

Silverstone, Monza, Barcelona, Hockenheim and Mexico City are all out of contract this year.

Promoters met for discussions at the National Gallery on Monday and are now prepared to tell Liberty — who took control from Bernie Ecclestone at the end of 2017 in a deal worth £6billion — that they are willing to concentrate on other series unless they are treated fairly.

Stuart Pringle, boss of Silverstone and chairman of the Formula One Promoters’ Association, told Sportsmail: ‘Everyone is disgruntled. Liberty’s ideas are disjointed.

‘We have all been compliant and quiet hitherto, but we have great concerns about the future health of the sport under the people who run it now.’

F1
British GP

One issue at the heart of the disagreement is the deal offered to Miami, a potential addition to the calendar. Liberty’s critics claim they are being offered a race for free, while Silverstone pay £25million.

‘Miami are seemingly getting a free deal,’ said Pringle. ‘That has not gone down well with anyone, not least with the guys at Austin, Texas, who are working hard to make their race pay. If this continues, Formula One will be racing on second-rate circuits, if any at all.’

Another promoter told Sportsmail on Monday night that F1 bosses, chief executive Chase Carey and commercial head Sean Bratches, are like ‘the blind leading the partially sighted.’

The two of them, with former team boss Ross Brawn, have to renegotiate the Concorde Agreement — the commercial terms that bind the teams to the sport, beyond 2020 — but progress is alarmingly slow.

Silverstone
The Silverstone paddock