Win-less champions, going to a race and hosting fees

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Keke Rosberg, Williams, Dijon, 1982Your questions answered on world champions who won the fewest races, how to arrange a trip to a Grand Prix and race hosting fees.

World champion without winning

Following the Chinese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was leading the world championship without having won a race yet this year – something he also did in his maiden F1 season five years ago.

That prompted Allan to ask:

Has any driver won a championship without ever winning a race?
Allan

The short answer is ‘no’. But that would be a boring answer so I’ll elaborate:

Only two drivers have won a world championship while only winning a single race. They were Mike Hawthorn in 1958 and Keke Rosberg in 1982.

Stirling Moss scored four wins to Hawthorn’s one in 1958, but out of the other seven races that year he retired with car problems, usually engine-related, five times. Famously, Hawthorn would have lost the title had Moss not helped him overturn his disqualification from second place in the Portuguese Grand Prix.

No-one won more than two races in 1982, the year Rosberg became champion. He scored his single – and first – win in the Swiss Grand Prix, taking the lead in the title race with two rounds to go. Fifth place in the final round was enough to secure the title by five points from John Watson and Didier Pironi. The latter had suffered terrible injuries in a crash five races earlier, which ended his F1 career.

There are two drivers who won the world championship without starting a race from pole position. They were Denny Hulme in 1967 and Niki Lauda when he won his final title in 1984. Indeed, Lauda never even started a race from the front row that year.

First trip to a Grand Prix

I’ve had a couple of messages from readers who are planning trips to F1 races and are wondering what to do:

My father wants to treat the four of us for my 40th birthday which is in a years time by taking us to an event, preferably abroad rather than the UK.

Could you get back to me, and let me know how we would go about attending a race weekend?
Slimboyfatpauly

As an American living in Texas, the F1 race in Austin this November will be my first one to attend (first race ever, actually). Have you ever run any articles (or know of some) which have basic recommendations on what to bring, pack, etc… for an F1 race?
Douglas Gibbs

Going to an F1 race weekend isn’t cheap, especially if you’re heading abroad. We did a survey of F1 ticket prices earlier this year which will give you some idea of the differences in cost between each race:

What will make a significant difference to the cost is whether you opt for a ticket with a seat or a General Admission ticket.

For Slimboyfatpauly, who wants to go to a race outside the UK but isn’t keen on camping, I’d recommend the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. It’s a fabulous venue which oozes history and attracts a great crowd. You can fly to Milan quite easily, stay there and get the train to the circuit.

Whichever race you’re going to you can find out lots more by visiting our dedicated groups for each Grand Prix. Here you will find advice on a range of subjects including accommodation, getting to the track and where the best vantage points, from fans who’ve been to the races.

Find them all here:

And you can find suggestions on what to take with you to a race weekend here:

The cost of holding a race

Start, Yas Marina, 2012Going to a race isn’t cheap because ticket prices are so high – and that’s because of the costs imposed on F1 race organisers. Colin asks:

Can someone please explain why it costs the circuits millions to host a Grand Prix. What are they paying for and how, other than ticket sales and merchandising are they expected to recoup these costs and even make a profit?
Colin

Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1’s Commercial Rights Holder, charges race organisers significant sums to hold F1 races.

These fees vary from track to track. Spa is believed to pay around ??20m ($32m) per race, Bahrain ??25m ($40m).

The fees increase with compound interest year-on-year of around 7%, sometimes more. For example, a seven-year contract (the typical length) costing the race promoter ??25m in the first year will have risen to ??37.5 by year seven with a 7% escalator.

Formula Money estimated that race hosting fees were worth ??351m ($568m) last year. Spread across 20 races (Bahrain still paid up despite its race being cancelled) that’s an average of ??17.6m ($28.4m). The highest individual race fee is ??30.9m ($50m).

On top of that Ecclestone’s Formula One Group takes control of the major sources of revenue from race weekends. Trackside signage is sold by Allsport at every round with the exception of the Monaco Grand Prix (note the differences in how the banners are laid out around the Principality). And of course the ultra-valuable TV broadcasting rights are handed over to FOG.

That leaves race organisers with, as Allan says, ticket revenue as one of their most important sources of income from the race. That explains why race ticket prices are climbing even in the face of economic uncertainty in many countries – and why tracks like Spa look increasingly likely to lose their races or be forced to appear on the calendar on alternate years.

As for why the price is so high, it’s because the market will sustain it – at least, for now. As long as Ecclestone can find people willing to pay $50m to hold a race, that is what he’ll charge.

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67 comments on Win-less champions, going to a race and hosting fees

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th May 2012, 11:06

    As for why the price is so high, it’s because the market will sustain it – at least, for now. As long as Ecclestone can find people willing to pay $50m to hold a race, that is what he’ll charge.

    And also because it will weed out people who only want a race or two to get a bit of a boost to their international profile, and then lose interest. An unstable calendar is the last thing anyone wants.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 5th May 2012, 11:27

      Is also plausible that CVC are in masses of debt so the race fees charged by FOG help to offset their debt? Or is not as simple as that @prisoner-monkeys @keithcollantine ?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th May 2012, 11:29

        I’m pretty sure Bernie borrowed money from CVC, and the sanctioning fees (at least part of them) are used to pay that debt back.

        • Nick.UK (@) said on 5th May 2012, 15:45

          You seem to be pretty knowledgable from what I read of your numerous comments @prisoner-monkeys so I’ll direct this question to you.

          Why the hell do race hosting fees increase by 7% each year!? That to be just seems like extortioism. Surely it makes more sense to provide a better rate depending on the length of the contract. For example if you only want a 4 year contract, you might pay much higher per race than a circuit who signs a 10 year contract. Obviously there would be a fair reason to increase yearly amounts to take account of currency inflation or perhaps if the sport took a sudden nose dive in poularity (or increase).

          It just shocked me how Bernie could negociate on such brutish terms. At those rates, what incentive is there to aim for a pronloged contactual relationship.

          • DavidJH (@davidjh) said on 5th May 2012, 16:39

            It’s because there are more countries wanting to host a race than there are slots in the calendar. Lots of these places are oil or other commodity-rich places that want to either ‘put themselves on the map,’ showcase their opportunities for businesses (and the wealthy) or demonstrate to the world their potency. In most cases, governments or rich families heavily subsidise the bids, meaning that even with few attendees and hence low ticket sales the circuits can offer more to Bernie than the traditional European circuits, which he then drops from the calendar.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 0:49

            @davidjh

            the circuits can offer more to Bernie than the traditional European circuits, which he then drops from the calendar

            I dispute that. Let’s look at the last few races Bernie removed from the calendar: Turkey, Canada, France, the USA, San Marino and Belgium.

            Of those, Canada and Belgium returned to the calendar. America and France will both return to the calendar, though at different circuits. Turkey was not considered a European race as the teams had to fly to Istanbul. So San Marino is the only European race that Bernie has permanently dropped of late, and even then, Formula 1 had out-grown the circuit.

            Also, the German Grand Prix was not held in 2007, but the Nurburgring hosted the European Grand Prix (because of the naming dispute with Hockenheim), so I’m not counting it. Likewise, I’m not counting Luxembourg, because it was just a way of hosting a second race in Germany.

            What I’m trying to say is that there is a myth that Bernie drops all the European races. He doesn’t. The calendar has simply expanded to the point where the number of flyaway races out-numbers the number of European events. Only a handful of races in Europe – Portugal, the Netherlands, Austria and San Marino – have been dropped (France is coming back, after all).

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 5th May 2012, 12:14

      Yes it’s the market. At least that what I’ve learned in Econ. At the market, a good’s value is it’s trade and all “modern” economics models are supported by principle of “rationality” which is not the case in real life how it’s pleasantly described on the best seller “Nudge”.

      I think current state of world economy should put some pressure on Bernie, maybe European organizers should fight him together, threatening to abandon hosting F1 races in Europe would make him think twice.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th May 2012, 12:31

        @jcost

        maybe European organizers should fight him together, threatening to abandon hosting F1 races in Europe would make him think twice.

        That won’t do anything except get them kicked off the calendar and replaced by other events. Of the twenty races, only eight are held in Europe. Since Monaco pretty much get their race for free, that leaves us with seven. Since the Spanish Grand Prix is expected to be shared between Barcelona and Valencia starting next year, that effectively makes six races that would be removed. With New Jersey joining and Argentina expected to do so next year, that beings the number down to four. Finally, since Russia is joining in 2014, only three events would really be lost if the European races banded together to “fight” Bernie. The sport will go on, with or without Europe.

        For some reason, people seem to think that the organisers can all get together and send a message to Bernie. The reality is that they have no power at all. They knew what they were getting into when they first signed those contracts. If they break those contracts, then the penalties are quite clear. The sheer number of countries wanting to join the calendar makes them all entirely expendable. The truth is that they need Bernie more than Bernie needs them. Sure, they have the history that modern circuits do not, but history is just sentiment and entirely intangible.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th May 2012, 12:58

          Yes, because there would be absolutely no repercussions of Italy losing a race. And GB and Germany have no F1 teams that would express there annoyance at losing their home races either. Of course they have a certain amount of power, even if it is limited.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th May 2012, 13:47

            *their annoyance

          • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 5th May 2012, 14:38

            Have just watched the 1982 season review today coincidentally (Clive James is brilliant). Rosberg was helped by the fact that (despite Pironi’s injury which robbed him of the opportunity) there were eleven different winners in that season. Got me to thinking whether it’s possible to get close to that number again this year. Of course until you compare car failures, which while thankfully are much less common these days, do limit the available pool of potential winners.

          • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 5th May 2012, 14:54

            ^
            Oops, that shouldn’t have gone there. My mistake

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 0:26

            Yes, because there would be absolutely no repercussions of Italy losing a race. And GB and Germany have no F1 teams that would express there annoyance at losing their home races either.

            There is nothing those teams could do except voice their displeasure at losing those races. Particularly if the races all broke their contract for the sake of “fighting” Bernie.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 6th May 2012, 1:56

            Yes, but I imagine Ferrari would voice their displeasure particularly strongly.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 5th May 2012, 14:43

          F1 won’t leave Europe until the teams do, and as Britain still has the best engineers I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon..

        • Nigel Bates (@nigel1) said on 5th May 2012, 16:31

          “history is just sentiment and entirely intangible”

          A bit like the F1 label, then.

          Quite frankly, the teams need Ecclestone about as much as the garbage trade in the US needs the mafia.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 0:37

            Quite frankly, the teams need Ecclestone about as much as the garbage trade in the US needs the mafia.

            And what would be your preferred alternative to that? Having the teams run the sport? That’s just asking for trouble. There is a reason why the teams compete, the FIA sets and enforces the rules, and FOM manages the calendar: it’s a separation of powers designed to stop one body gaining too much influences over the others.

            And the teams actually like Bernie. A lot of people think that because they like the teams and don’t like Bernie, then the teams don’t like Bernie. But they actually get along with him really well.

    • dysthanasiac (@) said on 5th May 2012, 15:42

      @prisoner-monkeys

      “And also because it will weed out people who only want a race or two to get a bit of a boost to their international profile, and then lose interest. An unstable calendar is the last thing anyone wants.”

      No matter how many times I read that, it never stops being funny. It’s one of the more absurd things I’ve ever read with regard to Formula 1.

      FOM’s fees are the single biggest contributor to instability on the calandar. Nothing else even comes close.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th May 2012, 17:02

        Exactly, because Bahrain’s presence on the calender made it a model in stability.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th May 2012, 17:08

          I realise that wasn’t really your point, but the idea that countries are being stopped from using F1 for some promo is quite funny even before you factor in Turkey and Korea, and the countries using F1 but seemingly for the longer term (Abu Dhabi).

          • dysthanasiac (@) said on 5th May 2012, 19:09

            I get a kick out of the fact that FOM owns Istanbul Park and was thus responsible for promotion of the Turkish Grand Prix, and they couldn’t make the race work under their own terms.

            Ecclestone cares about stability? I think even he’d laugh at that.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 0:34

        @dysthanasiac

        FOM’s fees are the single biggest contributor to instability on the calandar. Nothing else even comes close.

        Really? Then how come we only ever lose one race at time?

        If fees were lowered, more countries would be able to host a race. The value of a Grand Prix to one’s international profile is well-known, so more and more host countries would only want a race for two or three years before disappearing, having gotten the boost to their profile. The end result would be a calendar where four or five races are lost each year, not one. That’s what I mean by an unstable calendar.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 6th May 2012, 2:18

          I couldn’t care less about that kind of instability, as long as some of the core tracks/countries remain stable. In fact, the kind of instability you described sounds quite interesting. I prefer to think of it as variety.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 3:00

            @matt90 – I could make a case for having ten races on a yearly basis, and twenty races alternating year in and year out, just so long as those twenty races remained a part of the championship in the long term.

            But what I’m describing above is a scenario where countries hold one or two races and then leave, so one year we would have Belarus, Nigeria, Barbados and New Zealand, and then the next year they would be replaced by Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Norway, and those races would then be replaced by Suriname, Uzbekistan, Laos and Brunei. That sounds like asking for trouble because the calendar would be unstable.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th May 2012, 4:33

          If countries could boost their image AND make money out of it why on earth would they leave?!

        • dysthanasiac (@) said on 6th May 2012, 5:17

          @prisoner-monkeys

          Yep. Still absurd.

          Your logic seems to hinge on the assumption that a willingness to pay automatically grants the rights to hold a grand prix. I say it’s a willingness to pay and Eccelstone’s approval that grants the right to hold a grand prix. But, I can understand if your concern is perhaps that Eccelstone is blinded by the sheer amounts of money involved and pursues that end even if it means damaging the sport in the process, because he absolutely does that.

          But, I appreciate the laugh. Thank you.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 6:18

            Your logic seems to hinge on the assumption that a willingness to pay automatically grants the rights to hold a grand prix

            No, my logic assumes that the ability to pay for a Grand Prix is a major factor in a country deciding whether or not it wants a Grand Prix to begin with. There have been plenty of countries – including the Ukraine, Thailand, Croatia and Vietnam – that have all expressed an interest in hosting a race, but cannot afford it, and so that interest wanes.

            Of course Ecclestone’s approval is the thing that all races need. That’s a given, though you seem to be under the assumption that you are the only one aware of this. Anyone who has followed the expansion of the sport can see a distinct pattern – after expanding out into Asia to the point of saturation, Bernie is now pushing into the Americas. Any event outside these areas is probably going to have a harder time securing a Grand Prix.

          • dysthanasiac (@) said on 6th May 2012, 6:54

            @prisoner-monkeys

            Your original point was that the high price of a grand prix introduces stability to the calendar by weeding out those host nations or clubs who might be tempted to secure a grand prix and then abandon it once it achieved the short-term goal for which it was secured, and I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

            If stability was truly the goal of FOM when it makes contracts with host nations or clubs, it would follow the same process by which the FIA assures the viability and stability of the teams it grants entry into F1: through refundable bonds. The very last thing FOM would do is insert the escalator clauses that are standard in its contracts.

            Those escalator clauses are included for the express reason of introducing instability to the calendar. The instability wrought from moving the bar higher and higher all but ensures that there’s always someone on the other line who’s willing to pay, at the higher rate I might add, if a contracted host cannot. Without it, the window for securing a grand prix would only be open as contracts expire rather than once or twice a year from the contracts that are under threat.

            It’s a money-grab under the razor-thin guise of stability and nothing more. And, frankly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that (yet), because everyone knows it, so let’s just be honest about it.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 7:06

            The instability wrought from moving the bar higher and higher all but ensures that there’s always someone on the other line who’s willing to pay, at the higher rate I might add, if a contracted host cannot. Without it, the window for securing a grand prix would only be open as contracts expire rather than once or twice a year from the contracts that are under threat.

            The 7% escalator is no secret. After all, everyone here knows about it. It’s not some hidden clause in the race contract that is written in invisible ink that only shows itself once the contract has been signed. Event organisers know what they are getting into when they sign up for a contract. That 7% escalator protects the stability of the calendar by preventing events from signing up for seven years, hosting a race for two or three and then running out of money. They know that they need to keep paying, so they need to ensure they have the funding in place.

            You are under the assumption that Bernie ruthlessly pulls the carpet out from under unsuspecting circuit organisers the minute they admit they cannot pay. His actions with the Korean and United States Grands Prix suggest otherwise. He gave Korea a reduced rate, and did nothing about CotA under November 2011 despite the circuit being in breach of contract since May.

          • dysthanasiac (@) said on 6th May 2012, 7:26

            I want to live in your world, one where 7-year economic forecasts are as reliable as 7-day weather forecasts. Otherwise, the management at Spa, Magny-Cours, Imola, SIlverstone, Istanbul Park (FOM itself), Melbourne, Valencia, Barcelona, Montreal, Nurburgring, Hockenheim, et. al., probably all have opinions about escalator clauses and stability that are night-and-day different to yours.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 8:10

            I want to live in your world, one where 7-year economic forecasts are as reliable as 7-day weather forecasts

            Most races happen with government support.

            Most governments have budgets in the billions.

            The most expensive race on the calendar is $50 million.

            Therefore, it is not difficult to secure funding for several years. Especially since government representatives are involved in the contract negotiations, so they know what they are getting into.

            But hey, don’t let facts or logic get in the way of attacking Bernie for the sake of it.

          • dysthanasiac (@) said on 6th May 2012, 9:15

            You really have no understanding of reality, do you? You treat this as if basic economics is an alien language for which there is no cipher.

            I’ll leave you to it.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 9:29

            @dysthanasiac

            You really have no understanding of reality, do you?

            I don’t doubt your understanding of economics.

            What I do doubt is your agenda. you’re clearly twisting things to attack Bernie Ecclestone. I know this because 95% of what you post here attacks him. I have given you two perfectly-valid, widely-reported and – above all else – recent examples of Bernie openly and willingly renegotiating the terms of contracts with Korea and Austin. These examples fly in the face of everything you have said, and yet, you have chosen not to address them.

            Let’s just break down something you have said here:

            I want to live in your world, one where 7-year economic forecasts are as reliable as 7-day weather forecasts

            You clearly think that governments being able to commit millions of dollars to host a Grand Prix for seven consecutive years is about as realistic a proposition as asking an elephant to jump onto the moon. And yet, despite you writing it off as a flight of fancy, it happen. Eighteen of the twenty races (Silverstone and India being the only exceptions) are run with government funds. And because they are run with public money, the government has to know what they are getting into. Which means they have to have a representative present during the negotiations, someone who understands what is happening. The fact that 90% of the calendar does this demonstrates that this is possible.

            Furthermore, Bernie has not dropped any races mid-contract for failing to pay up. They are either dropped at the end of their contract, or for other, mitigating circumstances (ie civil unrest in Bahrain, tobacco sponsorship in Belgium, a circuit losing its FIA accreditation for Formula 1, etc.).

          • dysthanasiac (@) said on 6th May 2012, 10:55

            If 95& of my comments on the subject question Eccelstone’s motives, it’s because 95% of Eccelstone’s actions leave more than enough room for such critical thinking.

            Let us now turn to one of the comments you wish to see addressed:

            I have given you two perfectly-valid, widely-reported and – above all else – recent examples of Bernie openly and willingly renegotiating the terms of contracts with Korea and Austin. These examples fly in the face of everything you have said, and yet, you have chosen not to address them.

            The USGP contract was not renegotiated. The initial contract between FOM and Tavo Hellmund’s Full Throttle Productions was voided, because Full Throttle didn’t pay the fee. That non-payment occurred as a result of turmoil between Full Throttle and Circuit of the Americas, two parties who are now in litigation against one another to sort the matter.

            To keep the race, FOM agreed to a deal with Circuit of the Americas directly and at a higher fee. This all happened after FOM hedged its bet and agreed to a deal with a promoter in New Jersey for the Grand Prix of America. These are hardly the actions of a benevolent commercial rights holder, as you seem to suggest.

            The Korean Grand Prix contract was renegotiated to keep the deal from collapsing entirely under the weight of massive losses. Korean organizers spent nearly $80 million for a race that recouped less than $20 million in its first year. I can understand giving Eccelstone credit for the new arrangement, but it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize that, from FOM’s perspective, the only thing worse than collecting reduced fees is collecting no fees.

            I think it’s disingenuous to claim that FOM has not dropped a race mid-contract. Spa was dropped for 2006 because its organizer went bankrupt. Moreover, the standard action these days for venues who cannot pay the fees for which they agreed – even the ones with government support – is not to have the race completely dropped from the schedule, but to facilitate an arrangement that alternates the race between two circuits who, because of escalating fees, are in the same untenable position.

            Even if it wasn’t woefully naive to point to government backing for races – ever hear of elections? – it implies that government backing is the sole source of funding. It’s not. Organizers have become increasingly reliant on the partial support they receive from their respective local or state governments, because the escalator clauses in F1 contracts trigger from year to year regardless of the race’s success.

            A great example of FOM’s ruthless mentality is the Turkish Grand Prix. FOM owns Istanbul Park and it promotes the race. Yet, as you’ve pointed out, the race was barely promoted, if at all. FOM, though, had no problem accepting a fee for a race that it passively sabotaged to make room for other venues.

            If you want to keep going against the grain and playing devil’s advocate with your support of a universally reviled figure in F1, I don’t know what else to tell you. Some things should be so obvious that they cannot be ignored, but you certainly seem to be trying.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 13:59

            To keep the race, FOM agreed to a deal with Circuit of the Americas directly and at a higher fee. This all happened after FOM hedged its bet and agreed to a deal with a promoter in New Jersey for the Grand Prix of America. These are hardly the actions of a benevolent commercial rights holder, as you seem to suggest.

            If you were in Bernie’s position, what would you do? The organisers had just demonstrated that they could not observe the contract. Surely you’d want some form of insurance to make sure they could honour the new agreement.

            I can understand giving Eccelstone credit for the new arrangement, but it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize that, from FOM’s perspective, the only thing worse than collecting reduced fees is collecting no fees.

            If Korea had collapsed, then FOM and Bernie would be well within their rights to terminate the contract. Why didn’t they?

            I think it’s disingenuous to claim that FOM has not dropped a race mid-contract. Spa was dropped for 2006 because its organizer went bankrupt. Moreover, the standard action these days for venues who cannot pay the fees for which they agreed – even the ones with government support – is not to have the race completely dropped from the schedule, but to facilitate an arrangement that alternates the race between two circuits who, because of escalating fees, are in the same untenable position.

            “These days” being 2012. Spa’s organisers going backrupt happened in 2006. The first event-sharing arrangement was the German Grand Prix, which started in 2008. So when Spa ran into trouble in 2006, no-one would think of alternating events for another two years.

            Some things should be so obvious that they cannot be ignored, but you certainly seem to be trying.

            And you’re so quick to accept that Bernie is inherently bad simply because so many people dislike him that you rush to judgement.

          • dysthanasiac (@) said on 6th May 2012, 15:15

            If you were in Bernie’s position, what would you do? The organisers had just demonstrated that they could not observe the contract. Surely you’d want some form of insurance to make sure they could honour the new agreement.

            Therein lies the crux of the disagreement; everything else we’ve talked about has just been pedantic window dressing.

            Are you under the impression that FOM’s fee is some sort of bond that’s returned to the organizers of a grand prix upon the satisfactory conclusion of a contract? Otherwise, I have absolutely no idea how you can think it’s even remotely possible that a higher fee provides added assurance that a contract will be honored. That makes no sense whatsoever.

            You’re saying, “I’m going to charge you more so that I know you’ll pay.”

            If that makes sense to you, and apparently it does, I don’t know how you avoid being figuratively raped when you take your car to a mechanic for repairs. Or maybe you do.

            Because I cannot wrap my head around the logic you’re employing, I’m going to ask you to please point to something, anything at all other than your opinion, that demonstrates the validity of your point of view. I don’t see how this conversation can continue without that, because, frankly, I think you’re just making this nonsense up as we go along.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th May 2012, 4:30

      I would expect the calendar to be much more stable if the promoters could actually make some money out of a GP.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 8:16

        They can. They just need to promote it properly. When the Turkish Grand Prix was on the calendar, you could go to Istanbul and see no mention of the race around the city the week before it was on. So how can the promoters make any money when they’re not actually promoting anything?

        • dysthanasiac (@) said on 6th May 2012, 9:10

          I get that you’re an Eccelstone bootlicker, but this is just too much.

          FOM owns Istanbul Park. It was FOM’s job to promote that race.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th May 2012, 10:57

            I get that you’re an Eccelstone bootlicker, but this is just too much.

            I get that you’re an Eccelstone hater, but this is just too much.

            It is not the circuit owner’s responsibility to promote the event. Not unless the owners are the event organisers. The event organisers are the people who pay for the race. Since the money for the Turkish Grand Prix – all of it – was coming from the Turkish government, FOM clearly weren’t the promoters of the race.

            And this is not a problem endemic to Turkey. We have seen it in Abu Dhabi, China, Bahrain, Korea – races where the event promoters don’t promote the event, and then turn around and whinge and complain about how much the race is costing them. Some of those events, like China, have overcome their problems and have recently managed to fill grandstands. Other events, like Korea, have not managed it. And (surprise, surprise), they’re the ones who want a better deal from FOM.

          • woofie said on 7th May 2012, 1:18

            @pm (all of the above)

            You clearly believe the status quo in F1 is the way it has to be – maybe you’re defending the best of a bad job position and clearly as you state, the evidence so far is that European circuits have not been prejudiced yet by lack of finance.

            But news today, Nurburgring in trouble again – maybe race will be moved this year (in time not location). Track promoters can’t pay rent never mind F1 fee.

            Check out the tickets still available in Barcalona today – less than a week before the race. Nearly every grandstand is still available. Track owners already said if they can’t reverse decline in ticket sales this year – they will be looking at not having a race in 2013.

            Race sharing – this solution is predicated upon a principle of increased rarity. This principle is that the tracks/promoters may get an improved takeup if they have a race every other year based upon the scarcity of opportunity to see such an event.

            This principle is not proven yet, and race sharing will not work if the same loss making position happens every 2 years as opposed to every year.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th May 2012, 4:36

            But news today, Nurburgring in trouble again – maybe race will be moved this year (in time not location). Track promoters can’t pay rent never mind F1 fee.

            If they can’t pay the rent on the circuit, then that is not a problem that a reduced Formula 1 fee will solve. The Nurburgring hosts DTM, Formula 3, World Superbikes and other events as well, events that also have to be paid for.

            Track owners already said if they can’t reverse decline in ticket sales this year – they will be looking at not having a race in 2013.

            Barcelona has already expressed an interested in alternating with Valencia, starting next year (which would open up a calendar spot for New Jersey). Plus, the Spanish economy is in tatters – unemployment has been as high as 25% this year. Again, it’s not a problem that a reduced fee will solve. People aren’t going to the race because they can’t afford to. And they can’t afford to go to the race because of the state of the economy. Even if race fees were reduced and ticket prices brought down, people still woudn’t go to the race.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 7th May 2012, 9:22

      It will weed out people who only want a race or two to get a bit of a boost to their international profile, and then lose interest. An unstable calendar is the last thing anyone wants.

      I disagree. There are many forms of motorsport where hosting fees are well under $10m and they have pretty stable calendars. You seem to think that F1 calendar would become unstable just because it’s F1. I don’t think so. In fact I don’t see any real world example that would point in that direction. I doubt Bernie or FOM would prefer 1 or 2 year contracts over long term deals. It’s also obvious that some races would be more popular than others, thus gathering greater TV audience and making more money for Formula One Group. Races like that would stay on the calendar for years.

  2. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 5th May 2012, 11:21

    haven’t observed the ad placement at the Monaco GP. What is the difference? @keithcollantine

  3. GeorgeDaviesF1 (@georgedaviesf1) said on 5th May 2012, 12:50

    How many wins does anyone think the Champ get this year? I reckon 3 or 4

  4. Stretch (@stretch) said on 5th May 2012, 13:23

    @keithcollantine could you post the list of what each circuit is believed to pay to be on the calendar? Or aren’t all these figures known?

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 5th May 2012, 15:32

      @stretch
      I know only the Hungaroring. It was $18.2m in 2008 at the contract renewal, raising 10% each year, so it makes this years Hungarian GP ~$26.7m

      Anyone knows the other venues’?

      • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 6th May 2012, 9:17

        It costs the Victorian government around $50 million ($AUD) to host it, but I think that’s a combination of hosting fees and the cost of setting up the street circuit.

        From memory, Monaco pays nothing (or next to it). Italy and the UK pay somewhere between 3-9 million (can’t remember which is which, or what currency). Bahrain was one of if not the highest, around 50 million. Malaysia was also very high.

  5. DavidJH (@davidjh) said on 5th May 2012, 16:28

    Kiki Rosberg also holds the distinction of being the only driver to have failed to score a single point in the year before he won the championship. Indeed, Rosberg had only scored a total of 6 points in four seasons before his championship year!

  6. Nigel Bates (@nigel1) said on 5th May 2012, 16:28

    “For example, a seven-year contract (the typical length) costing the race promoter £25m in the first year will have risen to £37.5 by year seven with a 7% escalator.”

    And in 100 year’s time, about 21.5 billion. Still, the one consolation would be that Ecclestone probably wouldn’t be around to collect.

    • Bri said on 5th May 2012, 22:30

      He will be. I heard a rumour he’s investing all his money into head jars so his head can live on in a jar. Eventually he’ll have enough money to research robotics thoroughly so be can attach his head jar to the body and become the immortal super bernie, just like Nixon

    • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 6th May 2012, 6:33

      in 100 years time, v will have strange f1 cars tht fly around. And drivers dressed up in space suits.

  7. Oliww (@oliww) said on 5th May 2012, 16:30

    Can we please remember, that Lewis Hamilton has won at least 2 races in every season he has completed in… so the chances of him going winless this year, in a car which has already won under his team mate, is almost impossible…

  8. Nigel Bates (@nigel1) said on 5th May 2012, 16:54

    “No-one won more than two races in 1982, the year Rosberg became champion.”

    Unlikely to happen this year, as the cars are too reliable (and god forbid we see any similar accidents). And of course, there are rather more races to go around this year.

    Interestingly, in ’82 Prost had 5 pole positions for his two wins. Surely Hamilton isn’t going to emulate that ?

    I’m watching out for the first driver to grow a walrus moustache….

  9. akshay.it (@akshay-it) said on 5th May 2012, 17:37

    That’ why I like to come to f1f…

  10. xeroxpt (@) said on 5th May 2012, 20:13

    Recently Nicky Hayden (not in F1 off course) MotoGP won a championship without winning more than a race.

  11. jpowell (@jpowell) said on 6th May 2012, 14:08

    I couldn’t care less about Belarus having a grand prix ,as they probably wouldn’t let even the teams into the country, but a New Zealand race sounds great perhaps there could be a couple in NZ. and say three in Aus. you could call it say the Tasman series using 2.5 litre engines and real racing tyres . Well worth buying the D.T. on monday morning for a short report and Motoring News on Thursday for a full two pager with a half page colour photo on the front. Not that I’m living in the past ….

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