Drivers send Mixed Messages to Liberty Media about Direction of F1

F1 drivers have given their verdict as to what Liberty Media needs to do in order to improve Formula One. This was an opportunity for the current grid to give some substance or impetus to the new owners. A pack of cliches later and we’re none the wiser…

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Sky Sports F1 asked a number of drivers what they thought Liberty Media could do to improve Formula One. Amidst some unique answers, most drivers opted for a more insular response.

Perez, Bottas, Palmer, Nasr and Ericsson all responded with an urgency for the new owners to tighten the competition up. Given that all of these drivers are in inferior machinery, they can’t be blamed too much for giving such an obvious response. Perez said,

“I’d love to see the competition a lot closer in Formula 1, giving the midfield teams the opportunity to be capable of winning a race, fighting for title.

I think that would be something great, something for the fans, to see a Williams on top in one race, another team in another race. For that you need to change the system, how you divide the money because there’s obviously a massive difference. I think that would be a very good thing for the sport.”

– Sergio Perez

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

Without reading too much into the fact that Perez mentions Williams (2017 employers?), his answer is one that resonates with fans, who want more inconsistency in the running order. It’s difficult to see how Liberty Media would implement this beyond franchising the teams for more financial fair play.

Other answers were much more interesting. Jenson Button highlighted the need to engage a younger fan-base, which seems to be a priority of the new owners also. Ricciardo wondered whether a Saturday race would be better so he could plan a better night out on the race weekend and Rosberg thought it was  important to offer the viewer the ability to watch footage on their own time instead of viewing live.

Bernie disagrees with Button and doesn't see the potential in a millenial following...
Bernie disagrees with Button and doesn’t see the potential in a millenial following…

Sebastian Vettel’s remark was probably the edgiest, one that isn’t running with the grain of Liberty Media’s intentions. The German said,

“In general as a driver you always want to go faster and drive the most exciting cars, so next year could be a step in that direction.

I’d like to have double the amount of cylinders in the car, and take off the complicated electrical parts – but I don’t think this has anything to do with the owners!”

– Sebastian Vettel

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