Alpine F1 Struggles Off-Track and On

The Alpine F1 team is struggling on the track and off and you will find a lot of opinions on why in this week’s edition of the Business of Motorsport.

I also look at why FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is pressing ahead on new teams in F1 despite opposition, Toyota’s new sustainable WRC base in Finland and Max Vestappen’s new race team.

In addition to all that I bring you the latest sponsorship deals, partnership news and related analysis, team news and how a giant race helmet lit up the London night sky.

All this and more in this week’s edition of the Business of Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its business news racers can use.

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

Business of Motorsport

I have alluded to this in the past but the rejection of any new entries by F1 and the current teams despite complying with the requirements set out by the FIA could have legal repercussions. Despite this, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has defended his decision to open up a tender process for new Formula 1 teams, despite the unease it has caused. “Should one of the interested new F1 teams get rejected at this late stage, then that could open the door to potential legal action – something that Ben Sulayem admits is possible. “What if one of the applying teams take us to court? They can, if we say no to them,” said Sulayem.”

With rumors having him both in the front-running for a spot on the F1 grid in 2025 as well as the possibility of racing in NASCAR in the near future, Michael Andretti insists that his focus remains on F1.

Is potential F1 team owner, Honk Kong businessman Calvin Lo, less than what he makes out to be? That is Forbes conclusion after they reported his “outlandish efforts to get on the Forbes Billionaire List.”

Meanwhile Sauber insists the team and Audi remain on the “right route” despite inconsistent Formula 1 performances and speculation that the 2026 German engine program is behind schedule.

Sauber managing director Alessandro Alunni Bravi: “So, concerning our programme, the programme is on the right route. We are working hard to develop the team in these next two seasons. We know there are constraints linked also to the financial regulations but we are, with Andreas Seidl [Sauber CEO] addressing all our weaknesses and trying to seek all the best opportunities in the market to bring quality into our team and to develop our facilities. So, there is no change for us, nor for Audi.”

Business of Motorsport

What is going on with the Alpine F1 team? That has been the question in many minds after yet another team management overhaul on the eve of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. Here is a sample of the reactions to not just the latest move but their whole direction, including comments from Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso and Cyril Abiteboul.

The New York Times reports how Aston Martin wants to win and to sell cars too. “Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian billionaire and executive chairman of the blue-blood British car brand and owner of the Aston Martin Formula 1 team, made the lucrative connections clear in Manhattan at the opening of the company’s flagship showroom called Q New York, on Park Avenue.”

Due to constraints on CapEx spending, Williams’ team principal, James Vowles is frustrated that they cannot spend more money on their aging racing infrastructure.

We cannot compete at the front with the facilities we have at the factory, that remains the case today, that hasn’t changed,” said Vowles, who made the conclusion upon joining from Mercedes in February. “And in five months or so it’s unfortunate and disappointing frankly that we’re in a situation where again that meeting went round in circles if nothing else. And to an extent it will do because everyone in that room wants to make sure they’re not losing out relative to everyone else, and there’s no way of doing it, there’s no way of just letting Williams gain facilities. You know other teams will be hurt by the fact we could put millions in. Some [teams] are in different positions, some don’t have the money to spend, some don’t want to spend the money, some are fearful of change.”

Ferrari Formula 1 boss Fred Vasseur says the push for an extra capital expenditure allowance for teams will become a “non-end process” if the idea is approved but it does not look like anything is going to change soon.

Sports Business Journal reports how Formula 1 continues to enjoy commercial success under Liberty Media. “Since the American company bought F1 in 2017, its revenues “have jumped.” Teams are “receiving millions of dollars more in prize money from Formula 1; they have risen in value themselves, attracting the interest of investment firms; and they are changing hands.”

Here are some notes from various circuits around the F1 world.

General Motorsport Industry News

Business of Motorsport

Toyota intends to construct an all-new development centre for its World Rally Championship program as part of a new sustainability collaboration with Finnish city Jyvaskyla. At the center of this is a plan for Toyota to construct an environmentally friendly centre at a new site away from the team’s factory. The exact details regarding the time-frame for the completion of this project are yet to be defined.

WRC Promoter, which promotes the World Rally Championship (WRC), has extended its contract with Rally Finland until 2026. Jona Siebel, managing director of WRC Promoter, said: “The Finnish market holds immense significance for the WRC, and a season without a visit to the country’s awe-inspiring rollercoaster roads is hard to imagine. This strategic decision aims to cultivate a harmonious and stable environment to promote the rally’s growth and that of the entire WRC within this captivating arena.”

​Next year’s NTT IndyCar Series grid is expected to look nice and familiar. With a modern record of 27 full-time entries shared across Chevrolet and Honda in 2023, the same number of cars are expected to line up when the new season begins.

Max Verstappen has announced that he is setting up a GT3 race team team under the Racing banner and is eager to get started, possibly as early as 2025. “We are currently working on that. The next step is our own GT3 team. Next year is pretty tight, but I want it as soon as possible. A GT3 team in 2025, should fit. With at least two cars.” 

In the SportsPro Podcast, Dorna Sports’ new chief commercial officer Dan Rossomondo eyes big gains as he talks monetizing MotoGP. You can listen here.

Speaking of MotoGP, Dorna Sports has signed a two-year contract extension with the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto in Spain.

Last week I mentioned that WorldSBK had cancelled their series final in Argentina in light of the elections being held in the country. This week Jerez was named as its replacement.

Formula E reports that their first-ever race in India, the 2023 Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix, hosted in collaboration with the Government of Telangana and Ace Nxt Gen, delivered an economic impact of nearly $84 million according to an independent report published this week.

  • $83.7 million in direct, indirect and induced impact from spending in the Hyderabad region for the 2023 Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix.
  • $4.8 million generated from events and activations by teams Mahindra Racing and Jaguar TCS Racing, championship sponsors ABB and DHL, local race partners such as Greenko Group and Jio as well as associations with the Hyderabad E-Mobility Week, organised by the Government of Telangana.
  • $4 million spent on hotels and accommodation in the area.
  • $3.5 million created in media value across TV, online, print and social media.
  • $1.8 million spent in local restaurants on food and beverage.

Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal is reporting that sources are telling him that NASCAR is in discussions about investing millions of dollars into a new driver incentive program that would start in 2025 and reward the sport’s leading spokespeople for promoting it more. “Drivers are not NASCAR employees because — unlike franchised stick and ball leagues — NASCAR teams do not own the league. But this program is a recognition by NASCAR, privately owned by the France family, that the sport needs to be marketed better and that its most prominent and influential spokespeople should be at the forefront of that effort.”

Sports Business Journal also reports on how NASCAR is talking about the upside of their new rights deal with American network the CW (see link below). “One is the CW free-to-air broadcast network available in 125 million homes, then you also get the benefit of working with Nexstar, which is the largest television group in the United States.”

Audi Sport’s factory drivers are pondering the next steps for their careers after the German manufacturer announced that its works involvement in sports car racing will stop at the end of this year. Customer teams will still be able to race the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II next year and Audi Sport has confirmed that trackside support will continue, but there will be no more factory-supported race entries and new car production will be quickly phased out.

SRX racing enters its third season with continued growth according to SBJ.

Texas Motor Speedway is upgrading its Big Hoss TV screen in partnership with GoVision. The upgraded screen will be ten per cent larger, have 22 per cent more pixels, 20 per cent higher resolution and be 16 per cent brighter

Heartland Motorsports Park, a fixture on the NHRA Camping world Drag Racing Series circuit for three and a half decades has announced that the upcoming August 11-13 Menard’s NHRA Nationals would be the last NHRA national event at the facility. Luckily, the new Flying H Dragstrip in nearby Odessa, Missouri will assume Heartland’s place on the schedule in 2024.

Business of Motorsport

The Shift Up Now Foundation has announced the launch of its “40 for 40 Campaign,” aimed at raising $40,000 over 40 days, in celebration of Pippa Mann’s 40th birthday on August 11, 2023.

As Shift Up Now continues to strive for gender equality for female athletes in motorsport, the foundation furthers the mission by accepting tax-deductible gifts, donations and grants. Funds raised from donations are used to award opportunities to racers believed to have the talent and aptitude to succeed in motorsports. This allows these racers access to more competitive equipment, seat time for testing and practice, and resources to help grow their careers. To join the campaign, race fans and Shift Up Now supporters are invited to make a donation – in $40 increments – from August 1st through September 9th.”

Donations can be made to the Shift Up Now Foundation Inc via the “make a gift” page of the website, To pay via check, please contact us at

A reminder that the SCCA Foundation’s Region Development Grant deadline is August 31st. “SCCA Regions are constantly working hard to support their members, and while the drive and knowhow is there, oftentimes it’s the funds that are lacking. This is where the Region Development Grant comes in. Through this grant, the SCCA Foundation helps make Region goals achievable by assisting with the financial burden that all too often halts great ideas in their tracks. Most recently, Philadelphia Region, Northwestern Ohio Region, and Colorado Region all benefited from this particular program.”

There are particulars you need to know about the SCCA Foundation Region Development Grant, but the most pressing right now is that the next quarterly deadline is nearing. In order to be considered for the next round of funding, applications must be submitted by Aug. 31.

U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Todd Young (R-IN) have introduced S. 2462, the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act. The bipartisan legislation would provide certainty to racing facility owners about long-term investments by amending the Federal Tax Code to make permanent the seven-year cost recovery period for investments in motorsports entertainment complexes. Currently, this tax incentive expires at the end of 2025.

The Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act is a simple fix to our tax code that will offer speedways the freedom to make long-term investments and upgrades to their facilities,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m proud to introduce legislation that will improve driver safety, enhance [the] fan experience and support jobs in our racing communities.”

Finally, Motorsport Magazine has some great highlights from 30 years of the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

Here are the latest motorsport sponsorship deals, partnerships and related analysis that were announced this week.

Alpine F1 Struggles Off-Track and On

Team News

Here is a roundup of the latest team news from around the world of motorsport.

Ferrari 296 GT3

Motorsport Movers & Shakers

Alpine F1 Struggles Off-Track and On

Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) announced Kim McCullough will join the company as the Chief Marketing Officer, where she will oversee marketing and public relations for all PMH properties, race series and SpeedTour events. A lifelong automotive enthusiast, McCullough has competed in world-class events such as the East African Safari Classic and Mille Miglia. She has judged and participated in concours d’elegance throughout the country, including Pebble Beach and The Amelia.

McCullough is a founding member of Women in Motorsports North America, focused on bringing women into the sport, and she is a board member of the TechForce Foundation, working to bring more young people into technical careers in automotive and other industries.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.