Demystifying Andretti Global’s Failed F1 Bid

A deep dive demystifying Andretti Global’s failed F1 bid is just one of the topics covered in this week’s edition of the Business of Motorsport Roundup. I also look at how one race team was forced to withdraw from a series after the sanctioning body refused to approve their primary sponsor, the future of the Norisring DTM street race and legal analysis of two controversial F1 collisions. All this and much more in the Business of Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Business and legal news that racers can use.

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

Business of Motorsport explains how an out-of-the-blue email to Christian Horner started Ford’s F1 return. “We went through a process and we concluded that a change in ownership wasn’t the right route for the business, and then I sat down with Mark who said Ford were exploring a return to F1. It was, well, hey, we’re looking at doing this. This is our plan. So it happened very, very quickly.”

A recently published article in LawinSport looks at demystifying Andretti’s failed F1 bid while explaining how anti-dilution fees work.

“While the legal fraternity has been discussing the legal implications of FOM’s decision, we explore the “commercials” relating to an eleventh team on the F1 paddock and how it affects the “value” distribution among the F1 Teams. This article explores the financial reasons behind the decision, including the impact on existing teams’ prize money and the potential need for a higher anti-dilution fee.”

Business of Motorsport

Blinkfire Analytics breaks down Formula 1’s sponsorship exposure. “During the week of a Grand Prix, thousands of posts are published, giving visibility to the race’s official sponsors. To better understand the value driven for Formula 1 across owned and earned media for the league’s official partners, we distributed sponsorship valuation across F1, F1 teams and drivers, and media companies since February.”

BlackBook Motorsport explains how Formula One teams are moving away from charismatic team principals as “it’s easier to get sponsors these days”, according to former Haas boss Günther Steiner.

“This emphasis on performance appears to be a developing trend across the grid, with the three most recent team principal appointments focusing on an engineering background, namely Komatsu, RB boss Laurent Mekies, and Alpine’s Bruno Famin. Sauber have even dispensed with a traditional team principal entirely.”

General Motorsport Industry News

Business of Motorsport

While 600 helpers construct the track for this weekend’s Norisring DTM street race, organizers are concerned that the future of the race could be in danger. “We are fighting to keep it alive, as the costs are of course rising extremely, but at the moment we are still in a good position as a club.”

Autosport reports that MotoGP is looking at a second alternative to a potentially cancelled Kazakhstan Grand Prix. “With the cancellations of Argentina and India, a third cancellation would reduce the schedule to just 19 dates, three fewer than the 22 originally scheduled. Ties with the TV rights holders, among other obligations, are pushing Dorna to keep the schedule to at least 20 rounds, which will not be easy.”

AutoWeek reports that Homestead-Miami Speedway’s new president, Guillermo Santa Cruz, wants to make their NASCAR race the epitome of South Florida cool. “Santa Cruz believes the speedway should embrace the Southern Florida sports scene instead of shying away from it. That means being active in the community and the market, making a “little bit of noise” and making sure that people know what’s occurring at the speedway.”

Racer explains why the return of the World Endurance Championship to the Circuit of the Americas is a lot different from the last time it raced there.

“The last time the WEC visited COTA, sportscar racing was struggling for relevance. The race was held in February that year, coincidentally as a stand-in for São Paulo after its event that season was canceled. It also took place a few weeks before the world froze for the Pandemic and while there were rumblings of a new virus on the horizon, that weekend the paddock was more focused on the state of the championship and its murky future.”

The recently announced TV deal with Fox is unprecedented in scale according to BlackBook Motorsport, with 19 broadcast windows for IndyCar from next season. “Crucially, this is welcome good news for the North American series. Describing 2024 as a tumultuous season for IndyCar would be an understatement, with various on- and off-track issues stalling what has been marked growth in recent years.”

Applications are now open for the first FIA Women in Motorsport Mentorship Program. Aiming at providing guidance, support, and insights that will help them navigate their professional journey, mentors will share their knowledge, experiences, and advice, offering valuable perspectives aimed to accelerate the mentee’s development.

Hosted online, participants will connect through a digital platform allowing for flexible and accessible interaction regardless of location, with the online nature ensuring ease of scheduling and resource sharing.

You can apply for the program here.

Demystifying Andretti Global's Failed F1 Bid

Speaking of the FIA, they have released a video celebrating 120 years of existence (see above) while releasing their Year in Review for 2023. “2023 was a hugely successful year for the Federation, with significant progress made across our key areas of focus: Knowledge, EDI and Innovation.”

Quick Takes on the Business of Motorsport This Week

Business of Motorsport

The Numbers

Motorsport Law Roundup

A look at some of the legal and regulatory issues and analysis in Motorsport this week

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris at Austrian Grand Prix

Lawyer Anirban Aly Mandal gives his take on the Austrian Grand Prix collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris. By reviewing race footage, onboard cameras and an analysis of Appendix L of the International Sporting Code he looks to answer the question as to who was at fault.

“Verstappen was deemed guilty of violating Appendix L, Chapter IV, Article 2 d) of the Sporting Code. Article 2 d) discusses the offense of causing a collision and such a move being liable to be reported to the Stewards for a possible penalty.”

Speaking of collisions, I thought it would be timely to include, in light of the above from the same author, a similar analysis he conducted relating to the infamous 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

(I)t becomes pertinent to discuss the controversy in-depth and detail whilst also considering the legal implications of the FIA, the Stewards and the Race Director’s decisions. Further, the importance of having well-defined regulations and apt interpretation, at least in the context of motorsports, can also be seen by evaluating the controversy that marred the DTM finale in Norisring. The same has also been discussed in-depth below.

Absurdly Arbitrary: Legal Perspective to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’s Championship Fiasco

The DS Penske Formula E team has been found guilty of a second ‘spying’ offence in two years at the Portland E-Prix after it was judged to have used a member of its squad to note rivals’ tire usage plans. The Race explains what exactly they were found guilty of.

“DS Penske was subsequently found to be violation of event pass usage (bronze pass) which is detailed in Article 27.5 of the 2023/24 Formula E sporting regulations. This relates to the specifics of pass allocations that teams receive, with no more than 18 of the maximum 27 allowed able to be ‘operational’ staff. Those 18 staff must wear a ‘clearly visible yellow armband’ by regulation.”

Sarah Franklin

Motorsport Prospects contributor Sarah Franklin (see her article A Week in The Life of a Motorsport Lawyer here as well as her listing in the Motorsport Prospects database here) has been featured in the latest edition of Niche Magazine. The article goes into detail on how her practice is branching out to encompass work at the FIA’s International Court of Appeal. You can read the article here.

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

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

Business of Motorsport
Business of Motorsport

The Business of Running a Race Team

Business of Motorsport

Running a racing team is not easy and the quest to acquire and maintain sponsors is an all consuming mission, so when a series rejects your primary sponsor, the implications can be drastic. That is the situation that faced MDK Motorsports when the sanctioning body of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America refused to approve their primary sponsor OnlyFans. Interestingly, OnlyFans sponsors racing teams in both Pirelli GT4 America and the British GT Championship. In a statement the team released after the decision, Megan Kvamme, CEO, MDK Motorsports has explained why they have been forced to withdraw from the series, despite leading the championship.

“While we respect the decision, the disallowment of a major sponsor led us to this, as all season contracts were priced with the sponsorship included. After learning at Sebring that one of our major sponsors would not be approved, we spent the first half of the season looking for another partner while the Team supplemented the difference. Although we are disappointed to withdraw from Porsche Carrera Cup without completing the season, we’re grateful for our driver family and our partners at Porsche and IMSA, and look forward to future collaborations on and off-track,” said Megan Kvamme, CEO, MDK Motorsports.

“Motorsports is one of the fastest-growing sports not only in the US but across the globe. We were thrilled to partner with OnlyFans during their rebranding effort as an effective and modern platform to showcase our incredible driver athletes and foster genuine public engagement,” Kvamme concluded.

Team & Manufacturer News

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

Business of Motorsport
Business of Motorsport

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.