IMSA Looking Forward to 2024 and Beyond

IMSA is looking forward to 2024 and beyond and this week you will find out why it’s all part of the Business of Motorsport.

I also look at the ongoing saga of the Andretti Global F1 entry, Formula E’s need to escape their identity crisis and bring you Valtteri Bottas in a cowboy hat.

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

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

IMSA Looking Forward to 2024 and Beyond

I wrote extensively about the FIA approving Andretti Global’s application to join the F1 grid last week and this week the main changes to the ongoing saga are the following:

  • FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has come out in saying that he believes that there should be more teams and less races. He also believes that the teams and the FIA will come to an agreement thereby avoiding court.
  • Alpine has revealed that their agreement with Andretti for supply of engines has lapsed.
  • It looks like tensions between Liberty and FOM on one side and the FIA on the other are ratcheting up.

Joe Saward in his most recent Green Notebook, an essential read sums it up best:

We know that F1 has some rights relating to the acceptance of entries but we do not know what these are. The FIA and F1 both makes a big thing about transparency, but the process by which an entry is accepted is unclear because the rights of the various parties involved are part of the F1 commercial agreements and thus confidential. What I have managed to glean is that while F1 does not have a veto, it does have to give assent but it is not clear what an applicant has to do to get this assent. Competition law is wildly complex but one key element is whether or not the arrangements harm the consumer. It is hard to argue that a new F1 team will benefit the consumer and, equally, that the lack of a new team will cause any harm. If the teams have no official say in the process, one cannot argue that they constitute a cartel.

Green Notebook from the Geneva Motor Show

This is not the FISA/FOCA War Part 2 but there are clearly divergent opinions between the commercial rights holders and the FIA about how the sport is being governed. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Here are a few articles that are recommended reads regarding the current situation at the time of publication.

Motorsport Week reports that over the Qatar Grand Prix weekend rumors emerged that Audi might be considering a shock pull-out from their Formula 1 entry for 2026 onwards. “Indeed, over the weekend, Radio Le Mans reported that the project is being reviewed and would be put to a vote by the board, with a decision on whether to continue with its F1 plans to be made at the conclusion of the 2023 season.”

Despite the renewal of their partnership, Aston Martin F1 has downgraded its Cognizant sponsorship so that it will no longer involve naming rights from 2024. Could this lead to Aramco assuming title-sponsorship?

Both Red Bull and Mercedes F1 teams have released their 2022 financial results.

Perhaps due to the early conclusion of the F1 Championship titles, F1’s Qatar Grand Prix only averaged 824k viewers on ESPN. “Average viewership fell three per cent compared to the last race in 2021, which hit 850,312 viewers while the US audience peaked at 1.07 million in the first 15 minutes.”

Another rumor making the rounds in Qatar were that of Lawrence Stroll walking away from F1. “Mr. Stroll, who took charge of the Aston Martin road car company in January 2020 before rebranding the F1 team the following year, is said to be considering selling the F1 operation to a newly-founded Saudi Arabia state fund.”

The FIA has committed to reform of the F1 CapEx spending rules. “The FIA has introduced a league table system to CapEx spending, split into three groups, based on teams’ Constructors’ results across 2020, 2021 and 2022.”

Business of Motorsport

Finally, to lighten things up and to give me an excuse to include this picture, The Robb Report explains how F1 Star Valtteri Bottas’s Love of Wine Led Him to Finally Make His Own.

Last month, the Alfa Romeo driver launched Ihana, a Shiraz produced with South Australian winery Oliver’s Taranga. And it’s clear from how Bottas has approached the project, he’s looking to actually make wine more than he’s hoping to make money. “We’re a very small family business,” says sixth-generation winemaker Corrina Wright. “He’s doing this because this is what he wants to do—we’re not paying him any money to be our sports spokesperson or anything like that.””

General Motorsport Industry News

IMSA Looking Forward to 2024 and Beyond

As IMSA goes into the last race of the 2023 season with its Petit Le Mans, IMSA President John Doonan and the teams have expressed optimism and excitement over how this season has progressed and what is in store for the 3 IMSA championships in 2024.

While the series is bullish on what they have presented on track, the teams have explained how there will be more performance to come while welcoming Aston Martin’s debut in 2025.

One interesting comment is from Daily Sportscar that contrasts how the IMSA teams are welcoming competition in stark contrast to Formula 1 teams who are not.

All were quick to point to the level of competition, the boost in attendance and popularity and the general fan response to the new cars and the competition they have produced. That has been in sharp contrast to the cacophony of negativity towards Andretti Global and its planned Cadillac-powered addition to the Formula One grid from the current F1 teams.”

In Formula E news, the tender process for the ‘Gen4′ ruleset has been delayed by the FIA and Formula E in order to further evaluate prospective suppliers’ proposals for the 2026-30 competition period. The Race explains what this really means.

The Race understands that the key sticking point, and potentially a key reason for the extra time in choosing a supplier, is the battery tender specifically. Sources have suggested that this is the area that needs further evaluation as it informs the majority of the technical package.”

In more coverage of Formula E on The Race, Sam Smith looks at Formula E’s urgent bid to escape its personality crisis era. “A couple of years on and four months into his tenure as the third CEO of the all-electric series, new Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds describes his current in-tray to The Race as “bigger in terms of opportunity than challenges”.

The Race also reveals that Phoenix could host a street race 34 years on from hosting its last Formula 1 Grand Prix after details emerged of plans to bring Formula E to the Arizona state capital.

Last Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council approved funding a feasibility study to try and get Formula E to the city after leading delegates from the initiative visited the Portland E-Prix last June. The council’s feasibility study is set to major on street infrastructure, costs and socio-economic benefits for the city. It is unclear if some of the same streets that hosted the downtown event decades ago could be utilised again.”

Motorsport Odds and Ends

  • As they prepare for Formula 1, Audi Sport is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
  • A Monday report from The Guardian revealed six sports will be added by Los Angeles organizers to the 2028 program to be ratified at the 141st International Olympic Committee Session in Mumbai on 15–17 October; although motorsport was on the shortlist to be included, it was left out of the final proposal.
  • Voting is set to begin for the 2024 SCCA Board of Directors positions.

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

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

IMSA Looking Forward to 2024 and Beyond

Team News

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