The 2023 Formula 1 Power List is Out

The 2023 Formula 1 Power List is out and in this week’s Business of Motorsport you will find out who is on top, who has dropped and who is new to the list.

I also feature news about the Canadian and Miami Grands Prix, IndyCar and NASCAR expansion plans, a new book on the future of motorsport and more.

As usual I include the latest sponsorship deals and partnerships, the secrets behind the Heart of Racing and how Mercedes F1 wants to become the world’s most sustainable sports team.

All this and much more in this week’s Business of Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

Canadian Grand Prix

Last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix broke an all time attendance record of 345,000 fans while attracting 1.76m viewers on American TV network ABC.

F1 Miami organizers see their event turning into an East Coast version of the Sun Valley retreat, with a host of the world’s richest and most well-connected people schmoozing in the same hospitality club this past May. And while McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown feels that Formula 1 is just getting started in the US, will F1′s predictable races risk turning off the new American fanbase?

While F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali tells the media that F1 teams are refusing offers for their teams in the almost billions, he insists that 24 races are what the current market requires. “It’s the number that is required within the market. I would say it’s the right balance between that, the complexity of the logistics and of the people that are working. I would say this is the number which we should target to be stable for a long time.”

Business of Motorsport

Paddock Magazine have released their 2023 Formula 1 Power List of which the aforementioned Mr Domenicali ranks #2 while Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei heads the list. You can see the full list here.

Daniel Ricciardo is working with Ford to help reintroduce the American brand to the world of Formula 1. “Daniel Ricardo, he’s a fantastic personality, a lot a lot of energy,” Rushbrook said when asked by Speedcafe about his value to the project.

He’s been really good for us, and helping us learn the sport or learn the sport as we return to it. But also interacting with our company with our management with our employees. We’ve had him for a day in Dearborn; the local team down there [in Australia] spent a lot of time with him for the Australian Grand Prix and we’ve spent more time with him since then. And will continue to do so. He’s a fantastic person, individual and a great resource for us.”

Could this be one of the most convoluted legal situations in sports law today? The various lawsuits involving Rokit continue to rumble on and Williams is not immune, despite the fact that they won their case against the company that no one can quite define. “A Williams spokesman said the F1 constructor was aware of a “second spurious suit” filed against it, which it predicted would be “dismissed in due course.””

The Miami Dolphins are not letting the infrastructure for the Miami Grand Prix go to waste. “The Dolphins will start selling new gameday premium hospitality experiences inside the $100M Paddock Club originally built for the F1 Miami Grand Prix adjacent to Hard Rock Stadium. The team will sell 18 garage bays under the brand MIA Garage Tailgate.”

General Motorsport Industry News

Indy 500 Crowd

Indycar is working on some hurdles before finalizing their 2024 calendar while the admit that have have options to race outside the US but any significant schedule expansion may have to wait until 2025. “With reports suggesting that the series is looking to add one race per season for the next three years, an international race seems likely sooner rather than later. A trip to Mexico is also a possibility to capitalise on the interest in arguably IndyCar’s most popular driver, Pato O’Ward.”

Business of Motorsport

IndyCar has had a strong start with their 100 Days To Indy production with the lessons learned most probably applying to a second season.

I thought they did an excellent job of finding and telling stories,” Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles told RACER. “And in a particularly challenging format where they really didn’t have a lot of time, had to edit as they went, as opposed to put everything in the can and then go back months later and decide what survives. They quickly got a handle on many of the personalities in the sport, and did a great job of telling the stories. We didn’t ask them to be politically correct. We wanted them to tell the stories they thought were most compelling, and so the cast of characters ended up being pretty broad, which I think was helpful.”

As FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Frédéric Lequien revealed the series’ 2024 calendar two weeks ago at Le Mans, he was brimming with confidence about the prospects for trackside attendance and general interest next year and his presentation got a favorable reception in a press room filled with media, manufacturer and team representatives. “WEC will return to an eight-round schedule with a mix of new and returning venues as well four different race formats, offering a fresh feel to a season that will see the teams travel to eight countries between March and November. There were some surprises, too — one of which had been kept very much under wraps.”

I reported in last week’s Business of Motorsport that NASCAR was eying a race in Montreal and now there are reports that the series has expansion plans in the Middle East and India.

MotoGP saw a record crowd of 233,100 people at last weekend’s race at the Sachsenring, Germany. The race remains the biggest individual sporting event in Germany and beats previous attendance record of 232,202, set last year.

In Supercars news, an agreement on a return to New Zealand for the series looks likely and may be as little as two weeks away, revealed Supercars CEO Shane Howard when speaking recently. “Taupo still appears as the most likely venue for the series, following the closure of Pukekohe earlier this year, with a team from Supercars visiting the circuit last month.”

Garry Rogers has increased his share in the Australian Racing Group while John McMellan is no longer involved in management of the business. “Garry Rogers has expanded his investment in the Australian Racing Group (ARG) and is now the business’ largest shareholder. This revised structure will see John McMellan no longer involved in ARG Management or operational duties moving forward. Further information about plans for the business moving forward will be announced in due course.”

Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca has informed the Motorsport Australia staff that he has decided to retire from the position after a successful 11 years. Arocca will remain in the role until the end of 2023, allowing for an extensive search and handover for the next Chief Executive Officer. The Motorsport Australia Board, which was informed of Arocca’s decision earlier this year, have appointed Odgers Berndtson to conduct a formal executive search and recruitment for a new CEO.

Ford Performance launched its Mustang GT3 program formally at the Le Mans 24 Hours earlier this month, amid a peppering of reveals and announcements from teams, manufacturers and governing bodies ahead of the centenary event. “Signing Proton, Porsche’s largest GTE customer, puts Ford in a position in which it can afford to feel reasonably comfortable about gaining a pair of slots on the grid. This was a calculated move, not a last-minute decision ahead of Le Mans week. DSC understands that this deal came together a long time ago and was successfully kept under wraps in the build-up to the public announcement.”

Business of Motorsport

General Motors’ two-track involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship looks set to continue in 2024, with Cadillac Racing’s program in the Hypercar class fielding the V-Series.R running in parallel with Corvette’s planned customer Z06 GT3.R program in LMGT3. “We (Cadillac) intend to be in the FIA WEC next year,” Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM’s sports car racing manager, told RACER. “How many cars and all that stuff hasn’t been announced, but the intent is to continue.”

A new book, The Future of Motorsports Business, Politics and Society has been released by Routledge. From the Routledge website:

This book takes stock of the position of motorsport in the 21st century and considers how it will continue to influence sport business, politics, and society in the future.

Presenting a set of thematic essays and multi-disciplinary case studies, the book demonstrates that motorsport continues to play a significant role in relationships between the automotive industry, nationalism, industrialisation, and capitalism as well as motorsports’ position as a feature of contemporary popular culture. Examining issues such as event management and legacy, environmental sustainability and ‘greenwashing’, diversity and inclusion, the rise of gaming and esports, and the use of sport as political soft power around the world across multiple motorsport disciplines, the book shines fascinating new light on this innovative but sometimes problematic industry.

This is essential reading for all advanced students, researchers, managers, strategists, sponsors, and other stakeholders working at the nexus of motorsport, business, politics, and culture.

Latasha Causey, President of Phoenix Raceway, discuses her transition from banking to the sports industry, and why she’s so excited for the future of NASCAR. She highlights the creative activations that she’s coordinated to increase excitement around her races, attract younger fans to the sport, and maximize value for sponsors. You can listen to her on the Navigating Sports Business podcast.

The 2023 Formula 1 Power List is Out
Founder Geoffrey Campbell sits down with @KnightVisionMedia to give insight into the future of Oro Station and the interconnectivity of the public, education and business communities within this new automotive ecosystem.

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has reached the conclusion of its recent track upgrades after a fresh repaving of the well-worn 2.2-mile road course was completed last week. “I’m glad to report as of Monday night at 5:49, the track resurfacing project was complete,” track manager John Narigi of A&D Narigi told RACER. “The new bridge is complete, the track is completely resurfaced, and now it’s going through its eight-day cure time. The track will then get painted and striped. And then we open up for business with the SCCA race on June 30, so in essence, the project has been completed.”

Speed Cafe reports that the Bathurst Regional Council has confirmed that Federal Government funding for the development of a second circuit at Mount Panorama has been withdrawn. “Unfortunately, we were advised this didn’t align with the intent of the original grant funding,” Mayor Robert Taylor said in a statement. “The project is on hold for now, but Council strongly supports development of the second circuit and will continue to work with both the Federal and State Governments and other stakeholders to make it happen.”

LawinSport has a comprehensive article on how business can avoid greenwashing in sport by staying onside amidst increased regulatory scrutiny. “As a general takeaway, with sports organisations, their commercial partners and potentially even professional players and athletes themselves under increasing pressure from fans, sponsors and the public at large to promote their green credentials, it is no doubt mutually beneficial in the current regulatory climate, for greater diligence to ensure that environmental claims made are carefully considered and appropriately substantiated.”

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

Haas F1 Race Car

In their latest Inside the Deal, Blackbook Motorsport talk to Günther Steiner as he breaks down Haas’ MoneyGram title sponsorship. “At the time, cryptocurrency deals were happening left, right and centre,” adds Morrell. “There were potentially some other offers on the table, but everything around the MoneyGram deal just seemed to be a safer play. But also, it was the right play for us as a team. After two title partner deals that didn’t go their full term, that ultimately had some sort of impact on the team from a perception point of view. We were very intent on getting this one right.”

Motorsport is the third-most effective sport at promoting its sponsors, according to a survey of the US market conducted by Chicago-based marketing agency REvolution reports Blackbook Motorsport. “From 1,000 US sports fans, 10.7 per cent considered motorsport the most effective at promoting its sponsors, in comparison to 48.1 per cent for football and 14.1 per cent for basketball.” is suspending its institutional cryptocurrency exchange in the US in a development but will maintain title sponsorship of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Los Angeles Lakers’ home arena as well as other sports sponsorships. “The Singapore-based firm cited limited demand for the closure, which is believed to affect 400 customers, while challenging market conditions are also likely to have been a factor.”

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

Business of Motorsport

The Business of Running a Race Team

Business of Motorsport explains how The Heart of Racing keeps on beating faster. “I think the fact that we were in it last year after the start that we we had kind of proves that you’re sort of always in the hunt,” says De Angelis. “That’s kind of the good thing with IMSA – it always comes back to you. I think as a team at The Heart of Racing, we’ve proven that we’re a championship-winning team, I think we have one of the strongest lineups on the grid, both in the PRO and in the Am class. The last few rounds obviously weren’t ideal — we had really good pace, got a good car, we had a good strategy; we just need to build on the weekends that we’re there.”

The Sustainability Report has a great interview with Mercedes F1’s head of sustainability, Alice Ashpitel, as she discusses the team’s ambition to be the world’s most sustainable sports team. “Being able to show that you can go racing at the highest level and that you can get to all of the races across the European season, be competitive on track and do that in a sustainably fuelled way is going to be really key. And that’s what we hope we can use our platform to demonstrate. It’s really pleasing to see F1 also just announced that its got biofuels in its trucks for this season as well. It’s about creating this wave of change and showing that there is an appetite in the market as well, and that will hopefully stimulate further uptake.”

Autoweek talks to Andretti Formula E Team Principal Roger Griffiths to find out why Michael Andretti and Andretti Autosport are in Formula E. “A conversation at Long Beach, Calif., with Formula E founders and cousins Alberto Longo and Alejandro Agag, proved Agag a persuasive salesman. But it didn’t take that much cajoling, even though, as Griffiths recalled before the recent Formula E Prix at Monaco, that Michael Andretti was warm to the series’ mission of sustainability: “Michael’s certainly got a pretty broad outlook on the world in general and what we need to be doing to find ourselves in a better place to be living for our children and grandchildren and for the rest of us. Formula E was a step in that right direction.””

Blackbook Motorsport reports that the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is selling its preference shares in McLaren Group to Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s state investment fund, according to Sky News. “The report says it is a private transaction of preference shares and warrants that will not lead to any new investment coming into the company, which owns the McLaren Formula One team. It comes two years after PIF and Ares Management pumped UK£400 million (US$510 million) into McLaren.”

Joe Gibbs has sold a minority stake in Joe Gibbs Racing to Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and Arctos Partners. In its announcement, the organization described it as a “significant investment.” However, there is no expected change in the day-to-day operations of Joe Gibbs Racing.

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.