Web3 in Formula 1 Accelerates Past the Competition

The Web3 ecosystem in Formula 1 is accelerating past the sports competition and that is just part of what you will learn about in the Business of Motorsport this week.

You will also learn about the incredible reach of F1 and how the series drives cultural change. I have news on a potential new charter system in IndyCar, why Maserati thinks motorsport is important for their business and how the grid for the Asian Le Mans Series is beginning to form post-pandemic.

All of this plus the latest sponsorship deals and partnership news as well as what race teams are up to globally as they prepare for 2024.

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

Please note that in light of the Labor Day holiday this Monday, News Racers Can Use will return on Tuesday, September 5th.

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

Web3 in Formula 1 Accelerates Past the Competition
Andretti mock-up F1 livery by TommyWTF1, 3D model by Chris Paul Design/Unkredible Studios

In the latest edition of his Green Notebook, veteran F1 journalist Joe Saward explains that there will be both good news and bad news for the Andretti F1 project. The good news is that the FIA will accept his bid. The bad news is that the teams will not.

Most of the good driver market gossip was from IndyCar, which has no major impact on F1, but the word is that the FIA will soon announce that it has no objection to Andretti Global getting an F1 entry. The bad news is that it is not just down to the federation (which is terrified of anyone threatening legal action) but to get an entry one also needs agreement from the Formula One group and there seems no interest at all in them agreeing – and they do not seem to be bothered about Andretti taking legal action.”

Felipe Massa is threatening to instigate legal action over what he claims is the conspiracy to deny him the 2008 F1 title. His lawyers have called out the FIA and FOM for stalling in their response to his legal letter. Racing News365 summarizes what is known so far about the status of his legal action.

Business of Motorsport

Despite what appears to be a waning of anything Web3 in F1 these days, Sporting Crypto explains how the Formula 1 Web3 ecosystem is accelerating. “As per my write-up a few weeks ago on McLaren Racing’s Web3 strategy (🔌 which you can find here) — Formula 1 is (arguably) leading the way in sports when it comes to Web3. Perhaps not at the ‘League’ level, but when you factor in how active teams are on the sponsorship, partnership and activation side, it feels as though they are ahead of the curve compared to most of, if not all sports.”

Check out these Formula 1 stats from Silvia Schweiger of RTR Marketing:

  • 20 countries, 23 locations, 5 continents (basically the only sport platform in the world to be really global)
  • 1.54 Billion cumulative TV Audience
  • 70 Million global average audience for GP
  • 7.5 Billion views across global social media
  • Drive to Survive – Top 10 shows worldwide, ranked #1 in more than 27 markets, increasing engagement among female and younger audiences
  • 5.7 Million attendance at the circuits in 2022
  • 10 races with 300K attendees
  • 3 races with 400K attendees
  • Almost all races sold out

In The Formula for Diversity, DiveBomb explains how F1 drives cultural change. “Formula One does an outstanding job at promoting cultural exchange all-year long, by bringing together diverse groups of people, possessing a strong passion for the sport, and this creates a safe environment for everyone to bond, showcase their local pride, and advocate diversity. And of course, creating a wide subculture in every country is a trait of Formula One that EVERYONE knows and adores.”

Despite the closure of the Bay Grandstand, which was temporarily shuttered as part of the redevelopment of the Float at Marina Bay, The Robb Report explains why this year’s Singapore Grand Prix is nearly sold out. “Firth added that the team was able to recoup 10,000 tickets and has “several exciting new options” for fans. The facilities are looking better than ever, too. Six new grandstands were introduced earlier this year, and there will be a new track layout for race weekend. In addition, the entertainment lineup includes 40 world-renowned performers, such as Post Malone, Robbie Williams, Kings of Leon, Madness, Groove Armada, and Culture Club.”

After another successful Dutch Grand Prix, Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali has revealed that Zandvoort is under consideration for a rotational spot on the calendar. “The future for Zandvoort looks bright anyway. In the conversation on Friday morning we already talked about the future. Everything is still open. Either we continue in this way, or we rotate every other year with a different race. Together we will see what the best option is. But I say it again – everything looks very good. I cannot imagine that our cooperation will end soon.”

Looking to possibly deflect the criticism that they have been getting from the disruptions they have caused in Sin City, Las Vegas Grand Prix organizers have explained the positive community benefits that the race will bring.

Among the organization’s first initiatives was the creation of the Las Vegas Grand Prix Foundation, which supports local nonprofits dedicated to improving the lives of Southern Nevadans and laid out an ambitious goal of providing one million meals to students, families and communities in need. Among the organization’s first hires was Pilar Harris, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Government Relations, who has been omnipresent in the community, building relationships and laying out F1’s initiatives to raise the bar on water and energy conservation, education programming and diversity and inclusion. To this end, it is also worth mentioning that F1’s top two Las Vegas Grand Prix executives are women: Chief Executive Officer Renee Wilm and Chief Commercial Officer Emily Prazer.”

General Motorsport Industry News

Business of Motorsport

Despite the horrible weather, by all accounts the NASCAR street race in Chicago was a success. But according to Autoweek, many Chicago residents are opposed to a NASCAR return to the Windy City. “The city really has to focus on expediting the setup and takedown of the track. There also has to be communication between the city officials, park officials and the people who use Grant Park as their neighborhood park. We have to engage the citizens instead of just saying this is just what’s going to happen.”

RACER reports that the IndyCar Series is making progress towards a charter concept. “Unlike Formula 1 or NASCAR, where teams’ guaranteed access to compete in each race is a commodity that holds exceptional value, IndyCar does not have a business structure in place where the small business owners who compete in the series own their access; teams can come and go and new entries are welcome with no buy-in fee.”

iSportConnect’s Taruka Srivastav spoke with Pushkar Nath Srivastav, Founder of Fairstreet Sports which is organising the MotoGP Bharat in India to know how the race will impact the country. “MotoGP Bharat race is the biggest motorcycling spectacle to happen in the history of motorcycling sports in India.”

Daily Sportscar details the moves happening behind the scenes as the Asian Le Mans grid begins to form with the entry deadline approaching. “The main downside is cost. Clearly, moving from one country to two countries, and four races to five, was always going to be more expensive, but that doesn’t make things any easier, especially for the teams, who need their programmes to work financially above all else. It has become readily apparent to DSC that there are huge differences in the budget level that the LMP2 teams in particular are asking customers to bring to programmes; this suggests it’s proving to be a particularly tricky championship to price up.”

Business of Motorsport
2024 Maserati MCXtrema

Maserati executives explain how motorsport is essential to their business. “Formula E has an advantage in the sense that it has motorsport fans but it also has technological innovation gurus as their fans that follow it because of the innovation and the advancements that Formula E can help us meet together,” said Giovanni Tommaso Sgro, Head of Maserati Corse, in an interview earlier this year.

BlackBook Motorsport is reporting that SRX viewership has dropped 56% in 2023. “The series switch from network TV to cable for 2023 resulted in a 56 per cent fall in viewership, down from one million to 436,000 per race. Despite the fall, SRX has seen a viewership increase in the 18-49 demographic, with the average increasing to 148,000 per race. Viewership also grew progressively as the season went on, hitting nearly 600,000 viewers for the finale.”

Autosport explains why Britain’s Triumph is committing its future to Moto2. “For Chief Product Officer Steve Sargent, committing to Moto2 through to the end of the decade was a no-brainer, especially with how the knowledge gained in grand prix racing transfers to its road production.”

Praga has announced that the Praga R1 race car dealer network has grown with the addition of Praga Racing USA, their first official North America dealer, formed and owned by R1-owner Shane Anderson. “As a passionate track day enthusiast, Shane bought his first R1 race car in 2022 and immediately witnessed the positive reaction from his friends at his local track, Atlanta Motorsports Park. Fast forward to 2023, Shane has grown the Praga customer base with new owners from Georgia to Florida to Washington State, and is now the sole official Praga R1 dealer for the whole of the US.”

You can learn more about Praga Racing USA in their new series of YouTube episodes. I have linked to them below:

Web3 in Formula 1 Accelerates Past the Competition

Gaming Today looks at the plans for the high-end Atlantic City car resort Bader Field. “It’s been more of a political football thrown back and forth between all the various competing political interests,” said Erick Feitshans, founder and CEO of DEEM Enterprises, the current venture attempting to get a project off the ground. “We’ve had some luck in terms of timing. It’s almost as if it’s sat for so long, everyone has become so frustrated that nothing can be done, that now that there’s potentially a good idea, we’re getting this overwhelming support from the local community.”

Business of Motorsport

Andrew Petcash decodes the red-hot trend of Equity Crowdfunding. “A Community Round is when a startup lets its customers, users, & fans invest alongside VCs and angel investors. In a community round (also known as equity crowdfunding) investors exchange cash for a security interest in the startup. This allows startups to raise funding to fuel their growth and gain dedicated life-long customers (with an upside stake in the company succeeding).”

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

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

MotoGP GoPro

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.