Why won’t IMSA let Glickenhaus race is a question that team owner Jim Glickenhaus is asking himself, hinting that it could be a potential legal issue. This is just one of the stories in this week’s Business of Motorsport Roundup.
I also bring you the latest business news from Formula 1, NASCAR, Supercars and Formula E. In addition to that I have details on some fascinating sponsorship technology and the latest motorsport deals and partnerships.
All this and much more in this week’s Business of Motorsport on Motorsport Prospects.
Motorsport Industry News
Drivers and teams are charged a fee to participate in the world championship based on their results the previous year, with a flat fee adding to a set amount per point scored. “With 23 races and six sprints, there will be 443 more points available in 2023 than five years ago, before the advent of sprints and bonus points for the fastest lap. But the fee per point hasn’t decreased to compensate for that. According to the 2023 FIA Sporting Regulations, all teams are required to pay a flat rate of $617,687, plus a fee per point scored. That points fee has risen from $6,926 to $7,441 for the constructors’ world champion and from $5,770 to $6,174 for the remaining nine teams.” The end result is that the FIA has banked $26.7 million from collecting license fees from the 20 Formula 1 drivers and their teams. Max Verstappen is not impressed.
In other Formula 1 team news, the official scramble is on for anybody interested in entering a new team in Formula 1, perhaps in light of the fact that Zak Brown predicts that F1 teams will be worth billions in the ‘near future.’ According to Sky TV pundit Ted Kravitz, there are four F1 teams that could be for sale if the price is right but really, that’s a bit of a stretch. As Gene Haas has stated when asked if his team is for sale, “Well, no, not really. But if somebody were to offer just short of $1 billion, then anything’s for sale.”
Meanwhile, the Andretti/Cadillac story keeps rumbling on. Mario Andretti has become the de facto spokesman for the project and last week he was quoted extensively in the press. From explaining why F1 has grown in the United States to explaining why an Andretti F1 team could represent the US “properly,” he has been banging the Andretti F1 drum loudly. He even remains unfazed by Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s decision to step back from F1.
And while Alpine have confirmed that they will provide Andretti-Cadillac with their powertrain, Christian Horner is singing the prevalent refrain from most of the current teams in stating that they ‘would love’ to see Andretti in F1, but asks ‘who is going to pay?’
While Andretti is dominating the new team news, Panthera Team Asia are quietly going about their plans but suddenly a new contender has reared its head. The head of Saudi Arabia’s motorsport federation and its grand prix has suggested that the country could one day operate its own Formula 1 team. Speaking in an in-house interview to mark a month until the third edition of the country’s race, Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation and Saudi Motorsport Company, said that “We are really enthusiastic about motorsport and have big plans and we want to contribute by having a big role in the future of the sport. Hopefully in 10 to 20 years from now you will see Saudi Arabia and Saudi companies and more people engaged globally with Formula 1. We want to create future engineers, team managers, team principals — and to have companies attracted to motorsport so we have cars being constructed here and more people engaged with the industry.”
As to a “curious” Honda when queried about their post-Red Bull plans, they have admitted to having been already approached by teams over potential 2026 F1 engine deals. “Formula 1 is greatly shifting towards electrification, and carbon neutrality is our corporate-wide target at Honda,” Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe said. “We think that F1’s future direction is in line with our target, so that is why we have decided to register as the manufacturer of a power unit. We’re curious about where F1 is going; F1 being the top racing category and how is that going to look with more electrification happening? We would like to keep a very close eye on that. And that is why we have decided to register as a PU manufacturer. After we made the registration, we have been contacted by multiple F1 teams. For the time being, we would like to keep a close eye on where F1 is going and just see how things go. For now, we don’t have any concrete decisions on whether or not we will be going back to joining F1.”
The ExpressVPN blog has a fascinating and eye-opening article called Spying, sabotage, and leaks: The cyber threats within Formula One that details cybersecurity issues and Formula 1, including some examples of cybersecurity breaches that took me by surprise. “As data breaches and digital threats become more frequent and sophisticated, cybersecurity has become a major concern for F1 teams and organizers. So it only makes sense that they’ve invested in new technologies and systems to protect their data and networks—going so far as to bring cybersecurity companies on board as key sponsors.”
At this year’s SXSW Conference there will be a session titled F1- Real World Impact on Transportation & Culture.
Learn how F1, a sport that has attracted fans for the drama, competitiveness, and glamour, has served as an enormous mechanism for vehicle development, and is at a renaissance moment when mobility habits are expected to change over the next decade. The impact that Formula 1 technology has had on road cars and the road relevancy of racing technology as it relates to the future of mobility and sustainability is a key conversation for the future.
Additionally, while the growth for Formula 1 in US in the last few years has been exponential, the sport has also lacked equity and representation for a long time and is at a key juncture to accelerate changes in the sport with the additional influx of revenue and a new era of the sport.https://schedule.sxsw.com/2023/events/PP129608
General Motorsport Industry News
Could the refusal by IMSA to allow Glickenhaus to race be a restraint of trade issue? Does it even make sense if a prototype manufacturer can race in the WEC but not in IMSA in this age of convergence? Shouldn’t IMSA be encouraging American-made sportscar manufacturers to race in North America? Lots of questions to be answered here as team owner Jim Glickenhaus has complained that he has suffered ‘huge damage’ from being blocked by IMSA. “In an online press call organized by the World Endurance Championship ahead of next month’s Sebring 1000 Miles, Glickenhaus reiterated his stance, calling the decision to bar a small American marque like his “illegal” according to US anti-trust laws as well as “idiotic”.” It should be noted that current IMSA regulations require any participating manufacturer to produce 2,500 cars a year, a rule that does not exist in the World Endurance Championship.
Needless to say, IMSA President John Doonan sees things differently. In his regular LinkedIn column, he has described the current GTP category as a Progressive Platform. “IMSA is an ecosystem of people and partnerships, as I saw in Indiana; you’ll also see this in evidence throughout the paddock on race weekends. I’m excited to see our continual, collective progression to provide the automotive industry with such a dynamic platform to support its commercial aims.”
With the just concluded Daytona 500 recording its third-lowest ratings ever, some say that NASCAR shows signs of a resurgence but many fans are still left wanting more by Fox’s broadcast decisions. “Unfortunately, many fans watching at home were held back from fully enjoying the race. Between ill-timed commercials and kinks with new technology, the Fox broadcast struggled to deliver a product commensurate with what the sell-out crowd enjoyed.”
And while NASCAR has dominated U.S. motorsports for years, Front Office Sports looks at new competition from an unlikely source, Formula 1. “While F1 may not have as much on-track action — especially when it comes to overtakes — it does have “Drive to Survive,” the hugely popular Netflix show that showcases the personalities of the sport’s drivers and their crews.”
Formula E has embarked on a bold new Gen3 era racing in some brand new countries while positioning itself as motorsport of the future, but The Race explains why Formula E’s driver roster could change like never before. “Formula E will face a talent drain shortly, particularly within its experienced top-earning drivers, and it could see an influx of fresh, bargain-priced drivers.”
Formula 1’s popularity is growing worldwide, and in its wake, the supporting classes are trying to get a piece of the pie. Interest in Formula 2 and Formula 3 is also growing, but series CEO Bruno Michel is cautious about the increased interest. “It can be a cycle. We have some absolutely fantastic years then some more years that are difficult. We have to be careful to try to keep the costs as low as possible. For the teams, finding drivers with proper budgets or finding sponsors it’s easier than in the past but let’s still be cautious.”
“Little is known about the exact cost of running a Formula 2 team. Around four to five million dollars a year is a common estimate. Much of the budget is raised by the drivers and their sponsors. Indeed, the ‘pay driver’ phenomenon is still completely normal in the junior classes. The money earned by the F2 and F3 as a series through their alliance with Formula 1 is mostly used for logistics.”
The Extreme E off-road series has saw its 2022 audience hit 135 million viewers, a 30 per cent increase compared to the previous season.
- Extreme E content scored 90.5 million viewers on linear TV and 44.5 million through digital channels
- 71-29 split between male and female viewers, compares well with the 90-10 average in motorsport
- Broadcast news coverage of Extreme E generated more than 900 million viewers globally and more than 30,000 press articles
Following the recent launch of the limited-edition Praga Bohema hypercar and new 28-unit Praga ZS 800 motorcycle, Praga Cars UK has relocated from Cheshire to Dunsfold Park in Surrey, where its new client spec’ing facility and brand visitor center will be located. An official opening event is planned for summer 2023, when Praga R1 driver and former Stig, Ben Collins, will attempt to set a new lap record of the Top Gear track in the lightweight, 700hp, road legal Praga Bohema. The current official Top Gear fastest lap time is 01:11.3 set by the Ferrari SF90 Stradale in 2020.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis says the Japanese marque will alter its relationship with its MotoGP satellite team when it gets one again either in 2024 or 2025. “But, the package we will offer when that happens will certainly not be the same as the one we offered five years ago. The relationship with the satellite teams has become much closer.”
A departure from the board of the company which owns Supercars has raised questions about the Rogers’ shareholding. Speedcafe.com reports that John McMellan stepped down as a director of Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises Ltd (RACE) in recent weeks. “McMellan had been a key player in Australian motorsport through not only his RACE involvement, but also his 20 percent ownership stake (as at November 2022) in the Australian Racing Group and as a director of that company also.”
With all the issues currently plaguing the sport, The Race suggests the solution that Irish motorcycle road-racing crisis really needs. “The continuing success of the TT is proof in itself that there remains a market for road racing – but in a world that is undoubtedly becoming more risk-averse, it needs to be properly managed and marketed.”
Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News
Vincenzo Landino explains how Kindle E ink technology can change motorsport sponsorships. “With the new technology, multiple logos can be programmed to appear on the car during specific times, locations, or even depending on the race’s progress. This unique new technology has nothing to do with the car’s performance and everything to do with increasing the profitability of competing in Formula 1. It is a fantastic way to maximize the return on investment for sponsors and increase sponsorship opportunities for teams.”
Details for the Think!Sponsorship Conference 2023 – “Sponsorship: Reworked” have been released.
We’re back live for our 29th edition of the conference and in “Sponsorship: Reworked” we’re examining and discussing the changing face of brand partnerships. A turbulent 24 months has forced innovation and change in our dynamic sector. We’ll debate and discuss what this means and how to capitalize on new opportunities and investors across our interactive programme.
This will be a hybrid event with a live stream available to our virtual audience. We anticipate a live audience of 200 + delegates representing the sports, cultural, entertainment, environment, charity and local government sectors.https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/thinksponsorship-conference-2023-sponsorship-reworked-tickets-320594826757
Here are the latest motorsport sponsorship deals, and partnerships that were announced this week.
- iPacket Returns to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as Official Vehicle Marketplace and Primary Sponsor of Rahal’s Entry at Laguna Seca
- Heineken Signs Double Red Bull Deal
- Dazn Wins Japanese F1 Coverage
- Formula E partners with WAE for Girls on Track initiative
- Rosenqvist to carry onsemi backing for four events in 2023
- F1 TV Pro now available in India with no rights deal in place
- Formula 1 and DAZN sign multi-year partnership to broadcast F1 in Japan
- SBJ Unpacks: NASCAR races into 75th anniversary season with 51 partners
- Trans Am unveils 2023 broadcast package with MAVTV
- Monster’s New Alcoholic Drink Gets NASCAR Boost
- Red Bull joins forces with U.S. software firm for power unit design
- Hercules Dynamics and Oro Station Announce Strategic Partnership
- MoneyGram Haas F1 Team and TravisMathew launch partnership
- VistaJet, partner of the Ferrari Hypercar programme
- Ferrari renew VistaJet partnership
- Fifth Third Bank joins Race Industry Now as a Presenting Sponsor
- IndyCar, Advance Auto Parts sign new partnership
- Nascar benefits from Extreme Networks technology deployment
- Formula 1 announce Qatar Airways as new Global Airline Partner in multi-year deal
- Andretti Autosport Announces Partnership with DNSFilter for NTT INDYCAR SERIES and INDY NXT by Firestone 2023 Seasons
- Formula E Strengthens Ties with DHL to Boost Sustainable Operations
- Formula 1 and Coupang Play agree multi-year South Korean livestreaming partnership
- Honda unveils livery for 2023 challenger in Madrid
The Business of Running a Race Team
Porsche Penske Motorsport is “working through with the suppliers” of spec LMDh parts used by all manufacturers to address some of the issues its cars faced in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, ahead of its FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar debut at Sebring. Managing director Jonathan Diuguid told reporters on Thursday that the Penske factory squad was left “a bit disappointed” with how both of its Porsche 963s encountered setbacks in last month’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.
With just a week to go until Isotta Fraschini Milano unveils the Tipo 6 Competizione LMH-C in Milan, Italy, the team has released several videos showcasing the various stages of the vehicle’s development process. The playlist with all of the development videos can be found here.
MP Motorsport went from a previous team-best finish of sixth to winning both the F2 drivers’ and teams’ championships in 2022, and the man that oversaw this achievement is team principal Sander Dorsman. With the new F2 season only a matter of days away, Dorsman told Feeder Series about the challenge of repeating their success with their all-new driver line-up.
Team Rosberg has announced that it will not continue in the DTM this year after a 17-season continuous run with Audi machinery according to Sportscar365. “However, Rosberg last Tuesday confirmed that it will not enter the series this year, stating that it had ‘no chance of being able to compete… in a competitively and economically reasonable way.'”
Red Bull’s power units will be known as Honda RBPT engines in 2023 as part of a rebranding to highlight the Japanese manufacturer’s influence. “The power unit’s name has changed – it’s now a Red Bull Powertrains power unit – but the technology or the IP is really Honda’s,” outgoing managing director of HRC’s automobile racing development division Yasuaki Asaki said. “The manufacturing of this power unit is still going to be mainly done by Honda.”
In just a few years Ginetta Junior team R Racing has grown from a single car to taking multiple titles and plans to climb further up the ranks. Autosport explains how the still-youthful team progressed from a Mallorcan karting school to become the Ginetta outfit to beat.
Motorsport Movers & Shakers
The tools of leadership, growth, and business can be learned by bringing the fuel behind the fastest sport in the world with the leaders of some of the fastest-growing companies in the world. Join Zak Brown – CEO of McLaren Racing, co-founder of United Autosports & star of the Netflix series Drive to Survive—and Brendan P. Keegan—Chairman, CEO & President of Merchants Fleet, and co-owner of United Autosports—in the video above as they share their insights on their new limited series, Fast & Fearless: AcceleratingLeadership. Zak and Brendan pump the brakes to share their stories of leading at 150 miles per hour, distilling their insights at a speed we can all absorb.