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Old 27 Aug 2021, 07:50 (Ref:4070608)   #1
Gingers4Justice
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Liberty Media and the ACO

Just came across this video from Will Buxton, can't wait to find the time to watch the whole thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XxUag_RSEI

Although Buxton wasn't there in his official F1 capacity, this is yet another example of the F1 world 'discovering' Le Mans, and it's happening because of Liberty Media's entirely more friendly attitude to the big race.

Why is this worth commenting on? Well, for a start, in my opinion I think F1 is currently in the midst of a new golden era. Friends who have never expressed an interest in motorsport are all of sudden watching entire Grand Prix and are desperate to tell me about it, the cars are spectacular, and there's a fascinating title battle.

However, under Bernie and Co, the attitude to Le Mans - or anything else - was entirely hostile. Feels very different now, with the FIA working to avoid clashes, Chase Carey waving the flag at the start, the official F1 twitter account tweeting about the start of the race, and even having an F1 car lap La Sarthe...it seems like finally, we have custodians of the pinnacle of motorsport who sees the benefit of the entire pie being bigger, rather than aiming to just have the entire pie to themselves.

This is very significant, because we're about to have a golden era of sorts too. I know BOP and Hypercar has turned some fans away, but I can guarantee you, with the influx of manufacturers, we will have more eyeballs on Le Mans than at any point since the 1980s, if not all time.

For the first time in my lifetime, I'm not concerned that there will be a plot from F1 to destroy it as soon as it gets momentum.
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Old 27 Aug 2021, 07:57 (Ref:4070611)   #2
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Originally Posted by Gingers4Justice View Post
Just came across this video from Will Buxton, can't wait to find the time to watch the whole thing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XxUag_RSEI

Although Buxton wasn't there in his official F1 capacity, this is yet another example of the F1 world 'discovering' Le Mans, and it's happening because of Liberty Media's entirely more friendly attitude to the big race.

Why is this worth commenting on? Well, for a start, in my opinion I think F1 is currently in the midst of a new golden era. Friends who have never expressed an interest in motorsport are all of sudden watching entire Grand Prix and are desperate to tell me about it, the cars are spectacular, and there's a fascinating title battle.

However, under Bernie and Co, the attitude to Le Mans - or anything else - was entirely hostile. Feels very different now, with the FIA working to avoid clashes, Chase Carey waving the flag at the start, the official F1 twitter account tweeting about the start of the race, and even having an F1 car lap La Sarthe...it seems like finally, we have custodians of the pinnacle of motorsport who sees the benefit of the entire pie being bigger, rather than aiming to just have the entire pie to themselves.

This is very significant, because we're about to have a golden era of sorts too. I know BOP and Hypercar has turned some fans away, but I can guarantee you, with the influx of manufacturers, we will have more eyeballs on Le Mans than at any point since the 1980s, if not all time.

For the first time in my lifetime, I'm not concerned that there will be a plot from F1 to destroy it as soon as it gets momentum.
It a great video and well worth watching - I commented on it last night in the TV and streaming thread. With regard to Liberty - don't they own Discovey and hence Eurosport and therefore have most of the rights to LM TV - in which case the cross promotion is very much of mutual benefit
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Old 27 Aug 2021, 09:45 (Ref:4070629)   #3
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Well as long as a new breed of fans see and fall in love with the great race it can only be a good thing
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Old 27 Aug 2021, 10:21 (Ref:4070634)   #4
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However, under Bernie and Co, the attitude to Le Mans - or anything else - was entirely hostile. Feels very different now, with the FIA working to avoid clashes, Chase Carey waving the flag at the start, the official F1 twitter account tweeting about the start of the race, and even having an F1 car lap La Sarthe...it seems like finally, we have custodians of the pinnacle of motorsport who sees the benefit of the entire pie being bigger, rather than aiming to just have the entire pie to themselves.
Allow me to be the pessimist - the pie is smaller than it was in Bernie's day and likely to shrink further. It's in everyone's interest to work together and promote whatever the new vision of top-flight motorsport is going to be, in a world where people - particularly younger ages - are slowly moving away from personal transportation.

Still, a good deed is welcome.
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Old 27 Aug 2021, 12:40 (Ref:4070645)   #5
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Bearing in mind that ever since Balestre tried to emasculate Le Mans, there has been almost no crossover at all between F1 and the world of sportscar racing, I'd say any movement towards mutual appreciation has to be a good thing....
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Old 27 Aug 2021, 12:57 (Ref:4070657)   #6
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Non sure about the comment re personal transportation, the numbers of people riding motor cycles has been falling for decades, but the popularity of motorbike racing has not fallen, if you go to a big bike race now days the majority of spectators are not taking bikes.
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Old 27 Aug 2021, 16:15 (Ref:4070673)   #7
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Bearing in mind that ever since Balestre tried to emasculate Le Mans, there has been almost no crossover at all between F1 and the world of sportscar racing, I'd say any movement towards mutual appreciation has to be a good thing....
I was going to go into that, but I felt it was outside the scope of this thread. Reading/listening to the FISA/FOCA stories and other goings on in F1 in the early 80s is grossly fascinating, genuine car crash* reading.

As I said before, any closer link between F1 & Le Mans is good, for both parties. To echo Sebastian Vettel when Porsche won in 2015, "Thanks, [Nico Hulkenburg] for making us look good."

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Non sure about the comment re personal transportation, the numbers of people riding motor cycles has been falling for decades, but the popularity of motorbike racing has not fallen, if you go to a big bike race now days the majority of spectators are not taking bikes.
Outside of anecdotes, I'll have to put an "agree to disagree disclaimer here. But it's not just the top level ("big" bike/car races, which will always attract interest), interest down the pyramid has to be kept up as well. Hence the moves towards what marketing departments/series organisers think will attract those new fans every sport needs.

*Pun intended. I'll get my coat...

There's always going to be a core group who will preserve their sport - take horses and horse racing for example. Motorsport as we know it is never going to disappear. But how popular it will be and how relevant it will be are intrinsically linked.
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Old 27 Aug 2021, 17:06 (Ref:4070680)   #8
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Allow me to be the pessimist - the pie is smaller than it was in Bernie's day and likely to shrink further. It's in everyone's interest to work together and promote whatever the new vision of top-flight motorsport is going to be, in a world where people - particularly younger ages - are slowly moving away from personal transportation.

Still, a good deed is welcome.
I second that. The problem with Bernie was that his attitude of "kids on the internet don't buy Rolex" became outdated long before he left his post. The end result was half the F1 grid without title sponsors and one team even running with self-ironic <your name here> stickers.
And now Liberty Media is trying to use every opportunity to bring the sport back into the public eye. Becoming buddies with other popular series can't hurt.
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Old 11 May 2022, 07:06 (Ref:4109629)   #9
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This sounds positive. You would think Ferrari and Porsche would be keen to have more focus on their Hypercar efforts without the distraction of F1, especially next year.

https://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/...clash-in-2023/
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Old 11 May 2022, 08:22 (Ref:4109633)   #10
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This sounds positive. You would think Ferrari and Porsche would be keen to have more focus on their Hypercar efforts without the distraction of F1, especially next year.

https://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/...clash-in-2023/
I think we'll see clashes for the foreseeable unfortunately. That F1 calendar is so punchy.

I'd say you're correct in pointing out the likes of Ferrari and Porsche (incoming F1 presence) lobbying Liberty is probably going to be way more effective than anything the FIA could do.

F1 is such a juggernaut now that, from their perspective, they don't need to worry about clashing with anything.
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Old 11 May 2022, 18:04 (Ref:4109681)   #11
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I think we'll see clashes for the foreseeable unfortunately. That F1 calendar is so punchy.

I'd say you're correct in pointing out the likes of Ferrari and Porsche (incoming F1 presence) lobbying Liberty is probably going to be way more effective than anything the FIA could do.

F1 is such a juggernaut now that, from their perspective, they don't need to worry about clashing with anything.
F1 has (almost) always been the big swinger, but they're riding the crest of a wave at the moment. They haven't really worried about clashing at all, for better and for worse. Hopefully, the manufacturer crossover (and the subsequent appeal to exposure) will sway things towards a free Le Mans weekend.

On topic, out of ~36 available racing weekends, a 23-race series and a 7-8 race series are going to do very well to avoid even a specific date clash. I actually think Canada and LM on the same weekend was a decent compromise, as the races themselves did not overlap.

Besides, one of my favourite weekends of motorsport was LM/Canada 2011 - the closest racing finish in history and an all-time great drive from the back to victory.
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Old 18 May 2022, 20:36 (Ref:4110510)   #12
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Incontestably, F1 is at the pinacle of motorsports, and probably last decades, cast a shadow above Endurance... Nowadays, F1 authorities are more friendly with ACO. I think, the main challenger of WEC to grows up is... WEC himself.
Le Mans is popular (230 000 persons on the week, on of the main events in the world). But the rest of the season is a little unpopular. Apart Spa and some IMSA races, grandstands are often empty. But, the heads of factory programmes and marketing departments are attentive about the popularity and media exposure of the event.
Last week, the CEO of VW Herbert Diess said in brief "only F1weighs in Motorsport ". I fear if nearby next years, WEC doesn't take off, lot of branding departments will do the same reasoning in the futur...
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Old 18 May 2022, 21:19 (Ref:4110514)   #13
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Incontestably, F1 is at the pinacle of motorsports, and probably last decades, cast a shadow above Endurance... Nowadays, F1 authorities are more friendly with ACO. I think, the main challenger of WEC to grows up is... WEC himself.
Le Mans is popular (230 000 persons on the week, on of the main events in the world). But the rest of the season is a little unpopular. Apart Spa and some IMSA races, grandstands are often empty. But, the heads of factory programmes and marketing departments are attentive about the popularity and media exposure of the event.
Last week, the CEO of VW Herbert Diess said in brief "only F1weighs in Motorsport ". I fear if nearby next years, WEC doesn't take off, lot of branding departments will do the same reasoning in the futur...

Somehow I think this is fair, WEC was killing itself when ACO and manufacturers decided to compete using f1 tier technology.
Sportscars need to stay in their comfortable dimension.
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Old 23 May 2022, 08:14 (Ref:4110987)   #14
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Last week, the CEO of VW Herbert Diess said in brief "only F1weighs in Motorsport ". I fear if nearby next years, WEC doesn't take off, lot of branding departments will do the same reasoning in the futur...
The struggles of Audi and to a lesser extent Andretti to get their foot in the door on the grid shows it's not as easy to get into F1 as you think.

It's a cash cow and the teams have tried to bolt the door behind them.
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Old 23 May 2022, 08:55 (Ref:4110996)   #15
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manufacturers are not all the same, in order to push the company name F1 might be top but if you want to sell expensive cars to wealthy clients it is not the right enviroment, goodwood and gt racing are much better return on investment.
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