The Formula One Promoters’ Association (FOPA) has expressed its disagreement over holding Formula One races in Miami, Florida and another one in 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
This issue is among the subjects of the FOPA’s meeting with representatives from Liberty Media, the owner of Formula One, at the Royal Automobile Club in central London on Tuesday.
The FOPA, which represents 16 out of the 21 races on the Formula One calendar, cited that it is concerning for them that Liberty Media is adding more grand prix events in the annual race schedule.
Stuart Pringle, chairman of the FOPA and the managing director of British Grand Prix venue, Silverstone, argued that the city of Miami is being given preferential treatment by the Formula One owner.
Liberty Media is reported to be quite eager to secure a racing event in the Florida city. However, it is allegedly using a profit-share business model instead of the traditional hosting-fee arrangement.
This scenario has led the FOPA to fume as Miami seems to be offered better financial deals by Liberty Media.
The city is “seemingly getting a free deal” which is unjust for the other racing venues, Pringle remarked.
The critics of Liberty Media claimed that Miami is being offered a grand prix without the need to pay while Silverstone has to shoulder about $33 million just like the other venues, including Austin, Texas.
Race-hosting fees are considered to be the single, largest source of revenue for Formula One. Hence, the FOPA is hugely affected by the matter.
In a statement elaborating the primary problems of the FOPA against Liberty Media’s business setup, the group stated that there should not be new grand prix held which could undermine the existing ones.
Liberty Media, which acquired Formula One in 2017 for $8 billion, has been criticized by the FOPA lately for several other issues.
Among them is for being indefinitely mum about its agenda for the auto-racing sport after 2020. In addition, it has no concrete statement regarding its plans about the F1 budget and the race drivers.
The fate of five major races: Germany’s Hockenheim, the UK’s Silverstone, Barcelona’s Circuit de Cataluña, Mexico City, and Italy’s historic Monza track are also presently in limbo.
The renewals of their contracts are looming at the conclusion of this season. Meanwhile, Liberty Media has confirmed that a season launch event involving all the 10 team principals and the 20 race drivers is slated in March.
This Formula One event is expected to take place at the Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia prior to the Australian Grand Prix.