Mercedes' Wolff says new F1 model may yield lower income from races

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Formula 1's owner Liberty Media will find it increasingly difficult to maintain the level of income the championship has previously received from race sanction fees

Mercedes' Wolff says new F1 model may yield lower income from races

Next year's planned Miami Grand Prix will not be based on the traditional model of a promoter paying a fee that escalates in future years but will instead be run with a risk and revenue sharing model, with F1 effectively taking a share of gate and hospitality income.

That development has encouraged several promoters to seek improved deals in the future, with representatives from Hockenheim and Baku among the first to make their cases in public.

Other venues, notably Silverstone, have held similar discussions with F1 behind closed doors.

Wolff said Liberty will struggle to repeat deals Bernie Ecclestone was traditionally able to conclude.

"Sanction fees were one of the three key revenue generators in the old Bernie [Ecclestone] F1 business model," he said. "And he was exceptional at these deals.

"I'm not sure it's sustainable.

"It's clear when there is a change of regime that people and promoters will try to negotiate and restructure the business model.

"Bernie was squeezing the last cent out for the benefit of the shareholders and the teams, but it left certain promoters in a very difficult economical situation."

The concern for teams is that reduced race fees will also likely result in F1's overall revenue, and their share of profits, falling in years to come.

But Wolff said he believes Liberty will be able to increase revenues through other means.

"I have confidence in the current management team that they will take the right decisions and find the right agreements with promoters, sign new race tracks," he said. "Miami is very exciting.

"But it's also clear one pillar is going to be difficult to maintain on the levels we have seen before.

"We have to grow in other areas, to grow broadcast deals and digital revenue, and monetise alternative revenue streams."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
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