Saturday’s Formula 1 qualifying at the season opening Australian Grand Prix highlighted one of the sport’s underlying problems: that its wealth is a two-edged sword.
Formula 1’s income, and ultimately its survival, is dependent upon casual viewers and new fans. These are the people who make up the bulk of the TV audience, which dictates the cost of the TV rights, which is how Formula 1 makes its money. The more fans there are, the more expensive the TV rights, the more revenue the sport receives. To attract casual viewers and new fans the sport must be exciting and engaging upfront on a race by race basis: it must be entertaining without the need for greater investment. Continue reading “Formula 1’s qualifying flop a reminder of the sport’s conflicting objectives”
Since the introduction of new regulations at the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season, Red Bull have struggled. An interview given by Daniel Ricciardo the weekend of the Canadian GP suggested this was not just related to the Renault engine but also the Red Bull chassis, about which they are, according to him, “lost”. Nevertheless, under the current F1 regulations the power unit is essential for competitiveness. Renault’s power unit lacks power and efficiency of the energy recovery components compared to the Mercedes and Ferrari power units, and also has driveability issues and problems with its integration into the Red Bull chassis.
To some degree, this was antiticipated in the lead up to the change in regulations. Renault had arguably the best engine under the existing (2009 – 2013) regulations and was focused on the success of their partnership with Red Bull during that period. It is difficult, Continue reading “What is the end game for Red Bull & Renault in F1?”