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The new formula leader will make strides in the US

The new formula leader will make strides in the US

The new Formula One CEO has pushed for growth in the U.S., adding the country’s second Grand Prix and completing a broadcast deal after years of trying to make its way into one of the world’s largest sports and media markets.

“Our intention is to move towards a more important presence. . . In the US, ”Stefano Domenicalik told the Financial Times before the start of the new F1 season.

He was an Italian executive they were hired last year The owners of F1, Liberty Media, a US investment group controlled by billionaire John Malone, have been ordered to expand beyond the European series of race cars and global fortresses in Asia.

The crackdown on the US is key to F1’s intentions to recover from the pandemic. In 2020, annual revenues fell by more than 40 percent to $ 1.1 billion a year, resulting in a loss of $ 444 million, with F1 having to run a shorter-than-usual season in 17 races. This season, which starts on March 28 in Bahrain, there are 23 race records scheduled.

Against better-established motorists in the US, such as Nascar and IndyCar, Domenicali has stressed that F1 is in a position to reach bigger deals.

“[It is] it’s a natural evolution of the journey from being us, I don’t mean zero, but very low in the US, ”he said.

Stefano Domenicali was hired last year with a mandate to expand F1 beyond European and Asian strongholds © imago images / HochZwei Reuter

Liberty Media, which won a $ 8 billion contract in 2016 with F1, wanted to revive the championship with a budget limit aimed at keeping the biggest teams (Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull) out of the competition.

This move is recognized for attracting U.S. investors. Last year, MSP Sports Capital he took a minority stake The Williams team was bought by the McLaren F1 team and private equity firm Dorilton Capital 152 million euros deal.

F1 has not been able to add more races to the Austin Grand Prix for a long time, Domenicali was also holding talks to renew his expired contract this year, Domenicali said.

He wanted to give details of the talks for the new races in Miami and other US cities, saying only “our goal will be to have two races in the US. We’re working on that.”

Each F1 Grand Prix attracted an average television audience of 87m last year, 4.5% less than in 2019, but was higher or higher than in the previous five years. Despite canceling the Austin GP last season, F1 said the U.S. television audience had grown by 1 percent each year.

“The more races there are in America, the more popular this sport will become,” said Otmar Szafnauer, director of the Aston Martin F1 team. “It would be a lot easier to have more races in that time zone and then you would get more fans.”

The value of F1 will be tested against U.S. broadcasters when his contract with ESPN, the sports television network, expires next year. ESPN did not pay anything for its existing television contract, as Liberty Media preferred to expand its audience in the US.

Domenicali said F1 will ask for a quota when the tender opens in the second half of the year. “In future negotiations [we will see] how the market reacts to our growth and how we see the situation we face, ”he said.

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