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10 Williams Mercedes 1

F1 teams lay out their vision for F1 future

F1 Teams Association (FOTA)
Thursday, March 5, 2009


FOTA team owners line up for a group photo
The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) today outlined its roadmap for Formula One at a press conference at which senior management figures from all 10 current Formula One teams shared the stage together.

Setting out its proposed agenda for the evolution of the sport, FOTA unveiled a dynamic package of unanimously agreed proposals which, pending the approval of the FIA, will take effect in 2009 and/or 2010.

These proposals are aimed at increasing the stability, sustainability, substance and show of Formula One, and have all been developed as a result of rigorous interrogation of a FOTA global audience survey carried out in 17 countries earlier this year. The study canvassed views of existing fans but also, for the first time, drew on insights from a cross-section of general and infrequent followers of the sport, in line with FOTA’s stated ambition to broaden as well as to deepen the appeal of Formula One.

The proposals can be classified under three headings – technical, sporting and commercial - in line with the three working groups inaugurated when FOTA was formed in September 2008.

These proposals will ensure the retention of Formula One’s unique and essential sporting ‘DNA’, improve the show for all audiences, reduce costs, and increase the value proposition to the major stakeholders.

Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of FOTA, said: "This is an unprecedented moment in Formula One history. Above all else, for the first time the teams are unified and steadfast – with a clear, collective vision. Thanks to this unity, all the teams have already managed to make a significant reduction to their costs for 2009. And, while we will continue to compete vigorously on track, we all share one common goal: to work together to improve Formula One by ensuring its stability, sustainability, substance and show for the benefit of our most important stakeholder, namely the consumer. It is with this mindset that we now intend to work hard, with our partners at the FIA and FOM, our shared goal being to optimize the future of Formula One.”

- More than 100% increase in mileage per engine (eight engines per driver per season)
- Reduction in wind tunnel and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) usage
- Engine available at € 8 million per team per season

- Engine available at € 5 million per team per season
- Gearbox available at € 1.5 million per team per season
- Standardized KERS (put out to tender, with a target price of € 1-2 million per team per season)
- Target a further 50% reduction of the 2009 aerodynamic development spend
- Specified number of chassis, bodywork and aerodynamic development iterations (homologations) during the season
- Prohibition of a wide range of exotic, metallic and composite materials
- Standardized telemetry and radio systems


- Testing reduction (50%)
- New points-scoring system (12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1), to give greater differentiation/reward to grand prix winners
- Race starting fuel loads, tire specifications and refueling data to be made public

- Commitment to recommend new qualifying format
- Radical new points-scoring opportunities (e.g., one constructors' championship point to be awarded for the fastest race pit stop)
- Further testing reductions (four four-day single-car pre-season tests plus one single-car pre-season shakedown)
- Reduction of grand prix duration (250km or a maximum of one hour 40 minutes) pending the approval of the commercial rights holder

- Increased data provision for media
- Explore means by which the presentation of Formula One action can be more informatively and dynamically presented, common to other sports such as tennis and cricket, to dramatically improve engagement with the public
- Nominated senior team spokesman available for TV during grand prix
- Commitment to enhance consumer experience via team and FOTA websites
- Mandatory driver autograph sessions during grand prix weekends

- Commitment to enhance consumer experience via TV coverage

KEY DEMOGRAPHICS OF GLOBAL AUDIENCE SURVEY - 17 countries surveyed - First ever poll of Formula One devotees alongside non-Formula One devotees (i.e., marginal and/or low interest fans) - Responses were weighted according to the size of viewing market in each country (to avoid small markets skewing the results) - Results were segmented by interest level in Formula One, demographic profiles (age and gender), country and region - Total audience is comprised of: - Regular fans (25% by volume, predominantly male, cross section of ages) - Moderate fans (44% by volume, female and male, cross section of ages) - Infrequent fans (31% by volume, unlikely to watch grands prix, predominantly female, cross section of ages)

1. F1 isn’t broken, so beware ‘over-fixing’ it. The current race format is not viewed as fundamentally broken (across all levels of Formula One interest) and therefore doesn’t require radical alteration. There is a strong desire for Formula One to remain meritocratic, while consumer interest is driven most by appreciation of driver skill, overtaking and technology.

Implication: there is no evidence to suggest that grand prix formats need ‘tricking up’ via, for example, handicapping, sprint races, reversed grids or one-on-one pursuit races. Formula One audiences appreciate the traditional gladiatorial, high-tech nature of the sport and would not respond favorably to a perceived ‘dumbing down’ of the current format.

2. F1 needs to be more consumer-friendly. An individual’s view or understanding of Formula One is framed almost entirely by their local broadcaster. Unlike most global sports, the vast majority of ‘consumption’ of Formula One is via race-day TV coverage, supplemented in part by traditional, non-specialist newspaper coverage.

Formula One fans are also mature consumers of new media channels (e.g., on-line, mobile) and other touch points (e.g., gaming, merchandise).

The global nature of Formula One, although an attractive characteristic in itself, impedes the uniformity of race schedules, and often results in consumption of a race being limited to locally broadcast TV highlights programs. Only devotees (25% of the total potential viewing audience) are likely to watch a race live if it occurs outside peak viewing times.

Implication: significant opportunities exist to build audience via other channels such as internet and mobile.

3. Major changes to qualifying format are not urgent. When asked to consider alternative qualifying formats, all fan types expressed a modest preference for a meritocratically determined starting grid. There was some degree of interest in allowing luck to play a part in shaping the starting order, but the general sentiment was that the fastest driver should always start from pole.

Implication: there may be justification for minor modifications to the current qualifying format, following further trials; however, a major change to the format will not result in a significant increase in audience.

4. Revisions to the points-scoring system. As with qualifying, all audiences want a meritocratic points-scoring system. This means that they want winning grands prix to count for more than it does currently. There is an indication that all audiences would like to see a greater points reward for winning grands prix.

Implication: a minor adjustment to the existing points system is justified

5. Evolution of pit stops and refueling. All audiences view pit stops as integral to their enjoyment of grand prix coverage; however, they rank the most important and compelling aspect of pit stops as tire changing rather than refueling. Race strategies were not highly ranked as a determinant of interest in Formula One.

Implication: audiences are unlikely to diminish if refueling is discontinued. Tire changing is an important driver of audience interest (in pit stops) and should not be further automated.


Sir Frank Williams (Team Principal, AT&T WilliamsF1) “The new FOTA group has the best of intentions in representing the teams’ best interests, both technically and commercially. FOTA wishes to enjoy an open and productive relationship with both the FIA and FOM.”

Dr Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director and Team Principal, BMW Sauber F1 Team) “The FIA and FOTA are pursuing the same aims – to increase the sporting value of Formula One and to cut the expenditure required to do so. Reducing costs is definitely the way to go.

The members of FOTA have made great efforts to this end over recent months and have set out a whole series of measures which will already allow substantial cost savings in 2009. Further savings for the coming years will follow in due course.”

Dr Vijay Mallya (Chairman and Team Principal, Force India Formula One Team) “Formula One is undoubtedly about competition and striving to beat one’s opposition. While this is very much the essence of the on-track action, unity and collaboration off-track is crucial. The open spirit of discussion and co-operation to increase both the spectacle and financial viability of Formula One are entirely positive for the sport and its investors – i.e., the teams, the sponsors and of course the fans. I fully support the initiatives and hope that between FOTA, the FIA and FOM we can find a balance to safeguard the wonderful sport we have before us now.”

Flavio Briatore (Team Principal, ING Renault F1 Team) “Through FOTA we have found unity among the teams as we strive to provide a sustainable future for Formula One. From a commercial standpoint, we recognize that while our sport enjoys a remarkable global reach, there is still room to improve its appeal as an investment opportunity.

It is clear that we need to strengthen Formula One as a show and through our global audience survey we have given a voice to the consumers of Formula One. The results confirm that we must exploit the potential of new media, while continuing to enhance the TV experience, which remains the most important interface with the public. It is therefore essential to provide our audience with more information and to make the teams and drivers more accessible to ensure that we deliver a product that is always exciting, unpredictable and compelling both on and off the track. I am confident that, working together, and in a constructive spirit with both governing bodies FIA and FOM, FOTA can help build a solid future for the sport in the years ahead.”

Tadashi Yamashina (Team Principal, Panasonic Toyota F1) "FOTA has already achieved a great deal and we can be very satisfied with the progress we have made, but there is a lot of work still ahead of us. It is vitally important not to neglect the soul of grand prix racing. Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport and our challenge is to retain the DNA of the sport as a technological as well as a human contest, while also delivering value for money for all stakeholders, and this includes the fans. We all embrace the need to cut costs, and the significant savings achieved by FOTA and the FIA at the end of last year are a promising start. FOTA’s strength lies in the unity of the teams. This unprecedented joint initiative, which we hope will work in combination with the FIA and FOM, can inspire Formula One to conquer the challenges facing it and the wider world.”

Christian Horner (Team Principal, Red Bull Racing) “Since FOTA was established in the summer of 2008, the organization has already made strides, in conjunction with the FIA, towards achieving significant cost savings for the 2009 season. Through FOTA’s working groups, the teams are acting as a unit for the first time to ensure Formula One improves its appeal to all generations of fans, while continuing to control costs. Red Bull fully supports the work of FOTA.”

Stefano Domenicali (Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) “United in our intentions and with a common vision for the future of Formula One, while remaining rivals on track: these are the key strengths of FOTA. It is thanks to its creation that we have already achieved significant results in just a few months. Racing is part of Ferrari’s DNA and will always be so, which is why we are working very hard, along with all the other teams. We must continue on this track to make our sport more exciting for the fans and more attractive for our current partners and also potential ones, while maintaining close links with the production of road cars.”

Franz Tost (Team Principal, Scuderia Toro Rosso) "FOTA has already achieved a great deal in a short space of time, thanks to unprecedented unanimity amongst the teams. The motto ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ has been around for many years, but Formula One team owners took a while to take it on board! FOTA should not rest on its laurels, but continue to collaborate as closely as possible with the FIA and FOM to ensure the continued success of Formula One as a sport, as entertainment and as a business.”

Martin Whitmarsh (Team Principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) "FOTA has already achieved more than any other assembly of Formula One teams in the history of our sport, and those achievements are both a result of and a testament to the strength of FOTA's unity. On track, Formula One teams remain as competitive as ever; but, off track, in collaboration with the FIA and FOM, motivated by our shared ambition to steer grand prix racing to ever-greater successes, we're now devoting a great deal of time, resource and radical thought to making a concerted effort to enhance the benefits of all Formula One stakeholders – the teams, the manufacturers, the sponsors, the media and above all the fans.”

Ross Brawn “FOTA represents a hugely important initiative, all of the Formula One teams working together to combine their strengths to the benefit of all aspects of our sport, Formula One. Never before have I experienced the level of unity and commitment of the teams that has been demonstrated within FOTA under the leadership of Luca di Montezemolo. This is a complementary process to the work of the FIA and FOM and enables the teams to present unified views on how we can take both our sport and the motorsport industry forward. As an ex-rugby player, I was taught to apply the principles of competition on the field and a spirit of co-operation and unity off the field.

That is the principle of FOTA."


29 July 2008, Maranello
_The F1 teams unanimously agree to establish the Formula One Teams Association – FOTA
– to work with the FIA and FOM on regulations and commercial conditions to provide a
framework for a strong and dynamic sport
11 September 2008, Monza
_Signature of the Articles of Association. FOTA becomes fully operational
_Luca di Montezemolo (Ferrari) and John Howett (Toyota) are elected Chairman and Vice
_Martin Whitmarsh chairs the Sporting Working Group
_Ross Brawn chairs the Technical Working Group
_Flavio Briatore chairs the Commercial Development Working Group
_All team principals are represented in the Executive Committee
_Decisions are taken with a 70% majority rule
4 October 2008, Shanghai
_The teams agree a first package of measures to be introduced in 2009; it is the first time
ever that unanimous agreement is reached among all the Formula One teams
_In 2009, a critical year for the difficult economic environment, the teams define a set of
measures tailored to addressing immediate concerns
4 November & 4 December 2008, London
_The teams agree to further measures, implementing substantial cost-cutting for 2009 and
2010, and additional initiatives to improve the show
10 December 2008, Monaco
_The proposals are presented to the FIA and agreed with immediate implementation thanks
to the unanimity of the teams
8 January & 3 February 2009, London
_The teams further refine their proposals
_A longer-term strategy is agreed to introduce stable regulations, addressing the need to
reduce costs and increase revenues.
5 March 2009, Geneva
_FOTA’s Formula One roadmap is unveiled

_ Chairman – Luca di Montezemolo
_ Vice Chairman – John Howett
_ Chairman, Sporting Working Group – Martin Whitmarsh
_ Chairman, Technical Working Group – Ross Brawn
_ Chairman, Commercial Development Working Group – Flavio Briatore
_ Secretary General – Simone Perillo

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