Chris Soulsby  |    9 September 2017

Sean Bratches confirms interest from 40 new venues in joining F1 calendar


Sean Bratches, Formula 1's new commercial chief, has said that interest has been expressed from around 40 different locations that could become potential grand prix venues in the future.

As opposed to taking the best commercial deals that are of offer, Liberty Media will pick and choose events based upon what they can offer to F1, with much of this focus being on street circuits in major cities as opposed to permanent facilities, emulating the Formula E calendar.

"Right now by the operation of the Concorde Agreement, the cap is 25 [races per season]," said Bratches. 

"In the seven months I've been in this job I've probably had about 40 countries, cities, municipalities, principalities approach me about interest in hosting an F1 race, which is extremely encouraging.

"Historically it's been a very reactive process in terms of cities coming to F1 with interest.

"We're trying to pivot and become much more proactive in identifying cities and locations that are accretive to our brand and our strategy of hosting races where you can activate large fan bases - particularly in city centres," he added.

"I don't think you're going to have too many more purpose-built tracks built."

When asked which current venues will drop out of the F1 calendar, Bratches refused to comment: "you're going to see some fall out, and some added. We are very anxious to maximise the opportunities of these grands prix".

Bratches also has plans to divide the season up and reorder and group it into different regions which would see an Asian, European and American leg of the season. This would benefit Formula 1 in logistics and marketing. 

"Right now we're jumping all over the globe with no thoughtful cadence," he said.

"In an ideal world, and forget the order, you'd have kind of the first third of the races in Europe, the second third in the Americas, and the last tranche in America.

"What that does is allow you create efficiencies in terms of travelling this circus," he added.

"When we go through Europe there are 350 18-wheelers that take it around, and north of 10 747s that fly us around the world.

"The other opportunity from a fan standpoint is being able to say to a fan 'for the next two or three months you're going to have to get up early to watch the grands prix, and for the next two months it's midday, and [then] night'.

"For a navigation of fans to drive audience and viewership, I think it's very interesting.

"And then from a commercial standpoint, if you have an entity that only operates in Europe, it's very difficult right now to activate across the grands prix in Europe, because we come and go. Having that tranche that way creates sponsor opportunities."


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