Should Monte Carlo be?
What's your picture of a Formula One racer on one night? A casino in Monte Carlo may have a cocktail, a ride on one arm, a former Miss World, and a stack of chips on the table.
What is the right image for a NASCAR driver? A neon-light bar in the back of a Deep South, one of Bud's hands, the Marlboro in the other, and a bag of chips on the table?
Okay, the two extremes are exaggerated and both of the pilots might have been a little bit inspired, but the point is that F1 consciously or not has developed a fascinating image and exclusivity that other sports have achieved on Earth.
And much of this image is spent on the legacy of European sport, where rich young gentlemen ran on the streets of Monaco on the cruise ships by royal kings, movie stars and business tycoons.
So why recently did Bernie Ecclestone announce that the Monaco Grand Prix was the latest European competition in his hit list?
Basically, Ecclestone said that European circuits pay too little for the hosts of the Grands Prix, and Monaco, which did not pay anything, was first in the dock. This week he received a new ten-year contract.
However, the incident has highlighted the serious problems faced by F1, which are sponsored, without the sport being in place, with due regard to them.
Ecclestone attacks on European circuits are justified. For example, he criticized the standards of auditorium facilities, especially in the United Kingdom's Silverstone district, which inevitably lags behind those in the Middle East and Asia new facilities.
However, the real problem is that commercial F1 has to be a truly global event to attract massive television and sponsor revenue, and some tournaments must be dropped. In recent years, the list has been included in China, Malaysia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Korea, Istanbul and Singapore and the plan will be in Russia, South Africa and India in the coming years.
Even Germany, Austria, San Marino, France and the German Grand Prix in Germany have left the calendar (although the European Grand Prix remains in Valencia Street).
Bernie Ecclestone is certainly not a fool. It produced hundreds of millions of dollars in trade rights in Formula 1, but is it the latest statement about European circuits, especially Monacor, about a negotiating chip or short-sightedness?
To create a global show, it was inevitable that some European competitions could be taken. The calendar was too full of international expansion, and there are still a lot of things left in a geographic area.
From a purely commercial point of view, European circuits are now struggling to compete with Asia and the Middle East.
For example, for Malaysi, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain the Grands Prix serves political purposes. National governments can see the great prestige associated with organizing the event and are happy to support the upgrading of state-of-the-art circuits and the annual fees for competing royalties.
This is no longer a level playing field for European governments who do not want to provide such support. The owners of the European printing press therefore struggle to balance the need to pay for host rights by investing in new facilities, which may cost tens of millions of dollars. For example, Silverstone could actually create $ 150 million (and perhaps even more) new tribes and other viewers and competitors. It has already begun a construction program, but the difficulty of returning an investment is that the facility has only a few bumper weekends (this is MotoGP in Britain) every year.
But what the biggest European circuits offer is a huge crowd of passionate and well-informed fans, which can not be said in some new venues.
Ecclestone knows that the bumper payment date for such circuits means that it is essential for financial and circuit branding to keep the Grands Prix. The danger is to get around the circular square.
And the danger of F1 is to lose a major part of the brand's heritage during the global rush. Sport has undeniably lost its characters as companies took over people. Frank Williams is about the only team leader anyone can call and drivers have a small army in the PR to never say the word or that heaven forbids them to contact the public.
Some of the new circuits have also been seriously criticized for not allowing overtaking and many fans now felt that the races really became high-speed, low-risk processes and the highest technically advanced cars came in.
It is true that Monacó has not had a large lobby for many years, but this is a special part of the sport's heritage, just like the Belgian Spa, Monza in Italy, Hockenhein and Nürburgring in Germany and Great Britain, Silverstone.
The flowering of Formation 1 requires a global presence, but not at the expense of its legacy. Sport is effectively funded by sponsorship. Of course, Ecclestone himself does more to sell TV rights, but the teams are honest with corporate support, and these companies are very brand-name. They do not want to sterile to compete among the characterless drivers in the sterile atmosphere, they want excitement, glamor, passion and charisma. In addition, they are increasingly aware of motorcycle environmental criticism. F1 deals with environmental concerns, particularly as a result of motorcycle research and development, highlighting the energy savings delivered to production vehicles. But sport did not really make a strong CSR message.
So, did Bernie really be ready to put an end to the cars flew on the Monaco beach, one of the sporty, big iconic pictures, or just a few million out of Grimaldis?
Perhaps we have underestimated the strategy of choosing what circuits, revenue, and options they want. The public announcements of the confrontational stance in this regard worked well.
The question is whether you face the F1 brand with very careful handling? Hi-tech motorcyclists of modern circuits are relatively light. It is difficult to create a global audience that is passionate because it senses that sport has a glorious future like the past.
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