Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey says that his organisation is “not afraid of risk” when it comes to taking a stake in the promotion of future grands prix.
The Miami GP – now postponed to 2020 – will run on a risk-sharing initiative between F1 and local promoter South Florida Racing, which is run by billionaire Stephen Ross, rather than on the traditional model of an event paying F1 a sanction fee to host the race.
F1 sees Miami as part of a bigger picture, with potential for extra revenues from areas such as hospitality over the weekend and the chance to use the race as a tool for promoting the series in America.
The move has caused some consternation among existing race promoters, many of whom have already committed to expensive long-term traditional deals.
When asked whether the Miami risk sharing model might be used elsewhere for new events Carey, who says there is interest from “four continents”, did not rule it out.
“Realistically every race is unique,” he explained. “I think each one we’d look at in specific terms.
“People don’t realise that frequently these events have a lot more moving parts than just a fee, there are hospitality components, sponsorship components, other components around it.
“But you look at each on their merits. What are the direct economic benefits and certainties?
“We’re not afraid of risk, if we believe there’s an upside to the risk. We obviously can afford that.
“We like having our promoters have skin in the game, it’s important to us for them to have that skin in the game and stand behind it.
“But if we think there are opportunities to have upsides both in the event itself, as well as upsides to us on a much broader level, we’d evaluate it on the merits.
“We’re not going to turn the model upside down, but if the returns justify the risks, I think we’d look at it.”
Carey said that the 2019 calendar, which is expected to feature 20 races unless a way is found for Hockenheim to continue, will be published soon.
“We expect to finalise our 2019 calendar, which we expect to look a lot like our 2018 calendar, in the next few weeks, as we successfully finish off renewal agreements.
“We’re already turning our energies to the 2020 calendar, and we’re particular excited about a number of opportunities to add new events that we believe will really capture fans’ imagination and be widely supported.
“In fact we are actively discussing opportunities on four continents. A potential race in Miami is one of those.”
He admitted that F1 knew its target of 2019 for Miami “was tight, particular for a street race where we have to navigate many local issues”, and added: “It is much more important to make the race great than to push it a year earlier, so we decided that the prudent choice was to focus on 2020.”