USA could support three F1 races, says Ferrari boss

Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci is adamant that the best way forward for F1 is to create bigger revenues rather than change the way funds are distributed.

Mattiacci also put a big emphasis on the USA, and believes the country could support three races.

“Ferrari is very focussed on making the cake bigger, not to change a different way of how to slice the cake,” he said. “We don’t have to overreact. We need to look at first how to increase revenues, that’s priority number one.

“Second, to make sure that who comes in F1 is very well aware about the challenge of F1. This sport is innovation, innovation costs money, a lot of investment, long term investment. We keep investing in F1, we are here since decades, we will be for a long time, so that’s our focus.

“We are contributing a lot to the sport, supporting the teams that are working with us. We are ready to do our part, as we always said., I don’t think even if you redistributed revenues those teams would have survived or been competitive. There is money, managers, defining priorities of a project – some teams like Red Bull proved that, coming from very far, with a strong five years project, they came first to be competitive, and then be four-times World Champions. I don’t think that distribution is the solution.”

Mattiacci is adamant that teams have to have a solid business plan: “F1 needs competitive teams. There are many corporations around the world, many big brands, that should capitalise on a phenomenal motor sport platform like F1 is.

“We need competitive teams. I’m not here to say small, middle, we need competitive teams with a solid business background, a solid financial background. At the same time as a strong believer in F1 I think the focus is how to increase revenues, how to make the cake bigger. We are here I the United States where we see that F1 is getting traction. My focus as a company where 30% of the sales are United States I want to make sure we get more successful in the United States.

“I want an extra race in the United States. I want three races in the United States. That’s my proposal, because the American market is fundamental to generate revenues, to attract sponsors, so that’s my proposal.

“When you have more revenues definitely you can talk about having more teams on board. Again I don’t know what is the critical mass for those teams that are struggling, what is the amount of money they need in order to be successful or to be consistently in F1. Fifty million, one hundred million? I don’t know. Depends on the business model they want to establish.”

16 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

16 responses to “USA could support three F1 races, says Ferrari boss

  1. peterg

    3 races? Las Vegas, Phoenix, Long Beach, Detroit, Indy held races. Proposed race sites have been (if memory serves) an island in San Fran Harbor, New Jersey, New York, a purpose built track near Las Vegas……that all I can remember.

    I realize that Mattiacci is the former head of Ferrari’s US sales program, and needs to say these things for PR…..but 2 more US races? Seriously?

    • GeorgeK

      Bernie’s fantasy has always included 2-3 American races. Combined with Mexico, Montreal, and Brazil, a rather neat “new world” swing of 6 races. Bigger question is which venues get dropped???

      To read Mattiaci’s take as a funding solution is truly laughable.

      • Steve C

        George K, there was no and is no subsidy for the track what-so-ever. The track was privately funded.

        The Major Event Trust Fund takes the sales taxes that an event creates and rebates them back to the city or in this case promoter of a Large event such as the F1 race or Surper Bowl or NCAA Basket Ball final Four. The incentive is so that Texas doesn’t lose out on the “major” events. The tax payers aren’t out a red cent and the local communities are the ones who gain by having all this new money.

    • floodo1

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the US could support it. Travelling even half-way across the US (from either coast) to Texas is not an insignificant undertaking. I know the West Coast (basically California) could definitely support an F1 caliber track, but I suspect it would never happen on account of the difficulties with finding a suitable place with a friendly local government to build such a facility. The East Coast seems like a more friendly climate for a new track, and a race somewhere over there definitely seems feasible.

      • GeorgeK

        There is NO government entity, local state or federal, that is going to underwrite the cost of track construction. Pick a state, they are all experiencing funding shortfalls.

        I was the biggest naysayer of the Texas financing abilities and was stunned when the Texas developers were able to tap into any kind of subsidies.

        Part of the Texas developers ongoing concerns are the potential loss of their tax subsidy which I think was for $25 million for five years. This at the least would pay for Bernie’s sanctioning fee.

        New York never got going due to the huge infrastructure costs which Gov. Christie wisely backed away from.

  2. petes

    Amen to that. Thought he was supposed to be smart.

  3. CTP

    no shit mattiacci doesn’t want to change the funding model!

  4. Martin Bennett

    Distribution IS the probkem. Ferrari take a lot more than they contribute. Lordy, he sounds like Luca.

  5. Brian

    “Let them eat cake”. Sounds about right.

  6. Steve W

    Not if there are only 5 or 6 teams left in the sport…

  7. Ron

    Attendance is dropping at the one venue the US has. How does that suggest that more venues would be sustainable?

  8. Horf

    They need to find an existing venue that is near a major metro area. Any ideas? Monticello? Laguna Seca? VIR would be great but it’s in the middle of nowhere. Sebring? Sonoma?

  9. GeorgeK

    @ Steve C,
    We seem to have gotten out of sync in our comments and responses, and I agree with your point, If you read my comment further down I referred to a “tax subsidy”. Regardless of which state coffer the money comes out of, it’s still money the developer doesn’t have to pay.

    Was I wrong in recalling the developers were to have rebates up to $25 million/year for 5 years?

    thanks for the contribution!

  10. Joop deBruin

    The most the USA can support is two. Austin pulled off a Hell of a great venue coupled with a pretty cool city scene.

    East coast is a tangle of too much government and general hate anybody that isn’t American (thinking SE, NASCAR country) Watkins Glen was great, but nothing close like Austin.

    I don’t have the quick answer to where. Europeans like Florida (I HATE the State) Somewhere near Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Seattle? And no friggin way on Long Beach!

    Three is just stupid. And yes, there is a huge distribution problem! Buy anything but Ferrari!

  11. Marcus

    Marco best rethink the distribution of funds. “What we need is more competitive teams” be careful what you wish for. I would think if Audi, Toyota or even BMW come back, Ferrari might find themselves in 7th or 8th in the constructors championship.

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