Much has been made about NASCAR’s recent struggles, but Formula 1 could be in even worse trouble in the future.
Formula 1 is under new ownership with Liberty Media, and Chase Carey is made several changes to try and improve the sport moving forward. However, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association reported that it has 100 percent membership for perhaps the first time in history, and chairman Alex Wurz told BBC that the drivers know they need to be united to face the issues ahead of them.
“They (the drivers) recognize they must be united and represented to face that challenge,” Wurz said via Reuters.
Ferrari has indicated it might leave the sport at the end of its current contract if things don’t improve. Drivers believe unionizing is an important step to ensure the sport improves, and he said the drivers unionized “to prevent any politics or power fights from ultimately compromising on-track performance. The drivers believe unity is fundamental for the sport’s success.”
“We can’t be naive about the situation F1 is in, with its complicated governing rules and agreements between various key stakeholders,” Wurz said.
“Business decisions and political power fights have damaged the sport enough at exactly such vulnerable times over the last decade.”
The F1 cars were changed before the 2017 season, and they were faster and wider last season. That led to a drastic decrease in overtaking, and it led to a diminished product on the track. It was especially noticeable in the season finale in Abu Dhabi, and Chase Carey admitted it was a problem.
F1 also reported a $43 million decrease in its prize pool from last quarter, and that’s expected to continue to drop before the situation improves.
Things can obviously turn around next season, but the short term doesn’t look promising. And if things don’t at least stabilize, F1 could lose Ferrari and other teams, which would leave it in rough shape for the future.