Let’s not beat around the bush. Formula 1 is in crisis. One reason this season preview is so last minute is because there are so many stories of ongoing problems. I wanted to capture as much of it as possible.
F1 is becoming a less attractive business proposition for sponsors because they are not getting the ROI that they expect. Simply put the exposure F1 provides is declining while the costs continue to rise (alarmingly).
Not only are costs continuing to spiral out of control, the audience is decreasing. Part of the reason is because of pay TV. If people have to pay to watch it on television there will be fewer watching than if it were free. Since branding and exposure is the name of the game for sponsors, this is a worrying trend.
As a result we have more and more crises as more teams struggle to survive and have to take on pay drivers able to bring ridiculous amounts of money. There may be more driver contract disputes now than cars on the grid. Moreover the caliber of skill is not as high as it could be, with many underfunded yet exceptionally talented drivers not getting a shot at the sport. It’s sad.
The grid is also made up of less reliable, ugly, poor sounding cars. And they are slower than before. I believe this is all the result of greenwashing with hybrid technology and it has done nothing to improve the sport. Plus the environmental benefits are questionable at best.