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Mexico GP disagrees with F1 promoters’ Liberty criticism

Daniel Herrero

Wednesday 30th January, 2019 - 10:10am

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The Mexican Grand Prix

The Mexican Grand Prix’s promoters have sought to distance themselves from the criticism of championship owner Liberty Media made by the Formula One Promoters Association (FOPA).

The FOPA released a statement following its meeting on Monday in London expressing disapproval at such issues as sale of broadcasting rights to pay television and the cost of hosting grands prix.

That release preceded a meeting which took place between all promoters and Liberty media on the following day.

The FOPA claims to be representative of 16 of the 21 promoters but Mexico, which is reportedly among the 16, made it clear that the statement does not represent their views.

“Following the statement made by the Formula One Promoters’ Association (FOPA), the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico promoters want to express their sympathy with the promoters from other countries, understanding that each country and race is different,” read the Mexican Grand Prix promoters’ own statement.

“However, Formula 1 Grand Premio de Mexico did not participate in said meeting and appreciate the work that the new owners of Formula 1 are doing to understand the promoters’ requirements and concerns, as well as those from the fans.

“The Mexican Grand Prix’s promoters recognize that the new administration of Formula 1 has listened and been sensitive to their concerns, with both parties working very closely together. As a result, they do not agree with what was released by the Formula One Promoters’ Association on their behalf.

“The Mexican promoters and Formula 1 continue the negotiations regarding the renewal of the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico contract in private,” it added in reference to the expiry of its current contract at the end of this year.

Russian Grand Prix promoter Sergey Vorobyev has also publicly expressed his disagreement with the FOPA.

Vorobyev wrote on Twitter that he “do(es) not share FOPA’s point of view and approach.”

The FOPA statement was not the only comment coming out of the meeting, with the association’s head, Stuart Pringle making more pointed remarks to The Daily Mail.

Pringle, who is also the managing director of British Grand Prix venue Silverstone, believed that the as yet unsigned deal for a mooted Miami Grand Prix was unfair based on the sanctioning fees charged to existing promoters.

“Miami are seemingly getting a free deal. That has not gone down well with anyone, not least with the guys at Austin, Texas, who are working hard to make their race pay,” he said.

“If this continues, Formula 1 will be racing on second-rate circuits, if any at all.

“Everyone is disgruntled. Liberty’s ideas are disjointed. We have all been compliant and quiet hitherto, but we have great concerns about the future health of the sport under the people who run it now.”

Silverstone owner the British Racing Drivers’ Club has activated a break clause in its contract which is set to take effect after this year’s race having deemed the cost of the event to be too expensive.

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