Formula 1 has a significant new umbrella body to represent the interests of a key group of stakeholders after the sport’s circuits came together to form the Formula One Promoters Association (FOPA).
A report in today’s The Independent revealed details of the creation of FOPA, with the various race venues having joined forces last month to create a company registered in Geneva, Switzerland and chaired by Australian GP chief Ron Walker. Silverstone, the home of the British GP, is part of the new body and its chairman Neil England told the newspaper that such an organisation was not only overdue, but had common interests to air going forward.
“We have historically lacked a co-ordinated voice and the Formula One Promoters Association gives us the opportunity to have that,” he said. “There are a number of matters of common interest and I think it is important that those are voiced.”
The move is likely to prove significant: Circuit promoter fees account for 33.6% of F1’s total turnover of $1.22 bn, which is 1.6% more than the sport gets from TV and broadcast contracts. It is also seen as one of the key areas of growth for F1 revenues in future. With F1’s powerbrokers working towards the signing of a new Concorde Agreement of the end of the season, and a flotation of part of the business planned at some point this year, the next few months are key ones for the future direction of the sport.
Bernie Ecclestone has always famously driven a hard bargain with circuit promoters, no more so than during the drawn-out saga over the future of the British GP a couple of years ago, but meanwhile today Silverstone has underlined its continued importance to the sport and success of its event by announcing that fewer than 5,000 tickets remain available for next month’s race.
A limited number of three-day tickets can still be purchased for general admission areas and grandstands, with just over 1,000 grandstand tickets available for race-day only. Silverstone has increased its capacity by 3,500 for this year’s race and are now expecting the July 6-8 event to sell out in advance. Fans still interested in tickets can visit the Silverstone website.