Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Liberty Media - The Future of F1

This blog attempts to translate the comments from new F1 boss Chase Carey and other Liberty Media management.  What changes are they planning for F1?

18 September 2016 - Chase Carey - Chairman (interview F1 website)

Below are some of his quotes and in brackets, what it means ...

"It is too early to have a clear plan”.
(We are planning to make changes soon).

“But we clearly will have a plan to develop America, to be in the right market".
(F1 is under-sold in America, there will be at least one more race there).

"Formula 1 is a great premium brand and that means to me that you want to be at a location like Los Angeles, New York or Miami”.
(I’ll mention 3 North American locations because we will probably end up with at least one of them.  Also COTA is not necessarily safe ...)

“ ... ideally in the great cities in the world!".
(Expect calendar changes with more “iconic” locations globally which could mean more street circuits).

"F1's three biggest assets are the amazing cars and technology; the stars – the world is built on heroes; the global aspect with these amazing venues".
(Some existing venues don’t match this vision).

“I have not been to all the venues so far, but Singapore certainly is amazing. The race is great – that's the core – but it is a week-long extravaganza with music and entertainment”.
(Take note existing circuit owners – “WEEK LONG EXTRAVAGANZA”).

"That's really what it is about – great events. This is it: creating a great event".
(Again, a message to the existing races: raise your game or lose it.)

"So the cars and technology; the stars; and the events – the live experience".
(4 things mentioned here, but the last one is key because he clearly wants to improve the show).


It is very clear that Chase believes Formula One needs a bigger footprint in North America.  He is right.  I expect there to be an additional GP in North America within 3-4 years.  This will join COTA and the other rounds in Canada and Mexico.  4 Grand Prix on that continent sounds about right.  On a side note, I expect another South American round too – perhaps Argentina.

Looking at the 2016 F1 calendar - the longest in history - any races which are lacking in the areas Chase mentions above should be very worried.  I'm looking at you Hungary, Spain, Sochi, Bahrain and Baku.

22 September 2016 - Greg Maffei - CEO Liberty Media

"Less than one percent of revenues are from digital.  They really have no organized digital effort. I think there's a lot of things that can be done around gaming, VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality)".

(Greg stating what we all knew already, Bernie has ignored digital and social.  The percentage is interesting and needs addressing.  The fact he mentions gaming is really interesting and exciting).

"There's an enormous amount of video feed and data about the races that we are already capturing that we are not in any way processing incrementally for the dedicated fan, or opportunities around things like gambling".

(The first part of this I love!  I've long believed that the amount of footage available - especially historically - is an untapped gold mine.  For current data, capturing and selling this makes a lot of sense to me.  Greg loses me badly at the end though ... "THINGS LIKE GAMBLING??!?"   I don't like this at all!)

"Outside of the United States there is a huge gambling opportunity in the sport, none of which we capitalize on."
(This quote disturbs me.  A huge opportunity perhaps, but Liberty Media is the OWNER of the sport.  Is it the owners job to exploit its fans via gambling?)

Thanks for reading, please leave your comments. 

Pep, F1 Podcast.

Daily comments on twitter:


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Codemasters F1 2016 Game - First Review

Last month a new F1 game was released.

We all knew that right!?  The marketing and social media push for this title has been huge.  Codemasters certainly believe they have a good story to tell with F1 2016 - and they are right!

This is the 8th generation of this franchise.  Many have said that this is the game that Codemasters always wanted to make.  Probably right.  There have been lot's of reviews already and they are all very positive from what I can see.

Below are my initial thoughts on the game and I'll write a more comprehensive review soon.  The reason for this is that I'm playing it without a steering wheel.  For me to fully enjoy and appreciate the game - I need a wheel.  So a Logitech G29 is coming very soon.

Overall game

It's beautiful.  The menu's are fast, easy and intuitive.  The intros and cut scenes are fantastic and all skipable - very important.  The cars feel great to drive, the AI is on target and the tracks look stunning.  It really is very good. 


The graphics on this game are the very best I've seen.  The small touches they have made around lighting, texture and attention to detail are amazing.  The replays have been tweaked and work well.  Nothing more to be said; it's great.

Game Play

There are many things to like about the gameplay for F1 2016:

  • Practice programs - these provide an excellent way to spice up practicing or learning a new F1 circuit.  I like this enhancement very much.

  • GP weekend - the way you can play or experience different parts of the weekend is an excellent feature.  It just feels easy to get to where you need to go.

  • Customisations - these are great and enough to satisfy 99% of F1 gaming fans.  There is a small community of gamers who enjoy enhanced customisations (car, vehicle, track) and they can stick to rFactor.

  • Safety car - the introduction of the safety car was much requested though in reality for me it's just another example of how immersive this game is.  Clutch starts, radio comms and in-car menu instructions are other examples .

Career mode

This game features an enhanced career mode which is presented very well.  I love the way the game guides you through driver setup and progression through your career.  It's the best we've seen from his franchise or any other F1 game.  I decided to start my career driving for Renault wearing a "Senna yellow" helmet I customised.  My objectives are based around the team's current standings.  I will race for 10 seasons at 25% distance and build my career.  Brilliant!

Final thoughts

This game is easily the best F1 game ever released.  No question about that.  For any F1 fan who loves gaming, this is a must-have!  I am very much looking forward to practicing, racing, exploring and building my career with this game.  It ENTICES you to do so!  That's why it's so good.

Firstly though ... steering wheel.  :-)

Thanks for reading, please leave your comments.

Pep, F1 Podcast

Daily comments on twitter: