Christian Horner is willing to receive less prize money for the next two years while Liberty Media continues to invest in Formula 1.
Liberty has been on a recruitment drive since taking over the sport at the start of this year, putting in place a structure it hopes will allow it to deal with greater levels of growth in future. That investment has seen F1’s revenues drop in the third quarter of 2017, resulting in a smaller prize fund for teams, but Red Bull Racing team principal Horner is supportive of the approach and wants other teams to show the same patience.
Asked if he’s concerned by the drop in prize money, Horner replied: “No, because you have to invest in the business to accumulate.
“Liberty have had a big learning year. They have done a season now. They have applied the right specialists, in my opinion, in the right areas. And they are forming their game plan for 2021.
“It is very easy to criticize, whether it is head counts or spending. It is just a different mentality to how Bernie [Ecclestone] operated. Bernie ran a very tight, closed shop. He was the marketing department. He was the sales department. And it was very much a one-man show.
“Liberty, having acquired the business, have put a structure in place, they are looking to put a bit more analysis into the future as well, and there is a cost associated with that. Inevitably there is going to be an investment which will have an effect on 2018, probably even 2019, but then you’d expect to see a return for sure two years down the road.”
And Horner also supports Liberty’s decision to introduce a new F1 logo following the end of the 2017 season, saying he is happy with such a move if it is going to bring financial benefits in the longer term.
“Does it talk to me? If it generates more cash then it is talking very nicely. Obviously there is a new management, they are going through a rebrand. You can understand the new owners wanting to have a fresh new image, and a logo epitomizes image at the end of the day.”