Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey says the sport will not change its approach following criticism from race promoters that he found “a little strange”.
The Formula One Promoters’ Association (FOPA), representing 16 of the races on the calendar, released a statement last week criticizing Liberty Media’s running of the sport and voicing concerns over the move away from free access to broadcasting for fans, a perceived lack of clarity over new initiatives and the introduction of new venues to the detriment of existing ones.
Some races – including Mexico, which is a member of FOPA – disagreed with the statement, and Carey says he will not be swayed by the negative comments being made public.
“I think, realistically, if you get 21 in a room you are bound to find a couple who have something to complain about,” he told ESPN. ”In all honesty, I thought the meeting [with race promoters] was incredibly positive. I thought there was tremendous support from the vast majority and they have a great appreciation for what we are doing.
“The fact that a few of them wanted to find something to complain about, that’s life. It’s not going to change what we are doing, and by a large majority the promoters have been supportive and are excited about what we are doing.
“They believe the sport, for them and in general, is in a much better place than it was a few years ago and is going in the right direction, and we have got a list of places we can’t accommodate [on the calendar] that we would like to add to the sport.
“It’s part of life, you are going to find a bunch of people who have something to complain about and are going to make noise. We will go forward and do what we are doing, which I think we feel good about.
“I addressed all three [concerns at the promoters’ conference], but realistically, no-one brought any of them up – they just put it out in a press release, which was a little strange.”
The FOPA comments on new initiatives also claimed “a lack of engagement with promoters on their implementation”, but Carey says the statement was put out before a meeting in London on that topic.
“I thought that was the strangest, because they put it out the night before [the planned meeting], so we already had a day set up to talk about initiatives and they – well, only a couple of guys – put out a press release saying we need to talk about initiatives. That was the strangest part.”