Podcast: Carey on 2020/21 calendars, Domenicali, Murdoch, & more
Chase Carey featured on F1: Beyond the Grid to discuss his successor, the 2020 and 2021 calendars, Rupert Murdoch, and more.
Carey at first discussed, when probed by Beyond the Grid's host Tom Clarkson, Lewis Hamilton's growing win tally, as well as F1's recent rounds at more historic venues. On the matter of whether or not the championship will return to these tracks, the American stated that the 2021 calendar will more likely look somewhat akin to that of 2019 and years prior.
On the topic of the first revision to 2020's calendar, that being the cancellation of the Australian GP, Carey explained that he had boarded a flight on the Thursday prior to the weekend in Vietnam, only to disembark the aircraft hours later in a changed world, after sports leagues globally had called off events, and a COVID positive case had been found within the paddock.
The former media mogul detailed the emotions he and the Formula 1 executives navigated in that time period, also speaking on the toll it has taken on him on a personal level, with an unrecognizable schedule causing additional strain.
Addressing the recent news of his being succeeded by Stefano Domenicali, Carey also explained that his plan was always to build the foundations for a sustainable Formula 1, before passing off the baton to another person. The American stated that his intent was to step aside earlier, but that COVID derailed this plan, as it did many others.
The mustachioed F1 executive later would delve into what he considers the achievement in the past four years that he can be the proudest of, and in his answer he touched upon the signing of the Concorde Agreement. When pressed by Clarkson, he refused to go into detail on the discussions that went on behind the scenes in this process.
Similarly, as Carey refocused on Domenicali, detailing the effort that went into finding his successor, but not revealing the other candidates they were reviewing. Forging ahead, he went on to speak about free-to-air TV versus that of the paid kind, and how to best strike a balance between various forms of media. He also covered F1's other ventures in nontraditional media, including Netflix's 'Drive to Survive'.
After this, he spoke on the spectacle of F1 in 2020, with predictability a threat to its entertainment value. On one proposal to liven up the racing product, Carey asked that traditionalism and fear of alleged 'gimmicks' not become a roadblock, or a 'straightjacket' restricting F1 from pursuing an improved racing product, though he did caution against excessive change.
On this topic, he discussed the view of an F1 traditionalist in Ross Brawn, explaining that the Briton understands both sides of the argument, and later discussing the influence Brawn has had on his involvement in F1. Carey noted that the Brit helped him understand the inner details of the sport in many ways.
This led to discussion of his initial experiences in the F1 paddock, how he was received by the 'Piranha club', as it was dubbed by Ron Dennis, and to what extent his prior experience with media giant Rupert Murdoch prepared him for the environment, it being one that is often considered vicious.
Carey disclosed that Fox had expressed some interest in the purchase of F1 in 2011 and 2012, though he did not say how thorough these discussions were. He also spoke on his plans for the future, likely to involve golfing, he says.
Here is the link to the podcast:
Chase Carey has been CEO and Executive Chairman of Formula 1 for the last four years, and it’s fair to say he’s been busy in that time. New rules – including F1’s first ever budget cap - have been crafted, a new governance structure has been negotiated, and new races have joined the calendar – and that’s before you consider having to navigate through a global pandemic. On this week’s show – the 100th episode proper – Chase discusses all of the above, as well as discussing Stefano Domenicali’s impending arrival and what he learned from working alongside Rupert Murdoch…
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]