Formula One has a new owner, and while Liberty Media’s acquisition of the championship means business as usual for tyre supplier Pirelli for the time being, another familiar fixture left the stage yesterday. News of the acquisition’s completion was accompanied by the announcement that Bernie Ecclestone has stepped down as F1’s chief executive officer after 40 years in the job.
The BBC has ended its television coverage of Formula One early as part of measures to plug a £150 million annual gap in its finances identified by the corporation’s director general. The BBC regained the broadcast rights to F1 in 2009, and agreed a shared package with Sky Sports during a previous round of cost-saving measures in 2012. 10 of the 2015 season’s grands prix were broadcast live on the BBC, with extensive highlights of the remaining nine races. The radio commentary rights – currently held by BBC Radio 5 live – have been extended until 2021.
Goodyear will not make a Formula One comeback in 2017, while Dunlop has reaffirmed its commitment to endurance and touring car racing. The manufacturer’s statements come on the 17 June tender deadline, following Michelin Motorsport director Pascal Couasnon’s confirmation that the French manufacturer had submitted an official application.
It appears that Michelin has thrown its hat back into the Formula 1 ring. Michelin Motorsport has retweeted comments its director made to Motorsport.com confirming its submission of a F1 tyre supply bid ahead of the 17 June tender deadline. Pascal Couasnon shared that Michelin decided to enter the running in the hope that the championship would take a new direction in regards to tyres.
Formula One teams are said to pay Pirelli around £1.4 million for a season’s worth of tyres, minus a discount for the placement of Pirelli logos on their vehicles and other sponsorship activities. A substantial cost, but a necessary one. Yet Germany’s auto, motor und sport writes that as of 11 March, three F1 teams had yet to pay Pirelli for the season that’s about to start.