North America made F1 headlines this week. First have at a look at the USF1 information published by TechCrunch. This is a quote from article written by Michael Arrington:
“I also ran into YouTube founder Chad Hurley at the Fuze offices, who was meeting with the Best Buy team along with the execs from the new U.S. Formula 1 Racing team USGPE (previously US F1).
Hurley is “the big investor” in USGPE said Best Buy Chief Marketing Officer Barry Judge, and it looks like Best Buy is also looking for ways to get involved in the project. There are also rumors that YouTube will sponsor the car.”
The article is accompanied by a doctored image of Brawn GP car with YouTube logo pasted all over it .
It has been rumoured for a while that Chad Hurley may be one of the mystery Silicone Valley backers of the new USF1 team. However nothing has been officially confirmed yet by USF1 or any of their investors.
I would also recommend reading the comments below the TechCrunch article. It is kind of interesting reading a debate on F1 on a site that is not an F1 site …
The other topic of this week was the return of Canadian GP.
Canadian GP was dropped from 2009 calendar following financial issues between the organizers and Bernie Ecclestone. There were efforts to solve the problems and save the race for 2009. Montreal tabled an offer but an offer that could match Ecclestone’s expectations.
This week Bernie Ecclestone announced that F1 will return to Canada next year. I am not sure what the purpose of that announcement was. Perhaps to apply pressure on Montreal to come up with offer that Ecclestone can accept. The last offer tabled last year was for a five-year term worth $110 million. That was as high as the organizers, the municipal, provincial and federal governments were willing to go to save the F1 race in Montreal. Ecclestone expected much more $175 million) and so the race was axed.
Now the Globe and Mail paper reports that Canadian officials travelled to London two weeks ago and offered Bernie new deal – about $75 million over five years plus promise to pay Ecclestone the money he was owed.
Well that would be significanly less than the offer made last year and about $100 million less than Ecclestone is said to have requested during the 2008 talks.
So, is Ecclestone’s announcement that the race will be included in 2010 calendar a sign that he is willing to accept much less money in order to have at least one F1 race in North America ? Well I would like to believe so. But somehow I think this is (at the moment) just a part of his game. At the end including a race in the calendar does not mean the race will also happen. Canadian GP was on the first version of 2009 calendar published by FIA, there was no “conditional” remark attached to it. Few months later the race was dropped …
Bernie said the race will be on the 2010 calendar, Bernie can always blame the Canadian side if the talks fail again … Let’s hope that this will not be the case.