Good morning! F1 storms back into action this weekend but it’s the off-track drama catching some attention this week… The FIA and Liberty Media may be entering a power struggle as the everlasting debate of adding a new team(s) to the grid rages on…
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FIA vs. Liberty: The New Team Tussle
As F1's 2023 season zooms back into action, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is fueling off-track discussions. At the heart? The debate on admitting new teams, particularly the spotlight-stealing GM-backed Andretti project. 🚦
Sulayem, with the FIA, initiated the new-team application process early this year, putting himself on a collision course with Liberty Media. Why? The FIA president's commitment to doing things “by the book” and wanting "to do the right thing." 📖✅
On the other hand, commercial rights holder, Liberty Media, questions the net value these new teams bring. They argue, how many slices can you divide the F1 revenue pie into? 🍰💰
“Imagine us saying no to potential teams,” says Ben Sulayem. “We are here to sustain motorsport. I don’t want any big team to take us to court.” He dreams of welcoming teams from nations like the US and China, emphasizing global expansion. 🌎🚀
The real race? Deciding whether FIA's vision or Liberty Media's commercial concerns steer the future of F1. 🏎️🔮
Denny Hamlin's future at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) isn't set in stone, even with his current deal nearing its end. Many expected an extension, but sponsorship sign-offs for the No. 11 Toyota team may delay it. Hamlin himself hinted at the possibility of not sealing the deal, mentioning "a lot of different factors" in play.
One significant factor: 23XI Racing. Hamlin co-owns this team with NBA legend Michael Jordan, and its existence might be adding a layer of complexity. Yet, when asked about returning to JGR, Hamlin said: “I intend to, for sure. It’s what I want.”
Differences with Kyle Busch's exit from JGR last year? Hamlin thinks so: "It’s easy to draw parallels. I’m saying some things Kyle said. Joe is saying some similar things but there’s just more factors in play than just us for sure.”
Meanwhile, JGR remains "confident" in retaining Hamlin, and he's optimistic about 23XI Racing's partnership with Toyota. 🏁🤝
A Powerful Pair
Team Penske and A.J. Foyt Racing are teaming up, forming a technical alliance aimed at elevating both NTT IndyCar Series teams. This isn't just about swapping parts. 🛠️ Foyt's team will leverage Penske's dampers and tech prowess this season, but there's more under the hood. This isn't just about faster cars... Team Penske will inject some of its rising talent into Foyt's ranks, grooming their younger crew and potential drivers for the fast-paced world of IndyCar. 🌱➡️🏆
Penske president Tim Cindric spilled: “And we’ve used it as a training ground for people, whether it’s drivers or crew or engineers or whatever else, as long as we can control the IP or kind of have some direction on where it all goes, but still have a good relationship.”
And this connection? Not a total surprise. It’s a revamp of a chat between former Foyt leader Scott Harner and Cindric last year.
The endgame? Foyt gets technical chops and a broader appeal to drivers and sponsors, while Penske crafts the next gen of IndyCar champs. 🌟 As Cindric mused, it's all about “benefiting both organizations.”
Take a trip to far away motorsport lands
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