Besides regulatory bodies such as the FIA, Formula 1 has its own “unions” such as the Formula One Team Association (FOTA) and Grand Prix Drivers Association that fights for the rights of its members. Now even the team sponsors want a say in the sport’s direction – they have formed an organisation called Formula 100 to air their views.
The F100 is made up of 100 founding members comprising top individuals and sponsors that support the teams. F100 will have its first meeting at the Waldorf Hilton in London on 1st September. Those who will take the stage include Richard Bracewell, GM of global sponsorship Shell, Chris Burton, VP of global Sponsorship at SAP and former F1 commentator James Allen who will chair a panel discussion. Perhaps Tony Fernandes will be there in his capacity as AirAsia boss. AirAsia sponsors Williams F1 while long haul AirAsia X sponsors Lotus Racing.
There will be no agency reps or media present, ensuring only a high powered audience. Important current issues will be discussed, and minutes from the event will be submitted to F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. “F100 is a great concept and will allow the sponsors to both learn from each other as well as propose change for the good of the sport. The calibre of members and quality of the panellists have to be taken seriously,” said Allen.
About 175 sponsors pour in around $723 million annually into Formula 1, according to industry monitor Formula Money.