With the ousting of Bernie Ecclestone, US owners now rule Formula 1. But, under the bonnet, British firms still lead the way…
The new Formula 1 season roars off the grid on 26 March and, as every year, there will be changes to the rules. But rather than fussing over whether a driver can change the design of his helmet (as happened in 2015), the 2017 season may serve up a real game changer following the removal of Bernie Ecclestone as chief executive of the governing body after 39 years. He was ousted following a takeover by US conglomerate Liberty Media as the sport aims to reverse the decline that has seen worldwide viewing figures tumble by more than 30 per cent during the past decade. But while Americans now own the sport, Britain remains the home of F1…
Into the Valley
Motorsport Valley spans an area from Warwickshire through to Berkshire and is home to around 3,500 companies – including eight F1 teams – employing over 40,000 people. At the last count, Motorsport Valley was said to contribute a turbocharged £9bn to the UK economy.
On the right Trac
One of the leading companies in Motorsport Valley is Xtrac, which supplies engines and transmissions for F1 as well as other global motorsport events including Le Mans, IndyCar and Moto GP. In 2016 Xtrac chairman, Peter Digby, picked up the award for the IoD’s International Company Director of the Year.
The British Grand Prix pulled in 139,000 spectators last year, the highest attendance for any race in 2016. But it cost around £18m to host, a figure that rises by five per cent every year. It’s the only F1 race in the calendar not backed by money from government, and the Silverstone owners have been losing around £10m a year on average.
We are the champions
Britain has produced 10 world champions, with 16 titles in total. Next best is Germany with three and 12 respectively. Stevenage’s Lewis Hamilton is 5–4 favourite to extend that lead.