Liberty have tabled a 'take it or leave it' series of proposals that will drastically reform Formula One, in a move to take back control from the big players within the paddock.
The new owners were always expected to introduce changes to the sport when the current Concorde Agreement ends in 2020/21, but according to some sources, it was less suggestions and a meeting of discussion and more an enforcement of regulations.
It seems Liberty have called the bluff of the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes; the two biggest teams in the sport were vehemently against introducing budget caps and spend limits within F1, even threatening to pull out and launch a rival series if their demands weren't met.
Liberty have seemingly dismissed those threats and have gone through with their promises. The major talking points from the list of new regulations include:
- A move towards more standard parts within the paddock, with the exception of aerodynamics, suspension and engines.
- An emphasis on improving the sound of the cars, the power of them, plus the desire to reduce penalties.
- The introduction of a $150m cost cap and an encouragement to spend budgets more wisely.
The latter may generate some cause for concern for the bigger players. Such an introduction would force the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. Although the regulations provide them with a two year period of grace to overhaul their payroll, news of potential job losses will not go down well and could well prove to be a PR disaster for Liberty.
Currently, money is handed out to the ten teams on the grid based on performance and heritage. Ferrari, having been a founding father of Formula One and essentially brings in the lion's share of wealth into the sport (think F1 and you think of Ferrari), collect a heritage bonus too and so enjoy a rather lucrative spot on the grid.
They would still receive such privileges, but on a much narrower scale.
Immediately after the meeting, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene and Mercedes' pair Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda were pictured discussing what was presumed to be the fallout from the Liberty announcement.