Now, Schools Plus isn’t likely to be involved in Formula 1 racing any time soon, though the way that McLaren Honda are going a £50 sponsorship might be accepted by them? Not sure what it might look like but you never know. Anyway, back to my piece to camera……. Little (Big) Bernie has now left to put his feet up and calculate how fast he can spent a billion dollars. As such we have arrived in a new era of F1 run by the Americans. What is to be expected with this new leadership in place? There seems to be a falling world-wide audience for F1 right now so perhaps selling it to the Americans is the best way to keep it such a leviathan of a ‘sport’. It is said that a top F1 team is likely to spend more than £400 million per season to stay at the top of their game with various sponsorship and other revenue streams not nearly covering those costs. The ‘Works’ teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault have large consumer based revenue to balance to cost of F1 into the ‘Marketing’ column of their P&L but the rest have to beg, borrow and steal to balance the books. This was most evident last season with the loss of Manor Racing who just couldn’t make it pay, their team staff working hard with the limited resources they have to no avail. It’s like bunch of guys in their shed competing with Ford. The guys in the shed will be able to put passion and blue-sky thinking to create a fast enough car but ask it to drive more than 500 feet without breaking down and it just wont happen.
F1 has now met a point where people are leaving (in terms of viewing numbers) because it has become a sport where a cyclical process runs its course with only a handful of cars capable of competing on a regular basis, ‘lower’ teams fighting over scraps of points, preying the cars in front crash or breakdown to improve where they can finish. Where is the fun in that?
Well……. I still enjoy my F1 weekends. I’m not so deep into the culture that I read up on it between races, watch the pre-practice sessions and am glued to every minute of coverage. I watch qualifying and the race, never live but an hour or two behind so I can fast forward it when I want, watching 5 laps of safety car is dull….. FAST FORWARD…….. Drivers waiting to go up to the podium, FAST FORWARD……. etc. With modern cameras and HD it looks awesome and it becomes involving. It also a thing I can watch whilst multi-tasking with an iPad on my knee or dinner on the table.
The races though. Watching teams make a mess of strategy and a race being won or lost due to a pit stop taking 0.2 seconds longer than the next drivers does appeal. I also like the fact that, whilst the car and driver get all the spotlight, it’s the TEAM who make a car win a race. Pit crews, engineers and strategists all play their part whether the team are aiming for a win or a point. If you know the sport and pay attention to it you will see that teams do make a difference to what a driver ultimately achieves.
For me the Schools Plus Brand is the driver and the Schools we manage are the cars looking to do as well as possible. Our leadership team are the engineers; Venue managers are like the leads in the pit crew and the team leaders, venue supervisors and hosts are the pit crew. If any one of these elements get it wrong we will crash out or finish out of the points, but if we all work hard we can score points and win races, even if we didn’t start off with the fastest car on the grid!