Liberty Media's Maffei slams Baku for adding no value to F1

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Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei believes Formula 1's race calendar should include races which enhance the sport's business and brand.

As the new owners of F1 begin to frame the sport's future foundation, a rise of the number of races on the calendar is probable.

But Liberty will also be aiming for quality along with quantity, working alongside promoters to improve events on all fronts, both sporting and commercial.

"It's our job to do far more to help the promoters be successful," Greg Maffei  said last week at the Deutsche Bank 2017 Media & Telecom Conference.

"Frankly, Bernie's attitude was 'how much can I extract from them, how much up front?' - I heard him call them 'the victims'.

"So we ended up with races like Baku in Azerbaijan where they paid us a big race free but it does nothing to build the long term brand and help the business."

No doubt Baku organisers will be delighted to hear the unsupportive opinion of the man whose company collects tens of  millions of dollars from them each year.

But Maffei acknowledges the necessity to provide a cost effective product. Hefty fees are one thing, but it all must be made worth every  party's while.

"Our job is to have partners who pay us well but who also help us build the product. But it's incumbent upon us to bring best practice.

"Some of the races which are considered the most exciting: Abu Dhabi, Singapore night race, Mexico City

"What's going on well in those races ? We need to share that with the promoters in each of the cities where things are less successful.

"It is both incumbent upon us to help but it is also recognising a new one, the first thing they are going to do is say 'I'm paying too much'.

"There is some expected noise and we are working on trying to quell that and help them."

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