Horner accepts less prize money for a better future


Red Bull's Christian Horner believes Liberty Media's investment spree will initially set the teams back financially, but it will also prepare the sport for a prosperous future.

Teams will see their prize money revenue fall this year as a direct result of increased spending by The Formula One Group as the sport's owners invest in its future.

While several teams have voiced their concern, Horner isn't worried, insisting the investment plan is a necessity and akin to taking one step back today in order to move two steps forward tomorrow.

"You have to invest in the business to accumulate and I think Liberty has had a big learning year," says the Red Bull boss.

"They have done a season now, they have applied the right specialists in the right areas, and they are forming their game plan for 2021.

"It is very easy to criticise on head count or spending, and it is just a different mentality to how Bernie [Ecclestone] operated.

"Bernie ran a very tight closed shop. He was the marketing department, he was the sales department, and it was very much a one man show.

"Obviously Liberty, having acquired the business, have put a structure in place. They are looking to put a bit more analysis in to the future as well, and there is a cost associated with that.

"Inevitably there will be an investment which will have an effect on 2018 and probably even 2019, but you would expect to see a return for sure two years down the road."

A corollary to the sport's financial health is the necessity to improve the show says Horner, who argues that only an attractive product will generate the interest of commercial partners likely to benefit the teams and the sport as a whole.

"To attract sponsorship you've got to have an attractive product, and unless you have got an attractive product sponsors don't come," he said.

"We have been able to attract great brands because of what we do off track as well as on track and I think F1 is not in anywhere near as rude health as it was 20 years ago when teams were making profits. There were some great brands on the cars.

"You only have to compare an end of season driver photo from 1997 to 2017 and you will see the volume of companies involved is significantly less.

"And we have to create a more attractive show to draw in sponsors that offer tremendous value from what F1 is."

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