F1 could boost revenues in post-Ecclestone era - Dennis

By: Jonathan Noble, Formula 1 Editor

Formula 1 has the potential to deliver much bigger revenue streams in the long-term future, but it may take a hit in the immediate post-Bernie Ecclestone era, claims McLaren chairman Ron Dennis.

There has been an increasing focus in recent months on whether F1 is maximising its commercial opportunities and whether or not too much money is going out of the sport to owners CVC.

But, as F1 ponders the potential impact of either CVC selling, or Ecclestone's time at the top coming to an end, Dennis believes there is great opportunity in the future.

"I cannot see anyone buying into F1 with the view that they are going to lose money," explained Dennis. "They are going to buy into F1 because they think they can make more money.

"But the real test is not so much who owns F1, but who leads F1. And, of course, Bernie is a very hard to follow, no question.

"Whatever follows on from Bernie will be entirely different because there is only one of Bernie - with his style, his experience, his knowledge, his recall, and his ability to aggressively negotiate.

"No skill set like that is going to be matched by one individual, so the model will change."

Rollercoaster ride

Speaking about where he sees F1's revenue going, he said: "Do I believe the number will go up? My prediction is it will probably go down for a while, and go back up again.

"Where it can go is hard to comprehend, but look at the generation of money off of football in the UK, or some of the sports in America. There are sports generating a great deal more revenue."

Spectacle still good

Dennis believes that the long-term health of F1, and ability to attract more income, comes from the fact that he thinks the show is still delivering.

"F1 still, as a spectacle, is pretty good. And when you have had the level of dominance that Mercedes has enjoyed, and we have enjoyed in the past, people tend to say that is an awful F1.

"But still there is more overtaking and at least there is a competitiveness between the two Mercedes driver that formulates itself in media attention, not all positive, but it is there.

"So I do think F1 can generate more income. But that is not in any shape critical of Bernie or CVC. I just think it can have a greater income in the future."

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