|Liberty Media is slowly closing in on its first year at the helm of Formula 1, and as it does it just made its biggest statement yet that the sport is facing a new dawn.
Not only a new dawn but a fresh identity, cemented by a brand new logo unveiled during Sunday’s Abu Dhabi podium ceremony.
In the minutes following its appearance, the symbol was trashed, belittled and picked apart on the internet by F1’s diehard traditionalists, critics and trolls who wondered why Liberty felt the need to change a symbol which had perfectly embodied Grand Prix racing for over two decades.
Perhaps that is precisely why F1’s new owners are embarking on change: to seek further detachment from the sport’s old guard as it enters a new era. A dynamic, modern and digital era.
According to Liberty, the new logo is intended to look “flat, low to the ground and with a suggestion of speed”, like an F1 car. It’s creation was overseen by Ellie Norman, Formula 1’s Director of Marketing.
Like every new change and transformation, it will require a period of adaptation. But we think it will work as a new identity which aims to celebrate everything that makes the sport exciting – the speed and thrill of racing.
Despite a host of changes already brought in by Liberty, and ranging from Fan Zones to immersive F1 Live experiences, the company still has a huge amount of work cut out for itself as it steers F1 into the future.
Liberty needs to reconcile the teams around its future engine plans, find a way to dispense with utterly ridiculous grid penalties, work towards equality on both the financial and sporting fronts, define and build its hopefully lucrative digital platforms and, last but not least, tackle and improve the racing itself.
We’re not in the camp of the “dime a dozen” critics of Liberty’s efforts, which many perceive as being half-hearted, deficient or uninformed up to now. Chase Carey, Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches are all consummate professionals in their respective field of expertise however.
Change is ongoing in Formula 1, perhaps in incremental steps, but it is happening. Be patient and let it unfold.
Phillip van Osten