Williams chairman Adam Parr fears F1 TV deal could be 'difficult'

Williams chairman Adam Parr has offered his sympathies to Formula One fans following today's announcement that from next season Sky Sports will screen every race live.

It is the first time in F1 history a certain number of grands prix will not be shown on free-to-air television in the United Kingdom.

There had been speculation the BBC would pull out of F1 altogether for financial reasons, but under a new agreement they will now show only half of the races and qualifying live.

Sky will double up on the races shown by the BBC, and also screen the others exclusively live.

The BBC, however, will still show the Monaco and British Grands Prix, as well as the final race of the campaign, with those not live available via a highlights package.

Under the current Concorde Agreement, the commercial arrangement that binds together the teams, commercial rights holders CVC and motor sport's world governing body the FIA, a clause stipulates F1 must be free to air.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone will no doubt argue he has not broken such a contract as half of the races will be exactly that.

For the teams, who have their sponsors to consider as well as the fans, the "devil is in the detail" according to Parr.

He told Press Association Sport: "In principle I have no issue with optimising the balance between the revenues we need and getting a good reach in the audience.

"Without knowing the details you cannot comment on whether it is good or bad.

"What I do know is Bernie is a very passionate believer in getting the broadest audience possible and I think he has almost certainly done this in order to do that.

"Of course, I am sympathetic to the fans. I understand it will be difficult, but English Premier League fans have had that for a while haven't they?

"As for sponsors, I think we will find we still have a tremendous reach.

"If you look at the Premier League and the value of a shirt deal for one of the top teams, those rates are absolutely comparable with what we are getting in F1, or maybe better."

For Parr, it is a question of the financial package being right for the teams given the cost of simply putting a car on the grid.

"People have to bear in mind what it costs to put on this show," added Parr.

"For us to design and build the two cars we will have on the grid on Sunday (for the Hungarian Grand Prix), without putting an engine in, without a driver, without accounting for the 70 staff we bring to each race, costs £2million.

"It is not two blokes with a tennis racket and a pair of trainers with zero cost. It is a very, very expensive sport.

"The best thing we can do for fans, whether they want to come to the races or want to watch it on TV, is to reduce the cost of the sport without spoiling the show."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes there should be no knee-jerk reaction to the news until Ecclestone has explained his reasoning and the details.

"I don't think anyone should be immediately reacting to say this is good, bad, indifferent," Whitmarsh told Press Association Sport.

"What we need to understand is whether the large audience we currently enjoy in Formula One will be maintained.

"I think we also need to understand exactly how this is being done.

"I think the means by which media is available today is much more complex than the old model in which there was free-to-air and then pay-per-view.

"In fairness to Bernie, on this particular occasion, it is very difficult, I imagine, when you are negotiating these deals.

"But we've got a range of safeguards within Concorde, and the right thing to do is to explore how the Formula One coverage is going to be dealt with in the future, and take a view from there."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform