Formula 1

A statement from Michel Boeri, president of the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM)

The president of the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM), Michel Boeri, returned in the columns of the Monaco Matin to announce the extension of the Grand Prix in the Principality for three more years.
After a few months of uncertainty, but also disagreements between the FOM and the ACM over the rights to this Grand Prix, it was finally accepted into the official 2023 F1 calendar.
« The investigation is complete. It is signed under the conditions that we have accepted, knowing that we are preserving the majority of our prerogatives and that certain things that have been said, such as future control of spectators on balconies and terraces, are not materially feasible, » Boeri explains.
« It must be clear, and everyone must stop worrying. On the other hand, there are a few details that cannot be changed, such as the wild sales of t-shirts. But these are minor issues in comparison to what we risked.
« It is true that it was not easy, and contrary to what was written, we did not come out of there ‘proud.’ We leave there relieved and happy to have completed the task.
When asked if the FOM now has a strong negotiating position, given the popularity of F1, Boeri does not deny that the ACM was under pressure. Prince Albert would have even stepped in to save the race.
« The Prince approached certain individuals to remind them that the dialogue would not be halted and that we would not reach a point of conflict and blockage. This allowed us to quickly agree on an attractive price with some concessions, but we will have to see how they are respected and carried out on the ground.
« When it became clear that the Grand Prix was crucial in Monaco, the game of poker we were playing became skewed. It could have been negotiated better or worse, but the goal was met despite the fact that we were not the only ones in the competition. France has been ousted, Germany theoretically no longer has a Grand Prix, Italy will have to make an effort, and Belgium is on borrowed time.
« We did our best, perhaps not brilliantly, but we’re here to talk about it, which isn’t bad. Let us not forget that five or six Grand Prix opportunities have yet to be awarded and will only be available at a level of financial commitment that we can no longer support.
Boeri assumes the three-year duration, which may seem short for such a prestigious Grand Prix. And admits that by wanting to take certain things under their wing, the FOM risks breaking their teeth.
« The three years were not imposed on us; I chose them. Many of the clauses imposed on us today must be reconsidered because they are impractical. So I preferred to imagine that in three years, after experiencing the joys and difficulties of organizing in Monaco, these Formula One gentlemen would perhaps return to feelings of flexibility, which is desirable for them as well as for us, because no one wants to be embroiled in the scandal of a failed organization.
You can feel the venom rising…
« It is a figment of the imagination to believe that every point of the contract must be carried out in Monaco. Given how difficult these clauses are, we believe they would be delighted to change the contract. Each organizer is forced to sign a standard contract. The contracts are classified, but we did not fare badly. We were not the most mistreated. « The grid prices differ by a factor of one to four. And we are not the most lucrative Grand Prix. However, the next round of negotiations will begin without me. Time has flown by, and I am still here because I enjoyed it. We had some autonomy, the freedom to experiment, and the ability to invent and modify things. We are now being watched. “We tire when we are forced.” There was a time when we were dealing with Europeans and knew how far we could go in negotiations when it came to matters of tradition. There was a way of thinking about Grands Prix that originated in Europe. That was the case during Ecclestone’s tenure. We fought, but we won. Let’s not get into Balestre, but we made it. Mosley made it easier. And we had no problems with Todt. The question on the same affective and historical relationship is no longer possible today. There is a society that exists to make money. It’s not outrageous, but the more money they have, the better off they are. If a Grand Prix offers five times what we can, it usually wins.
The ACM president specifically states that the FOM will take over TV production, even though an associated director from Monaco will always be present. An unavoidable evil…
« There are rules, sensitivity, and intelligence in life. Everyone is a member of a regiment, so why would we abandon them? Especially when the shared goal is success. True, this has not always been the case with race directors, but it is logical that we are involved at home due to our knowledge of the terrain. We are operational, but there are commercial and legal issues that we are not used to dealing with. We’re playing sports.