- The Qualifier
- F1 "not far away" from IndyCar level of convergence
F1 "not far away" from IndyCar level of convergence
Plus: Sports Tech Report findings
IndyCar thrives on knuckle-to-knuckle racing, courtesy of uniform Dallara chassis and engines from two manufacturers, sharpening the fight at every turn.
Thrills are a given, as evidenced by St Petersburg's opener – a mere three-tenths between leading the first phase of qualifying and being eliminated altogether - staging the finest of motorsport dramas.
This competition echoes some of F1's recent tilts, drawing closer parallels thanks to fiscal prudence and design homogeneity.
But the tides are shifting. IndyCar boasts a smorgasbord of victors - seven across four teams - while F1 sees Red Bull and Verstappen carve a near-monopoly with his triple crown of titles.
Red Bull should recreate this vintage Porsche ad. #F1
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino)
Nov 26, 2023
McLaren CEO, Zak Brown, wearing dual series hats, sees the gap narrowing, foretelling a future where F1's technical tide will usher in an IndyCar-esque era of earnest combat by '24-'25.
He contends that every team's a Dark Horse for the top ten, from tail-enders to pole sitters. The same old guards may circle the championship, but F1's competitive pitch is set to intensify.
"The championship will probably have the same cast of characters, but I think Formula 1 will get more competitive.”
"I think it's going to be more like IndyCar, where there are a lot of drivers that can win at any one time, and rarely does anyone run away with the championship.
"If Max had slipped on a banana peel, the championship would have looked quite a bit different with how many people have been on the podium, how many people are finished second.”
The grand question hung – when will Red Bull's dominance fade? Brown mused the current lay of the track might not last – Red Bull's development pause is the wild card.
"But again, we don't know when Red Bull stopped [developing]. And I don't think we'll know until next year if they have continued to run hard. I don't think they've run as hard as the rest of us; they just haven't needed to.
"But Ferrari has looked damn strong, Mercedes on Saturdays, we've had our days, Aston [Martin] started super strong, so I think we're not far away from that convergence."
Still, as one-time leaders have shown gleams of brilliance, it signals the march towards that perfect storm of rivalry – a captivating melee where any given Sunday could crown a new champion.
The folks at Drake Star dropped the Q3 Sports Tech Report with exciting findings.
With over $10B in announced deal value in Q3, Sports Tech outperforms the broader markets regarding deal activities and consolidation.
Here are some of the Q3 2023 highlights:
• Artemis Group, Bernard Pinault family’s investment company, acquired a 56% stake in Creative Artists Agency at $7.0B valuation
• Liberty Media acquired a 90% stake in Quintevents, a global provider of official ticket, hospitality, and travel experiences for many sports events, including F1, for $282M
• Flutter Entertainment Plc Entertainment acquired a 51% stake in MaxBet, a leading sports-betting operator in Serbia, for $149M with an option to acquire the remaining 49% in 2029
• Playmaker, a sports and entertainment media platform, acquired by Better Collective for $54M
• Ares Management Corporation acquired a majority stake in LiveBarn, a fully automated broadcast system live-streaming provider to amateur and youth sporting events, from existing investors
• Professional Fighters League announced the acquisition of Bellator MMA, a promotional company and media platform, from Paramount Global
• EGYM, a smart workout solutions company, raised a $225M Series F round at a $600M valuation led by Affinity Equity Partners
• Monumental Sports & Entertainment, one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the US, received a $200M capital injection at $4.05B valuation from Qatar Investment Authority
• Professional Fighters League, a mixed martial arts organization, received $100M from SRJ Sports Investments, a Saudi PIF investment vehicle
• Gympass, the corporate fitness and wellness platform, raised an $85M Series F round at a $2.4B valuation from EQT Group and Neuberger Berman
• Blast Motion, Inc., a wearable motion capture technology developer, according to the most recent SEC Filing, raised $60M of debt from undisclosed investors
• FIGUR8, Inc., the leading innovator in the measure of musculoskeletal health, raised $25M Series A1 financing from First Spark Ventures, DIGITX, and Phoenix Venture Partners LLC
• Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund
• The Raine Group ($760M)
• Avenue Capital Group
• TXV Partners ($500M)
• Otro Capital ($100M)
• APEX ($60M)
• Early to late stage (Will Ventures, Verance Capital, Play Ventures)
• Seed stage (Elysian Park Ventures, Eberg Capital, Courtside Ventures)
Download the full report here.
Story of the Week
While on holiday in Portugal, Max Verstappen was denied by the staff of the car rental firm, Sixt, for being "too young" to drive a car that can do 195 mph.
The car? A Mercedes-AMG GT.
— Vincenzo Landino (@vincenzolandino)
Dec 27, 2023
Quote of the Week