Earlier this month, our government launched the country’s very own 1Malaysia F1 team. As motor sport fans come to terms with the idea of a government-backed F1 team, our neighbours, Singapore, is set to house the base of operations for the world’s first community-owned F1 team. Introducing MyOwnF1Team.com, your chance to run an F1 team for only €300, probably less!
The brainchild of Ben Potter and Ian Baldwyn, MyOwnF1Team.com represents a very realistic chance for the average Joe to enter one of the world’s most watched and most lucrative sports. Inspired by MyFootballClub in UK, where fans from all over the world had the chance, for £35, to participate in management decisions to run the football club Ebbsfleet United.
According to Potter, “I had known about the guys who purchased a UK football team, and after reading press releases about Peter Sauber’s unsuccessful tries at finding a buyer for BMW‐Sauber I thought it was a prime opportunity to give the idea a go. No‐one has been able to think of a reason not to give it a try. And now that BMW have found a buyer we still believe our model will work with another team. We will be meeting parties over the Grand Prix weekend who have expressed interest in being involved with this venture”.
Based on information from the team’s website, paying members will be calling the shots on issues such as staffing, suppliers, drivers, team name, colours and even sponsors. As far as the team hierarchy is concerned, members will sit in the Management Group, and will get to vote on the various decisions they have a say in. A select few members will act as the Executive Group, a liaison between the Management Group and team management.
During race weekend, members also get to decide (once again by vote) on practice objectives and set-up, qualifying set-up, and race set-up. Members can call the shots from the comforts of home, over the internet, as per Potter’s following statement, “We are developing an interactive user interface that enables real time decisions to be made, especially during race weekends. It will be just like playing an F1 Manager PC game but this time it’s for real, affecting a real Formula One team.”
Indeed, compared to a PC game, the benefits that come with participation are also very real, according to Potter, “We expect to have a lot of significantly valuable benefits for the members including opportunities to work for the team, factory visits, Grand Prix passes, exclusive feeds of the team and drivers and of course a legitimate opportunity to voice their opinions about how the team should be run.”
Of course, the consequences of decisions in this venture are very real too. You can’t exit game and reload from the last save point if things go awry. You and your fellow members will have to live with all the consequences of your decisions, good or bad.
Nevertheless, for many a motor sports enthusiast, this represents a never-dreamt-of chance to gain participation into the Formula 1 arena. However, there are potential pitfalls to negotiate. For one, how would 10,000 members of the public, many of them no doubt for the first time, handle the challenges and demands of managing an F1 team? At this point, it does sound a little too good to be true. At Autoworld, we like audacity. This is as audacious as they come.
See also: MyOwnF1Team.com website