Michel Boeri, the president of the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM) returned in the columns of Monaco Matin on 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 concerning the privileges of this Grand Prix, it was finally able to be integrated into the official 2023 F1 calendar.
« The case is closed. It is signed under the conditions which are those which we have accepted, knowing that we are safeguarding most of our prerogatives and that certain things which have been said, such as a future control of spectators on the balconies and terraces are not materially feasible, » Boeri explains.
« It must be clear and that everyone stops worrying. On the other hand, there are still a few points of detail such as the wild sales of t-shirts which cannot take place. but these are small things compared to what we risked.
« It is true that it was not easy and contrary to what was written, by default of translation, we do not come out of there ‘proud’. We come out of there at best relieved and happy to have finished . »
Asked if FOM now finds itself in a strong position in negotiations, given the popularity of F1, Boeri does not deny that the ACM was under pressure. Prince Albert would even have intervened to save the race.
« The Prince approached certain people to remind them that the dialogue would never be stopped and that we would not arrive at a situation of conflict and blockage. This allowed us to conclude quickly on an attractive price, with some concessions but once again we will have to see on the ground how they can be respected and carried out. »
« The moment it was known that the Grand Prix was essential in Monaco, the game of poker we were playing was skewed. It could have been negotiated better or worse negotiated but the goal is achieved knowing that we are not the only ones in the competition. France has been ousted, Germany no longer has a Grand Prix theoretically, Italy will have to make an effort, Belgium is on borrowed time. »
« We did our best, perhaps not very gloriously, but we’re here to talk about it and that’s not bad. Let’s not forget that five or six Grand Prix possibilities have not been awarded and will be only at a height of financial commitment that we could no longer support.
As for the duration of 3 years which may seem low for such a prestigious Grand Prix, Boeri assumes. And confides that the FOM risks breaking their teeth by having wanted to take certain things under their wing.
« The three years were not imposed on us, it was my choice. Many of the clauses imposed on us today must be reviewed because they are not materially achievable. So I preferred to imagine that in three years , having tasted the joys and the difficulties of the organization in Monaco, these gentlemen of Formula 1 would perhaps return to feelings of flexibility, which is desirable for them as for us since no one wants to be in the scandal of a failed organization. »
You can feel the bitterness rising…
« It’s a figment of the imagination to think that every point of the contract has to be executed at Monaco. Having seen how difficult these clauses are, we think they might be very happy themselves to change the contract. There is a standard contract which is inflicted on each organizer. The contracts are secret but we did not come out too badly. We were not the most mistreated.
« There is a differential of 1 to 4 on the prices of the grids. And we are not the Grand Prix that pays the most. But for the next negotiations, they will start again without me. Time has passed very quickly and I am stayed because I liked it. We had a certain autonomy, a freedom to undertake, we could invent and modify things. Now we are supervised. When we are forced, it tires us.
“There was a time when we were dealing between Europeans and we knew how far we could go in negotiations, with questions of tradition that mattered. There was a way of thinking about Grands Prix, whose source is European. That was the case under Ecclestone. We fought but we managed. Let’s not talk about Balestre, but we managed too. It was softer with Mosley. And with Todt we didn’t have no problem. Today, the question is no longer possible on the same affective and historical relationship. There is a society that is there to earn money. It is not outrageous but the more they earn the better they are. If a Grand Prix offers five times what we can offer, normally it wins. »
The president of the ACM specifies in particular that the FOM will take over the TV production, even if an associated director specific to Monaco will always be present. A necessary evil…
« In life, there are regulations, sensitivity and intelligence. Everyone belongs to a regiment but why would we turn our backs? Especially when the common goal is to succeed. This has not always been the case with the race directors it’s true, but it’s logical that we are involved at home for a matter of knowledge of the terrain. We are operational, then there are commercial and legal problems that we were not used to. . We’re doing sports. »