In January 2017, Liberty Media purchased a controlling interest in the Formula One Group for over $4 billion. For motorsports fans, Chase Carey has become the face of the company. Bernie Ecclestone controlled F1 for decades after working his way up from mechanic to team owner to CEO of F1. But what about this Chase Carey? Is he just a Harvard MBA? A suit? Does he really have a passion for motorsport?
What many people don’t realize is that since 2012, Liberty has owned 25% of Live Nation…which runs a monster truck series. That’s right. The same company owns two series at the opposite end of the motorsports spectrum; Monster Jam and Formula One!
Is it really so hard to believe? Chase Carey is obviously a student of the Grave Digger School of Mustaches. A little more fancy than Dennis Anderson, but you can see the influence.
There are other striking similarities between the two motorsports series: How has monster truck racing influenced F1?
Donuts have been a regular part of monster truck shows since the 1980s. But in F1, with only 5 engines required to last the 20 race season, redlining the power unit and lighting up the rear tires is risky. Yet this year, nearly every race finished in a cloud of black Pirelli smoke along the grandstand section.
Wheelies in F1 aren’t as common, and can easily result in the same kind of carnage poor Grave Digger suffers every weekend.
In Formula 1, sparks are the unintended consequence of the titanium skid plate scraping the ground when running low ride heights at high downforce tracks. Whereas in Monster Jam, fireworks are attached to the trucks…just for kicks.
Let the Good Times Roll:
Let’s not give all the credit to Liberty Media, though. Years ago, Formula 1 visionary, Pastor Maldonado made it his personal mission to ‘spice up’ the boring F1 parades by helping perfect the F1 barrel roll. Inspired by Maldonado, monster truck maestros like Ryan Anderson have made the backflip a part of nearly every show.