F1 is reportedly in talks with Amazon for live streaming of its races as Aston Martin will end its WEC programme to focus on customer racing.

In a surprise news from Financial Times on Wednesday, it reported that F1 is in talks with Amazon for live streaming of its races online, in a move to further tap the younger audiences. The sport is looking for a digital step amid uncertain television future.

Financial Times has quoted outgoing F1 chief Chase Carey, who told them that “substantive discussions [with] Amazon and all the global digital platforms [is ongoing as] they’re [an] incredibly important potential partner and an opportunity for us to expand and grow our business”.

While the idea behind a digital future is not new from Carey, considering their step with highly popular Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’, but a tie-up with Amazon and or any other service provider comes as a surprise since they have their own F1 TV providing streaming services.

Granted that F1 TV is not available in all markets due to TV deals, including one of their biggest markets in the UK, but the streaming service provided by the sport has been a welcome step, especially with host of viewing options presented to a fan.

Not only does F1 TV has the option for fans to watch onboard of all the F1 drivers, it also plays almost all of the radio messages which the world feed doesn’t broadcast. Additionally, there is a replay option too and more camera angles to see any missing detail.

It remains unclear at this stage if they are looking to combine F1 TV with Amazon, where the former will be able to use the latter’s worldwide services, especially with seamless connectivity, which has been a thorn for them due to multiple complaints.

Here’s the original FT story: https://www.ft.com/content/af3bbb6d-5600-44f3-99cf-a84e5681fea9

Aston Martin ends WEC factory programme, customer racing way forward:

There was a logical announcement on Wednesday morning, where Aston Martin confirmed end of its factory WEC GTE programme from 2021 onward, with the British carmaker focusing on customer racing as it goes through multiple changes on the automotive side.

With new co-owners, led by Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin is focusing on its full F1 step in 2021 – albeit taking over Racing Point’s programme. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the Vantage GT programme is now moving towards a customer operation.

The release did not announce any of the customer racing plans but just noted that it is hopeful that Aston Martin will have its presence in WEC through a partner team in 2021 and beyond. It is not clear if it will be for both Pro and Am classes.

It also wishes that it can race in GT categories of championships like Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT World Challenge, the US-based IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, the Super GT Championship and more, beyond 2020.

To enhance its GT programme, Aston Martin revised its agreement with Prodrive, who were running its WEC outfits. The new multi-year deal allows the Banbury-based organisation to continue with its exclusive rights on manufacturing and distributing the current generation of front-engine GT race cars.

Aston Martin President, David King, said: “This year has been one of unprecedented success for Vantage in international motorsport. At all levels, from GTE, through GT3 to the entry level GT4, we have experienced significant championship success, winning 26 titles across the spectrum of world, international and domestic series.

“But there is more to achieve, and there is more to come from Vantage, which is why we have concluded that now is the time for us to shift the weight of factory support to our partners as we go in pursuit of success in the most important events in GT racing.”

At the same time, Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Moers, added: “Vantage proved it has world champion pedigree in 2020, and in its GTE variant is a 24-hour race winner. Now with the Vantage GT3 we wish to give our partners and customers the best opportunity possible to fight for victory against our closest rivals in the toughest endurance challenges GT racing has to offer.”

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