For the teams competing in Formula One™, risk management comes in various guises; from ensuring the health and safety of drivers, team personnel and staff, to managing the commercial risks of one of the world’s most expensive sports. Add to that the operational risks associated with transporting cars, equipment and personnel to 20 destinations around the globe.
A sport that witnessed 47 drivers killed between 1950 and 1994 has shown what can be achieved when a business culture is reprioritised towards safety-first. Under the leadership of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, the teams achieved a paradigm shift, recording zero driver fatalities in the 20 years since Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger died during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix weekend. So profound has been the lessons learned in F1, that they have been widely applied to road safety programmes, including the European Union’s NCAP safety certification initiative.
Commercial risk in Formula One is managed through teams securing a portfolio of sponsor-customers and responding quickly to changing circumstances such as the legislative ban on tobacco sponsorship or the effects of the world-wide financial crisis.
Operationally the teams take a belt-and-braces approach to ensuring that they have the capability to compete in all 20 Grands Prix. This means being ready to race irrespective of whether cars have been destroyed in practice accidents, key personnel falling ill or urgent freight shipments being required to update the cars with the latest developments fresh from their factories.
With three decades experience in international motorsport, including senior roles with the Jordan and Red Bull Racing Formula One™ teams as well as running Cosworth’s F1 Business unit, Mark has worked with many of the sports leading figures and developed a unique insight into the way they operate. He has also developed a wide range of business interests in the sport, including creating a championship winning racing team.
Starting out as an F1 journalist and broadcaster he went on to become a media consultant for major sponsors including Marlboro and Canon. He joined Eddie Jordan’s fledgling F1 team for its debut season in 1991, returning to the team in 1995 where he became head of marketing and was on the team’s management board during its most successful years.
Joining Jaguar Racing in 2004 Mark remained with the team during its transition into Red Bull Racing before leaving to establish his own sports management business and racing team, Status Grand Prix, which continues to excel.