Ecclestone would rather lose another team from F1

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone hopes F1 loses another team following the loss of HRT.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Formula One has too many teams for Ecclestone (Reuters)

“I’d rather have ten. I never wanted twelve. It’s just that ten is easier to handle, for the promoters, for transport. We’d rather have ten… so long as we don’t lose Ferrari.”

Alonso charges up Ferrari “Let’s push it past the limit” (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

“There were several incidents in which the other teams were at the limit, but not us. But this has always happened and always will. However, we too have to think within the confines of the rules while looking for some limits, some holes, like the other teams do in order to improve our performances.”

Team bosses say Alonso is best of ’12 (Autosport)

“It is the second time in the five years that the team principals’ top ten has been running that Alonso has taken the number one spot.”

Respect For Seb (F1 Speedwriter)

“There is a substantial body of fact-ignoring opinion that still refuses to recognise him as a genuine F1 superstar.”

Gang of ‘millionaire muggers’ who targeted F1 boss and Tory peer jailed for 53 years (London Evening Standard)

Maybe they were HRT fans.


Comment of the day

@Dragoll is disappointed to see Mercedes’ Norbert Haug go:

I think it is a huge mistake to cast aside someone of Norbert Haug’s contribution to F1. Even Mercedes themselves acknowledged the large contribution he made to their return to F1.

Some team principals/managers don’t deserve the position they hold, and have it due to politics or financial ownership. I think in the case of Norbert Haug, we should celebrate his contribution to the sport and hope he stays within motorsport in the future.@Dragoll

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dermot Farrelly and Carlo Grlj!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Five years ago today McLaren confirmed Heikki Kovalainen would drive for them in 2008.

Kovalainen was dropped after two years with the team and joined Lotus for 2010. He’s been with the team – now Caterham – ever since, but there are doubts over his place for 2013.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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66 comments on “Ecclestone would rather lose another team from F1”

  1. Interesting to compare the principals’ rankings with my own (mine in brackets):-

    1. Fernando Alonso (1)
    2. Sebastian Vettel (3)
    3. Lewis Hamilton (2)
    4. Kimi Raikkonen (4)
    5. Jenson Button (5)
    6. Mark Webber (7)
    7. Nico Hulkenberg (6)
    8. Nico Rosberg (9)
    9. Sergio Perez (8)
    10. Felipe Massa (11)

    Did anyone get a perfect match?

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    14th December 2012, 0:27

    Ecclestone mentions to reduce the quantity and I agree… partially. If the teams reduce to 20, I don’t think it can be necesary to hold the current points system any longer. We could return to give points to the best 8, to make it still competitive. F1 needs quality and not a team which can barely finish the season, or which is not even present on the first practices / races, let alone keep up with the 107% rule. If HRT gave up, in my opinoin, this will bring some “health” to the sport.

    1. In regards to HRT, perhaps I agree.
      But with Caterhams’ constant “what if” potential, the the seemingly promising curve of Marussia, at least they have the potential to, eventually, become mid-field competitive… At which point, it would be unfair to kick either one out. With HRT, there was no potential to reach the mid-field, and so I can justify them leaving to maintain the “health” of the sport.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        14th December 2012, 2:29

        I agree. And look at my usual mistake. There are not 20 teams :P

    2. Perhaps he’d be more open to it if Caterham and Marussia (and HRT) could score points.

      The original plan was to have three new teams in the sport, plus a budget cap, which was intended to make the sport more appealing to new entrants in the future. With costs significantly reduced, Campos, Manor and USF1 – as they were known at the time – would stand a better chance of scoring points. But the budget cap was shot down, costs have contined to climb, and they’ve barely been able to tread water, much less make any forward progress.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        14th December 2012, 2:46

        Unluckily, as much as you can try to control the budget in sports, it’s quite difficult. Even some indirect sponsorship can bring benefit to the team. In soccer, for example. the same teams have always the most expensive players, I know the players aren’t “built” but it happens that the small teams are always small, bar any exceptional year (Brawn? Jordan?) they have struggled all the time to match their wealthy neighbors (Ferrari, McLaren, old-good-days Williams)

        1. Drivers were exempt from the budget cap. The idea was to cut down research and development costs. Max Mosley wanted it to be $50 million – which is about what Caterham and Marussia are competing with – but that’s not really feasible. I’d say somewhere between $150 million and $180 million is a much more realistic, acheiveable amount. It’s not as low as Mosley wanted, but it’s a far cry from the $400 million the likes of Ferrari and McLaren are spending (and The new Zurich Times recently claimed that Red Bull spent $630 million in 2012).

          1. I’m not sure those figures are right, and if they are it’s alarming.

            I understand that most midfield teams are running on between 80 to 100 million, so I think that’s a much fairer amount to drop down to.

      2. It would have taken more than a cost cap for USF1 to have any chance of scoring points. For example building a car might have been a better start.

    3. The best 8 points system was terrible. The one we have now with the best 10 is closer to the best 6 system than the best 8 one was.

      1. That was my fear with the new points system. With 24 drivers it (just) made sense having points down to tenth, but with 20 drivers it will just be silly seeing half the grid score points every race. Still, anyting was better than Bernie’s medals idea a few years ago

        1. The ratio between the positions and not scoring is more important than how many score points.

    4. Couldn’t disagree more. F1 needs ‘chancer’ teams who compete for the love of racing on a shoestring budget. To give more drivers and engineers a chance. Could a team like Jordan enter F1 now in the way they did in ’92? Pretty much impossible and that’s a shame.

      1. The question is what happens when you only have 10 teams and 2 teams drop out in the same year? Like Toyota and BMW did. I know BMW were resurrected as Sauber again but that was a close run thing. All of a sudden we are down to 16 cars.
        Also does anyone think that maybe the smaller teams are really not liked because when something was happening involving them on track it never got shown unless it involved a front runner. W not even in replay

      2. Does anyone feel that the reason the back markers seem dull is that incidents involving them which doesn’t include a front runner isn’t show. Not even in replay. Im thinking Glock and Kovaleinan at US GP and all the events that culminated in Caterham taking 11th place in Brazil.
        Im a big Marussia fan and I think the events at Singapore and Brazil had huge levels of tension to them and to honest I think really all I was watching was the number of the positions change at the bottom of the screen.

  3. What Bernie says must make a team like Caterham, (or especially Marussia, now they’re the slowest), feel awful. There should be no reason why certains team on the grid should feel like they aren’t as welcome as others. F1 should be (and for the most part, is) warm to new and developing teams. The guys at the back of the grid are up against it enough as it is.

  4. “…so long as we don’t lose Ferrari.”

    Without Ferrari, who else will deserve championships?

    Btw, the Donaldson article was great.

    1. When I read this I chuckled to myself, until I thought that maybe you didn’t mean that in the same facetious manner in which I read it…

      If you meant, “Without Ferrari, who else would spend as much time and energy demanding respect, instead of going out and commanding it.” then I am still chuckling.

      If not, well…

      1. You got it. Continue chuckling.

  5. If Bernie says he never wanted more than 10 teams, then why did he help save the team when they were still Campos and again gave HRT cash before the 2011 season? He also wanted to allow 1 year old customer cars for the lower teams, which would interest more new teams (Prodrive?)

    1. @the-last-pope – Have you ever noticed how what Bernie says he wants and what Bernie gets tends to be two completely different things?

      Also, given that their last three projects ended with three embarrassing failures, there’s no way Prodrive will get near the grid any time soon.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, glad you have finally noticed that!

        1. I never claimed anything different. And I certainly don’t thnk it’s some kind of accidental contradiction.

  6. Working out my math, Alonso got:

    25 x 8 (8 bosses voted him #1)
    18 x 3 (3 bosses voted him #2)
    15 x 1 (1 boss voted him #3) (Christian Horner? :))
    = 269

    1. I can see Whitmarsh, Ross Brawn and Boullier voting for 2nd, with the first two voting for Hamilton, and Horner putting him in 3rd.

      1. Actually, I can see Brawn or Boullier putting Alonso 3rd; I think Horner put him 2nd.

      2. I think Brawn would have put him 1st without a doubt. He said way back in 2008 that Alonso is the most complete driver on the grid. I can only see him being in that opinion even more after last 3 years. Brawn wanted to sign Alonso back in 2008 or 2009, but Alonso opted for Ferrari.
        Hamilton and Vettel are much better then they were in 2008 of course, but Alonso is better still, after all those years, too.
        I agree with Keith that Hamilton did better then Vettel this year, but my hunch is that Vettel is actually more of a fit for Brawn then Hamilton is, in case he needs a Schumacher type of a driver.
        Since it’s anonymous, I don’t think Brawn would vote for Hamilton just because he’s joining them.

        1. @brace.

          Brawn wanted to sign Alonso back in 2008 or 2009

          Wow, if that is true I kind of wish Alonso had signed a two-year contract with the Brackley team back in 2008. Sure, he’d have one bad year, but in 2009, total domination. Of course, this is just hindsight that no one in hell could’ve predicted. Nonetheless.

          1. The thing is, he would never have driven that car even if he signed, because team went out and Alonso would have been snapped in a matter of minutes after Honda announced they are leaving.
            It’s sort of a blessing in disguise for Jenson that he wasn’t rated that highly and was therefor left without a drive.
            Renault would gladly make room for Alonso, minutes after Honda’s announcement and everything would remain the same as it is in reality. Jenson would be called up to drive since Fernando went to Renault. Nobody could know that this car would turn out to be one of the most dominant beasts in the recent times. At least in the first part of the season. And thing is, if Honda stayed, would their engine be good enough to provide a performance that Mercedes did?
            Maybe it too was a blessing in disguise. If Honda stayed, maybe they wouldn’t win the championship, because their engine wouldn’t give the the margine they enjoyed with Mercedes.

            I find it quite interesting that, as far as I can see, this was the only way it could have turned out actually. :) Only Button could be champion however you turn it and only way that team was going to win either WDC or WCC was if Honda pulled out. :)

  7. There is the danger of having too many teams on track but I thought 12 was a good number the problem was that they were always at the bottom. If they weren’t then I don’t think bernie would be wanting only 10 teams. They key is that you want no more than one team at a time on the grid that doesn’t score points but you want them to be caterham standard where they do challenge the odd point once in a blue moon and not like HRT this year. If they do consider getting a new team on board it should be a manufacturers team not a millionaires team.

    1. @timebolt759, Minardi were good value only scoring points after mass carnage at the front of the field and had a function of slowing down the leading car and giving the chasing cars half a chance, the “blue flag” rules must have been weaker then, so I wasn’t against HRT, at least not De La Rosa.

      Point 2, Now that F1 is officially Showbiz, not engineering excellence, you can forget about manufacturers joining and you better hope there are enough billionaires out there to buy a “vanity” team or we will be down to 4/5 teams before too long.

  8. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    14th December 2012, 3:12

    I can’t see how Alonso would be voted #1 driver after being outpaced by his “inept” teammate for the last 3 or 4 races.

    1. Abu Dhabi and Brasil are not 3 or 4 races. In Korea Massa was outqualified but did have a race pace to match Alonso, and at one point in the race did have a better pace. But that’s all there is to it.
      I can recommend Gary Anderson’s article about Alonso and Vettel to get a better idea why each of those two managed to extract certain performance from the car through out the all parts of the season.

      1. Sorry, not Abu Dhabi, he was nowhere there, I meant USA.

    2. I can’t see how Alonso would be voted #1 driver after being outpaced by his “inept” teammate for the last 3 or 4 races.

      Well.. Vettel was beaten by his not so fantastic teammate in a handful of races this year.. and Hamilton was also beaten by the snail’s pace Button in 5-6 races this year.. so I do not know how Alonso being slower than Massa in 2 races this year makes any difference

      1. Because when they are quicker, especially early on in the season, they don’t have to move over for their teammates anywhere close the way Massa has to.

        1. they don’t have to move over for their teammates anywhere close the way Massa has to.

          did you miss webber pulling over to let vettel by at the brazilian gp, or webber been quickly pulled into the pits to get him out the way of vettel in abu dhabi?

    3. Here we go again.

      Most people in the paddock have acknowledged that Alonso has been the best this season. So why do other who are just armchair experts tend to disagree? Team Bosses, Drivers, Analysts, Journalist, Former Champions, current drivers..all have come out and said it….so what makes you think your two bit opinion is worth arguing about?

      If you dont like Alonso, thats fine, Im sure many people dont either, but you have to give credit where its due. This not a popularity contest, some of the best athletes past and present are total d$%ks, they are judged on ability and delivering results.

    4. But you could make the same point about second and third and so on.

      1. in response to ‘Todd”

  9. I can’t wait for Bernie to retire

  10. I suspect what Bernie said is less to do with how many teams race, and more to do with letting them all know that they are replaceable.

    1. Bingo! It’s the old Bill France Sr/Jr (NASCAR) way of thinking when the teams would try to start a union or break the rules, complain, etc; “You (the teams/drivers) need us (the series) more then we need you (meaning teams/drivers are easily replaceable)”.

      1. Do I see a pattern of success in racing business there?

        You guys are off course perfectly right, Bernie would save CVC some money if there were only 10 teams, and at the same time he knows having 11 teams there is better because it motivates the teams to work for it. I guess he is now putting the last dots into the contracts for the concorde agreement and this is part of it.

      2. @fisha695, the difference in F1 is that Bernie does not own the circuits or the teams but still takes 50% of the revenue, at least in the US series the circuit owners are able run a business not a begging bowl.

  11. i would rather loose Ecclestone and get HRT back…

    1. Lol. Same.

    2. LOL .. agreed 100%

    3. Absolutely +1

  12. I think Ferrari found limits in the rules somewhere within Massa’s gearbox just fine.


  13. Gang of ‘millionaire muggers’ who targeted F1 boss and Tory peer jailed for 53 years.

    Looks like this number was calculated in the same way journalists had calculated United States Grand Prix attendance figures ;)

    1. @maroonjack I thought that was a bit odd as well. They announced their sentences collectively. I’ve never seen that before… Ever.

  14. I personally didn’t mind 10 teams in 2008 and 2009, or 11 teams in 2006, 2007 and the first four races of 2008. If we lost another team, it wouldn’t break my heart.

    Having Caterham, Marussia and HRT hasn’t improved the grid for me. The only time they were ever worth a look at was when any of them actually mixed it up with the top teams (e.g. Kovalainen ahead of Button in Monaco), however those moments didn’t happen often enough. The only other time anyone cared about them was when Caterham and Marussia were fighting for 10th in this years’ constructors championship.

    1. The only other time anyone cared about them was when Caterham and Marussia were fighting for 10th in this years’ constructors championship

      I know its meant as a bit of a generalisation @slr, but still think that, apart from me, there were many others who were interested in these teams and the guys driving for them.

      1. I agree fully with @bascb, @slr, as I wrote earlier this week that fight for tenth was of vital importance in who won in Brazil, and was moreover the tensest battle in the WDC in that race, much closer fought than that for the win.

        It was only the limited view of the FOM director that we got to see more bits of the contenders in the other fight driving around than these two teams battling it out. It was great to snippets of them battling it out, usually with only a few car lengths between them, as faster cars got stuck behind that fight and passed.

    2. I know right? And who cares about Williams or Sauber ignoring when the won?

  15. I think F1 needs more teams & not less.
    20-22 cars isn’t a bad number but I would still much rather get back upto 26, wouldn’t mind more than that either.

    its funny though how f1 is happy at 10 teams/20 cars & its fans seem to want that, Yet when Indycar (And other series) are getting 20 regular cars it’s considered a disaster.

    1. Oval racing depends on a big pack to create drama.

      1. but it was the same with champcar at the time when they weren’t running on ovals anymore.

  16. What F1 needs is to give the teams more freedom to develop the cars and for FIA to put a proper commissioner in place who will tell Bernie to keep his mouth shut and remind him that his only job is to put tracks on schedule each year.
    As far as I am concerned F1 needs to get themselves into a position where they can have a similar saying as the the NFL, “Any given Sunday.” I don’t want to see any teams finish without any points at the end of year. Give the fans some decent racing.
    I am a Red Bull fan through and through, and I am proud that Red Bull has won 3 years in a row, but no way should the last race arrive and only 2 drivers are fighting for the championship.
    That is my little rant. Thanks for listening.

  17. ..That’s Bernie!

    Rubbish excuse, the sport makes enough money, make it work. I doubt he’d feel the same if Caterham or Marussia left and were replaced with Toyota or Honda.

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