Caterham and Marussia considered merger

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In the round-up: Marussia and Caterham considered merging their teams over the winter.

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Marussia held merger talks with Caterham (Reuters)

“Tail-enders Marussia considered a merger with Formula One rivals Caterham after the end of last season but abandoned the idea after initial talks, team president Graeme Lowdon said on Thursday.”

We can compete with Lotus – Alonso (BBC)

“Lotus’s pace was very good but nothing that we could not do.”

Q&A – Ferrari’s Domenicali on tyres, tactics and targets (F1)

“To start from a free position is what could make all the difference as you can push in any direction you want. ‘Tyre watching’ – to see how the degradation develops – is the name of the game throughout the whole race.”

Vettel sure of better tyre management (Autosport)

“I think we learned a lot, we can improve already for here. Generally nowadays there is no possibility to change the set-up for Sunday, so we are looking at a couple of things. There are lot of things we learned, a lot of things we still haven’t understood but then again it has only been a couple of days.”

Williams show power of family (The Telegraph)

“When I first came here, he was not keen on the idea at all. He didn’t want to be seen to have his children working at Williams. But his view, over the years, has softened – he likes people who work hard.”

McLaren must improve soon to save F1 season, says Jenson Button (The Guardian)

“If I was in a smaller team, I’d be worried, but because it’s McLaren I know we can develop the car and find one that really works for us. I know we’re not in a great position, but I know we can improve.”

Mac will be back! Lewis Hamilton says his old team McLaren WILL get it right after miserable start (The Mirror)

“I am not focussing on them so I don’t really know what needs to be worked on. But what I do know is they are a fantastic team, which has great facilities and great people working there.”


Comment of the day

@Matt90 wonders why BBC left them vulnerable to ending up with just nine live races this year:

Wouldn’t it have been magical (not to mention painfully, obviously the sensible thing to do) if the BBC had decided to cover either of the first two rounds this year, and not select a ‘TBC’ race which clearly had the chance of never even happening?

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On this day in F1

The last Mexican Grand Prix was held on this day in 1992. However the race has been tipped to make a return to the calendar in the near future.

Image © Caterham/LAT

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34 comments on “Caterham and Marussia considered merger”

  1. It wouldn’t mean instant doubling of budget though, since both these teams use pay drivers to get chunks of their capital.

    Caterham and Marussia are similarly places just now, and will have a good battle all season long. It’s better for F1 to keep 4 cars at the back both of them to have a rival of similar pace – it would be worse for F1 if they merged, we lost two cars from the grid and the team was still straggling at the back, this time with no competition.

  2. I think those merger talks between Marussia and Caterham really demonstrate the difficulties they are both going through right now. It is one of the most extreme solutions I can think of when I think of solutions to keep a team in F1. For me it’s a sign that today’s Formula One business model, as it currently stands, is unsustainable. I don’t know if that will change with the new Concorde Agreement – speaking of which, when is it going to be signed!? – but I very much doubt so.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    22nd March 2013, 0:29

    So if for any reason the 2 smallest teams ran out of money… which team would be the next one into risk? I know and understand the way to distribute profits according to points is fair, but probably the percentage should change just a little, especially giving 1% or 2% more to the last teams. That would keep teams from quitting, at least for a while

    1. Lower the reliability of cars and have more retirements… Then Caterham and Marussia will get a few lucky points and thus some money. F1 is having too much reliability these days and even if points are awarded for top 10 (not 8 or 6), the three new teams failed to score any point in three years.

      1. I think that’s the wrong way to go, The new engines may have that effect, but purposefully reducing reliability is likely to effect sponsor interest. And that’s assuming it’s possible.

        1. @mike,” reducing reliability”? works for tyres!

          1. @hohum

            Who reduced the reliability of the tyres? Pirrelli.

            Who would you rely on to reduce the reliability of the cars? The teams? They won’t do it, it doesn’t make sense. The rules? Teams will get around this, that and purposefully causing mechanical failures won’t go over well.

            The tyres are a very different situation.

          2. @mike, No of course the teams wont do it just to “improve the show” reliability becomes an issue only when you let the teams try to get more powerful/lighter engines and components, you know, that extra 15mph., without DRS, down the straight, those extra pounds of ballast gained by saving weight in the geartrain, a real performance advantage, providing it doesn’t fail, that’s how it used to be, do the math, 2x1st. + 1 dnf or 5th. 4th. 9th., then imagine having the speed advantage and fixing the breakage problem.

          3. @hohum

            But it’s not that simple is it? Then you bring in a multitude of other concerns, whether it’s safety concerns, team performances would widen, budgetary problems.

            etc, etc, etc.

      2. @alonsomclaren
        That would not help them at all. Other midfield teams would also benefit from those retirements, so even though they could score some points, I do believe they would both still end the championship in the 2 last positions.

        The big problem is that the entry feel is calculated based on the points teams score over the season. By having “poor” teams scoring points just for the sake of it would make no sense. “Teams other than the champion will pay a basic fee of US$500,000, plus US$5000 per point.”

    2. @omarr-pepper, Sorry but I have to reminisce again. Back in the days pre BE, promoters (track owners) paid a starting fee (ie. appearance fee) and prize money, much like professional tennis today, of course in those days they did not need a team of 60+ people and forty or fifty tyres for a race so starting money kept them going while prize money paid for developments . There was of course less money because there were no TV rights to sell but the promoter made money out of on track advertising, catering etc. so if he did his sums right he made a profit and the teams put on a great “show” and survived.

  4. Nice to get my first COTD for quite a while.

    The merger talks are very interesting. I’m quite relieved that nothing came of them.

    1. And on that comment, BBC didn’t have much of a choice.

      Sky get the 1st race exclusive as per the deal & In return BBC are guaranteed Silverstone & the final as 2 of there live’s. From there it goes on a rotation that Sky pick 3 & BBC pick 3.

      I gather that BBC got backed into a corner with the TBC race in that it ended up been the race Sky left out so BBC ended up with it by default.

  5. Caterham and Marussia, boy they kept that quiet!! That would have been very very interesting. One of Bernie’s quotes in the article is very interesting though

    I’d rather have 10,” he said. “I never wanted 12. It’s just that 10 is easier to handle, for the promoters, for transport. We’d rather have 10…so long as we don’t lose Ferrari.

    I’m pretty sure Bernie has the final say on the number of teams in F1 no? While he claims to rather have 10 than 12, he clearly would rather have the extra revenue!!

    With regards to the comment of the day @matt90 it is all well and good with ifs and buts, but the reality is that there was most likely a painstaking agreement as to which broadcasting company gets which race. One must remember that the BBC F1 budget was cut quite sharply.
    Couple this with the fact that the most expensive races to air live would have been the first of the season (australia), monaco, and interlagos. Considering the BBC had two of those three, I wouldn’t be surprised if that left a large dent in the budget. I’m sure they would have liked to have had one, if not both of the first two races live instead of the ‘TBC’ race, but I doubt they were in much position to bargain with Sky when you look at the whole picture.

    1. @timi, Bernie would like fewer teams to share the revenue with, more for Ferarri and more for Bernie.

      1. @hohum Precisely. So why did he even let the three teams join a couple seasons ago? He can’t have it both ways

        1. @timi, I think at the time Bernie wanted some compliant votes to defeat FOTA with, he won, so now they are expendable and not so compliant.

    2. I’m pretty sure Bernie has the final say on the number of teams in F1 no? While he claims to rather have 10 than 12, he clearly would rather have the extra revenue!!

      Don’t be too sure of that @timi.

      Just imagine if we had 10 teams, all completely satisfied of actually getting prize money for 1-10th place. Wouldn’t that mean that the last teams can just run pay drivers all they want and don’t ever have to be worried about getting beaten to 10th. It would take a lot out of the interesting battle at the back.

      Those words spoken by Bernie were just part of negotiations ongoing.

  6. People have been moaning about the mixing in the new bbc intro? Just loaded it up on iplayer to check it out, what is wrong with these people?

    That intro was brilliant! Loved the engine noises and the cuts of CG cut into the famous scenes were really well done

    1. @skett Guess you work for BBC then. I don’t know anyone that liked the new mix.

      1. I like all the old engine noises therefore I work for the BBC? You do realise this is a formula 1 fan site right?
        Disagreeing is one thing, but thats just daft

        1. @skett Guess you have taken my comment with far too much seriousness, I’m just stating that apparently the majority of the viewers didn’t appreciate the change on the classic intro track.

      2. @skett , @pertree Much to my surprise it turns out I muspresumably work for the BBC too, and I don’t even live in the UK. I didn’t actually notice the difference when I watched at the weekend, but I also watched again on iPlayer and I thought it was fine. I tune in to F1 to watch/hear F1 and not for the music, otherwise I would turn on to Radio 1.

        1. @jerseyf1 the issue with the intro, has much to do with it’s classic status, I’m not surprised that younger people or foreigners don’t seem to mind the new intro.

          1. So what you’re basically saying is that theres nothing wrong with the intro, its just not traditional enough?

            I may not be the oldest watcher, but I’ve been watching for a while, and as much as I love the chain, its hardly a requirement, things do change. And its not as though you can’t hear it

          2. @peartree We managed fine without it from 1997 to 2008. And I still don’t fit on your ever growing list of people who might possibly disagree with you!

            When ITV took the coverage in 1997 I thought it was strange without it at first but I actually got to like their changing intros. It was nice to have The Chain back in 2009 and we’ve still got it, so I don’t see the problem.

  7. If I was Lewis I wouldn’t answer any Mclaren questions, I wouldn’t answer any provocative questions.

    1. If I were Lewis…
      Where to start? I guess the dog goes first, I am a cat-person. Than the plastic doll… On to the private jet – ridiculously expensive, chartering will be cheaper…
      As for the comment, I would reply all questions about McLaren with: ‘ask Ron’

      1. @verstappen

        “plastic doll” LOL ;)

        C’mon, dog is cool and the “doll” is super hot.

      2. @verstappen If I was me that I am, I wouldn’t get into anyone else’s lives. I don’t mean to offend anyone when I say that I don’t care about petty subjects.

  8. Heard a few peeps saying that they didn’t like such loud effects over ‘The Chain’ opening titles so we’re remixing.. #bbcf1 morning x

    Re. BBC/Chain audio – now only if they could do something about eliminating both the audio and visuals of Suzi Perry – gah! Worst. F1. Presenter. EVER!!!

  9. The BBC picked the New Jersey street race as I think (dont quote me) they always show new races for the first year. But after the hurricane and other things pushed the development back it got moved to next year. They didn’t select a TBC race.

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