Bob Fernley, Vijay Mallya, Force India, Monaco, 2013

‘Is F1 trying to get rid of teams?’ – Fernley

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Bob Fernley, Vijay Mallya, Force India, Monaco, 2013In the round-up: Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley questions why Formula One is allowing the financial terms for smaller teams to become so unfavourable.


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Fernley says costs threaten some F1 teams (Reuters)

“CVC have got an agenda as bankers to make as much money out of their investment as they possibly can and that involves minimal investment. And that is not in the sport’s interests. It’s the worst combination that you can have. I only question the logic of it. Are we actually trying to stack it in a way that is to get rid of teams so they can bring customer teams in maybe?”

F1 minnows could be driven over the edge (The Times, subscription required)

Fernley: “They have raped the sport. CVC have done an absolutely awful job.”

Hamilton ‘struggling’ to drive car (BBC)

“Winter testing wasn’t too bad and when we changed something in China it felt good and I got pole, so the confidence came. But that is the only race I’ve had that confidence, I don’t know why.”

McLaren ‘our own worst enemy’ (Sky)

“I’m ninth and that’s it. We’re our own worst enemy it seems; you know, when you eventually get the car working well, and I think we’ve done everything right this weekend, we have that issue in Q3.”

Grosjean shrugs off Monaco accidents (Autosport)

“It’s not always easy to know exactly what’s going on, and Monaco is very bumpy and very unpredictable. But it didn’t hurt the confidence, as you could see in Q1.”

Q&A with Mercedes? Ross Brawn (F1)

“We shouldn?t underestimate what Nico [Rosberg] has achieved. He is a great driver and that?s why we have been keen that Nico agrees to a long-term contract with the team. Lewis meets a new challenge and it will take a bit of time. What I think is that it will be pretty even spread between the two of them – at least I hope that is the case, as we don?t want one driver dominating the other. That?s not what we expect to see – not what we want. I think it will go in cycles: there will be periods when one driver gains the upper hand for a few races and then the other one will come back. That will be great to see.”

Williams and Mercedes (Joe Saward)

“The team?s new engine supply deal for 2014, 2015 and 2016 is done.”

2013 Monaco Grand Prix – Post-Qualifying Press Conference (FIA)

“Vincent Marre ?ǣ Sport Zeitung: {…] When you are watching the GP2 races, does it help you. How do you watch it, what do you feel, do you prepare for the race with that?
Nico Rosberg: I always watch it, and especially I learn from the start. See how it goes, grip left and right, how it goes into the first corner. That?s probably the only thing I personally pick up from them.
Lewis Hamilton: The same really. I have a question, though. What corner was it?
It was in Barcelona. It was the third corner.
LH: Round the outside.
Yes, Tom Dilmann [sic] did it. He [Alonso] was saying that he was not thinking he was able to overtake there.
LH: Yeah, it can definitely help sometimes.”

Kimi Raikkonen benefits from F1 U-turn over James Hunt tribute helmet (The Guardian)

“Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who had been unaware of the controversy until asked by a reporter, stepped in and resolved the situation.”


Comment of the day

@AdrianMorse asks if GP2 is preparing drivers well for F1:

It has been mentioned recently that for the junior categories, it is useful to have tyres that allow drivers to push very hard, which makes it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff. Could it be that Coletti has ‘simply’ found the sweet spot of these tyres better than other drivers?

Finally, the qualifying format for the sprint race continues to frustrate me. Not only don’t I like the reversed-grid principle (rewarding a driver with a pole for finishing in an arbitrary position), I also don?t like that a misfortune in race one (especially when a driver is the innocent victim of a collision, as many were in the feature race), that you can just as well go home for the sprint race, especially at a circuit like Monaco.

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On this day in F1

The 1963 season got off to a late start on this day 50 years ago in Monaco. “Mr Monaco” Graham Hill scored his first of five wins at the track after Jim Clark spun out with a broken gearbox.

Richie Ginther made it a one-two for BRM with Bruce McLaren third.

Here’s footage from the race:

Image ?? Force India

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  • 30 comments on “‘Is F1 trying to get rid of teams?’ – Fernley”

    1. Anyone know what was going on here between Webber and Kimi?

      Jenson Button posted that on his FB wall with the comment: “Webber and Räikkönen…”

      1. probably something to do with Traffic and getting in the way

      2. MB (@muralibhats)
        26th May 2013, 6:42

        Dont be at Red Bull. Believe me mate!

      3. They run their last lap(s) in Q3 near each other, clearly Webbo thought that Kimi did something wrong, most likely on the pit exit or on the out lap. Or on the second flying lap, which Webber tried to do, but had to pass Kimi on the downhill run into Mirabeau.

    2. I quite like that GP2 tries to simulate F1. If we use Coletti’s example, his success this season has been down to his sheer consistency and ability to get results, with Nasr 2nd having finished in the top 4 in every race. That’s how Alonso nearly won the title last season after all. I don’t think the tyres have much impact in that regard, as the cream will always rise to the top.

      A bigger worry must be the standard of the series generally. While Coletti, Nasr, Bird and Frjins have quality, much of the grid is of questionable ability and a few drivers who frankly shouldn’t be there (Cecotto comes to mind, as well as some of the particularly slow backmarkers). I’m not going to pitch a solution here, but I see a lot more potential in the GP3 grid this season. It’s also worth mentioning that Bottas came straight from there and, for my money, has done a far better job than a certain monied Mexican.

      1. That “monied Mexican” was the guy that Bottas succeeded as GP3 champion, though.

        1. It wouldn’t be the first time – and it certainly won’t be the last – that we have seen a driver succeed in the junior categories, but struggle in Formula 1.

        2. @lin1976 Is the cream always rising to the top though? Or is the current GP2 formula favors the more experienced, who know their way around the tires over the faster but less experienced drivers? Coletti is driving in his 3rd full season of GP2 and has been around as long ago as 2009. I’m not saying he’s a bad driver at all, but based on their previous careers he’s not as good as your Nasrs and Calados.

          I also disagree about GP3. Up until this year it was a slow car which does nothing to prepare you for F1, apart from 1 thing:tires! The first champion of GP3 is the same Mexican you’d mentioned and methinks he’s less of a Nasr, and more of a Coletti in terms of speed. Bottas didn’t go from GP3 straight to F1. He went through huge(by contemporary standards) amount of testing before getting the race seat. On a more positive note, the new 2013 GP3 car is much better so hopefully your assessment will hold true for the future, as I really don’t think GP2 works now, for the aforementioned favoring of experience over speed, but also because of sky high budgets needed.

          Lastly, I really disagree with your statement that “Cecotto shouldn’t be there”. Let me remind you that he’s last year’s Monaco GP2 feature race winner, and this year’s pole position holder. Cecotto is easily in the top half of drivers in GP2. Yes he’d made some bad errors, but IMO none of them were half as bad as his countryman Crashtor Stupidado’s murder attempts. Agree about the backmarkers of course. The (about) 6 slowest drivers, like Trummer, Leal, Canamasas, Rosenzweig are really not up to this level, should’ve understood that by now and buggered off to GT or touring cars

          1. @lin1876 Sorry for the typo

          2. I think it does eventually, insofar as not every driver is a Vettel-style wonderkid, and many will get better as time goes by. Coletti may not have the natural gift of Nasr, but if you put them in an F1 car tomorrow I suspect they would both do a good job. Nasr may have an ultimately higher level, but at this point in time Coletti is the best driver in GP2 — the championship table doesn’t lie.

            I forgot Guttierez won in GP3, but in GP2 last year, with really quite a poor grid, he was wild, and I feel another year there would have done him a lot of good. I’m not saying Bottas would have done a better job in GP2, but I take back that point. I still believe, though, that the lower budget required means this year’s GP3 grid has more potential than much of the GP2 grid.

            Finally, I believe any driver who deliberately tries to take of a rival once, never mind twice, deserves a lenghthy ban, and I don’t think Checotto’s temprament is right for this sport.

            1. I personally think Leimer is the best driver on the grid; he’s just been unlucky

    3. The footage from the 1963 race is so cool! The sport was so much purer and intimate in those days. No going back obviously, and safety-wise that’s a good thing. Nice to be able to look back at the early days though.

      1. Agreed, but it always amazes me. I understand technology was not advanced enough to provide safer cars in many ways, but even a blind man must’ve been able to see it’s ridiculous to stand so close to cars racing with nothing separating you from the cars. Crazy times. A lot of people died, but all in all it could’ve been much, much worse. Accidents turned out devastating sometimes, but plenty of bullets were dodged. Reminds me I have to order that new book about Francois Cevert written by his sister, he died 40 years ago this year…

        1. @roald Crazy times indeed. Given a chance, though, I’m sure that most of us would have jumped at an opportunity to get that close to the action. Thanks for the heads up, btw. I was a big fan of Cevert, and wasn’t aware of his sister’s book. I’ll definitely get a copy. I also happened to be at Watkins Glen on that fateful weekend. So sad.

          1. @schooner As horrible as it sounds, I wish I could’ve been old enough to have been at that race. Do you happen to know more good F1 books perhaps?

    4. All respect to Fernley for actually saying it out loud. F1 is literally being raped by the moneymen who are taking all the money out of it, putting nothing back.
      It’s really nonsense that CVC can keep on racking billion after billion, while those who are actually doing something in F1 (teams) are all barely surviving.

      1. And the teams spending $400 million per year are in no way responsible for creating a situation where Formula 1 is unsustainable, particularly for the smaller teams?

      2. It’s so obvious yet so many “fans” don’t seem to be able to see it, some (or1) even believe “Bernie borrowed billions from CVC to invest in expanding F1”. CVC are milking the F1 BRAND for all it’s worth and hope to sell (IPO) out before F1 dies from loss of (life)blood.

        1. @HoHum I believe most fans see it, but what can we do? Althought the sport is in sad state, I’m not going to stop going to races or stop watching it, that is until they get it to the point where it’s not longer enjoyable or affordable, which is the way it’s heading

          1. Buy stock when it’s down after the IPO?

      3. I don’t see why Formula One thinks itself different from any other business in the world.

        Every company wants to make the most money for the least investment. The owners are out for themselves. They don’t care about you, they care about your wallet.

        Let’s face it, F1 has the image that it is the forefront of human greed (especially at Monaco this weekend…the playground of the privileged) I don’t see CVC’s behaviour as odd in any way, or any more deplorable than any other business owner ever.

    5. I expected more from Calado this year in GP2, as he had a strong debut last year and had a strong history in other series.

      1. To be fair, ART as a whole seem to be struggling this season, as have Arden, DAMS and Addax, who have been very strong in the recent past. Rapax, Carlin and Russian Time seem to be the teams to beat this year.

    6. “Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who had been unaware of the controversy until asked by a reporter, stepped in and resolved the situation.”

      It’s painful to write this, but well done Bernie !

      1. Bernie is always unaware until he determines which way public opinion is going.

      2. And they wonder why Kimi doesn’t care!

      3. Whole thing with CVC issues is due to Bernie had to let go so much control due to GFC, not investors/banker wont let anyone go to bathroom with out lawyers certifying the papers.

        I bet he just wants to get out now, but F1 being his life works, I’d imagine he feels obligated to go out kicking.

    7. I think and hope that Frijns will be in F1 next season. Very young and talented driver. Too bad he has 0 sponsership money, which might be his downfall.

    8. Good morning all reader’s of this wonderful place. All pumped up for the Monaco’s GP. Ehehe can’t wait. Love this feeling

    9. Sigh, corruption of note. Take the car that stands to benefit the most and use it to test. Such a load of ********

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