Sauber ‘need ??20m to finish season’

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In the round-up: German media reports claim Sauber don’t yet have a budget to finish the season.


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Sauber-Rennstall fehlen angeblich 24 Millionen Euro (Spiegel, German)

Sauber face a ??24m (??20.8m) budget shortfall to complete the season according to this article.

F1’s pitlane ban: missing the point? (Autosport, subscription required)

“Rumours have long abounded that FOM wishes to control media accreditation – as it does TV/radio outlets, who pay heavily for the rights – and this could be yet another step in that direction, with the biggest payers (note, not players) enjoying privileged access.”

‘Put a lid on it’ (McLaren)

“As the sport progressed, the linen caps of the 1950s were overtaken by fibreglass open-face helmets, used in conjunction with goggles. They became the sport’s mainstay through to the late 1960s.”


Comment of the day

The British Grand Prix got a positive rating from readers on average but @Mike-Dee disagreed strongly:

I gave it a two, with the only positive being that it kept the drivers’ championship open. Anything else was ridiculous and had nothing to do with racing:

– Leader drops to back due to tyre blow (this is annoying as it passed the lead to someone less deserving)
– Two more cars have blown tyres
– safety car comes out which hurts some and helps others (I hate safety cars!)
– Leader retires with blown engine (see above)
– Safety car comes out, which some use to pit (see above)
– Frantic last seven laps with super easy overtakes by people on fresh rubber compared to those on old tyres (hailed as superb racing by many but frankly it was very predictable)

End result: Top finishers mostly in positions that flatter their performance as those positions were gained mostly by blown tyres/engines of others, and luck in two safety car phases.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Peter Revson scored his first Grand Prix victory 40 years ago today at Silverstone driving a McLaren M23. Team mate Denny Hulme was third behind Ronnie Peterson.

But the talk of the race was the multi-car pile-up caused by the driver of the third McLaren, Jody Scheckter:

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110 comments on “Sauber ‘need ??20m to finish season’”

  1. I agree with COTD but I would like to point out that the reason I, and others, enjoyed the last 7 laps was because there was absolutely no tyre or pit-stop tactics just flat out racing, it could of course been better if all drivers had been in that position, I feel sorry for those that lost out due to sub-par tyres.

    1. Except for the fact that the likes of Raikkonen who stood a good chance of a podium got swamped in the last 7 laps…

      1. And Ricciardo, like I said, those on sub-par tyres lost out, those with new tyres were able to race to the end.

        1. why dont ferrari make it their effective ‘B’ team like they used to.

          Hulkenburg and Jules. Would be a great team.

          1. oops wrong place to reply.. my bad!

          2. It’s water under the bridge now because the tires are being changed, but I don’t think F1’s aim is to make only the last 7 laps of their races the enjoyable ones. Or at least, I hope not.

  2. COTD @Mike-Dee I couldn’t agree more, fabricated racing isn’t racing at all. It’s merely contrived. Although, if there had been 1 tyre blow out or a single engine blow, as isolated incidents, then I would accept that, because the old adage of “to finish first, first you must finish” comes into it.

  3. I am deeply sadened by Saubers financial troubles, yet another team bites the dust. I agree to a certain extent that the FIA doesn’t step in to save the team, as long as its a position that they’ll take up and down the paddock. Although we all know that the FIA would probably step in to help Ferrari if they needed it. Ah the politics…

    1. Same. I just hope something comes good. Sauber would be a massive loss if they couldn’t keep racing.

      1. This is just sad news for the sport!!, next years new car is probably taking plenty of financial investments to get organised..but in the long run I hope its cheaper to run than the current formula..which I highly doubt..

      2. I agree, it will be a loss to the sport, unfortunately here in New Zealand, where I live, it will be a loss that will be lost on the general public because almost no one watches the sport. Why not? Because the sport is only available on pay tv, and on the higher priced sports package, not the low cost basic package.
        As I understand it, this is the model that some want in the UK as well, and probably the rest of the world too. “So what, who care’s” some would say, well, marketing people care, and the primary product of marketing is advertising, which is what finances F1.
        So when we see the likes of Sauber having trouble getting sponsorship, we need to ask “What sort of exposure do they get around the world”, and the answer is “F1 doesn’t want world wide exposure, otherwise they’d be on Free to Air channels”.

        1. @drycrust, you highlight another factor that is bleeding the teams dry, by selling the rights to pay TV Bernie/CVC get extra cash but the teams sponsorship value is reduced by lower viewer numbers, and as you point out, sponsorship is what pays the majority of team costs. F1 will be blead dry by Bernie but he will keep it going on life support so they go out together, then Bernies sycophants can claim that F1 couldn’t work without Bernies genius, but F1 can’t continue while being blead dry by Bernie/CVC. When F1 collapses, if enough teams are solvent a new Formula will have to be created that owns its management company and returns all the profits to the teams. It can’t come soon enough for me.

    2. @dragoll

      I agree to a certain extent that the FIA doesn’t step in to save the team, as long as its a position that they’ll take up and down the paddock.

      The FIA wouldn’t be able to do much, even if it wanted to. It’s not going to have a spare twenty million pounds lying around to help Sauber out.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Well the FIA might not have the spare cash lying around, but I’m sure Bernie and Max can find the goodness in their heart to offer up the money to keep em in business. And pigs might fly :P

    3. That Ferrari dig are getting old. In fact Sauber might actually have a saviour in Ferrari.

  4. Just like picking the right check-out queue at the S’mart Hulkenberg has illustrated how hard it is for an F1 driver to make the right career move, F India definitely looked to be in doubt for 2013 so a move to Sauber looked a good bet. All the teams individually employ more people than FOM and yet FOM has distributed only half of the profits generated by the teams that actually provide the cars and drivers that make the product FOM sells, that is a 100% markup for the middleman, this year after years of pressure the teams will get an extra 13%, still not enough and probably to late for Sauber.

    1. All the teams individually employ more people than FOM and yet FOM has distributed only half of the profits generated by the teams that actually provide the cars and drivers that make the product FOM sells

      And the teams spend more money than FOM makes, so even if everyone at FOM agreed to do everything for free and give all of the money to the teams, they’d still be spending the money irresponsibly. The extra cash might save Sauber for the time being, but the teams will just burn through that money in a matter of months.

      Cost-cutting is the only viable way forward.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I agree the teams will always spend the money. They are in competition and R&D is and will always be expensive. But that’s not a good enough excuse for them not to get a much greater share of the profits they currently get. And that’s not to say they shouldn’t have a sound cost control system in place either. The solution for F1 will be a combination of a fairer and more generous distribution of the money alongside robust cost control. Only then the future of the sport will be safe. That’s obviously easier said than done, unfortunately.

        1. They actually do get quite a bit from FOM. HoHum is simply trying to lay the blame for Sauber’s current financial predicament squarely at the feet of Bernie Ecclestone.

      2. But there are plenty of problems associated with cost cutting.

        @hohum makes valid points regarding the distribution of funds – it appears to me that the FOM is bleeding everyone try, the teams, the circuits, the broadcasters, and the fans, and profiting massively, good for them in the short term, but good for no one in the long term.

        1. @formulales

          it appears to me that the FOM is bleeding everyone try, the teams, the circuits, the broadcasters, and the fans, and profiting massively, good for them in the short term, but good for no one in the long term

          Define “short term” for me, please.

          Because this is the way that FOM have been running the sport for years. We’re past the point where “short term” is a reasonable definition.

          On the other hand, were FOM’s management of the sport has remained fairly consistent, the costs of competing have only escalated in that same time period. When teams – like Red Bull – are spending $400 million in a single season, something is seriously wrong. And it’s not a problem that more money from FOM could fix.

      3. @prisoner-monkeys, What do you suggest, pedal cars !?

  5. It will be very sad if Sauber are unable to stay on the grid.

    However I am struggling to feel any great sympathy for them as a team. Last year they had some fantastic results, a bunch of podiums, a great car, and one of the most popular drivers on the grid, who managed to score a podium at his home grand prix.

    I would imagine any decent sales person would be able to come up with a pretty good pitch to new sponsors based on that information.

    Yet, nothing seems to have materialised. Some people might blame the economy, but the reality is that it is the same for all the teams? I don’t know if it is pride, incompetence, or extreme disconnect from reality, but Sauber haven’t done a good job of selling themselves, and if you can’t promote yourself, others won’t trust you to promote their brand.

    It is a dog eat dog world, and it unfortunately looks like Sauber isn’t up to the challenge.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      14th July 2013, 1:15

      After that podium in Japan (alongside the one got by Perez in Malaysia) it looked so strange to let Kobayashi go. They should have immediately make a meeting with Japanese investors, they would have probably get more money with a deal like that, that with the pocket money Gutierrez has brought. As you say, @carsvschildren Peter Sauber (or probably Monisha as a “rookie” manager) have missed the opportunity to make the team float comfortably quite a few times.

    2. It is the global economy and the other teams are in the same position. They are the 3rd team to come out as struggling financially in the last 12 months, you can bet there are more.

      Martin Whitmarsh has already said the F1 teams are in survival mode this year. Some drivers salaries have been cut, that’s if they are actually getting what they are owed.

      I really hope Sauber can find a way out of this. I’d even like to see a HRT-esque team back in as a platform for young drivers, but in the near future I worry that we’ll see less teams, not more.

    3. You can get small sponsors quite easily, but Sauber is missing the big title sponsor and I partially blame BMWs raid on F1 for this. Acquiring sponsorship takes quite some work and title sponsors are hard to come by (see Lotus and how long it took them). For a company to sponsor an F1 team, they have to have a global branding strategy where F1’s audience is a key demographic and that’s pretty rare these days. For several reasons but mostly because brand exposure can be achieved much cheaper with targeted advertising on the internet.
      Before the BMW years – Sauber had RedBull and Petronas. Partnerships that had to end because of BMW and since 3 years Sauber has a hard time to find a new partner in an economy where most corporations cut back their marketing budget to the bare minimum.
      Also it seems the Gasprom deal fell thru – so I wouldn’t blame Sauber on this but the unfortunate circumstances.

      1. Before the BMW years – Sauber had RedBull and Petronas. Partnerships that had to end because of BMW

        The Red Bull deal ended because Red Bull brought a team, Thats why Sauber didn’t have Red Bull sponsorship in 2005 before BMW brought the team.

        Also the Petronas deal continued through BMW’s ownership & only ended when the contract expired after 2009.

        1. RB had still interest sponsoring a 2nd team thru a strategic partnership – Sauber wasn’t available so it led to Mindardi being transformed into Toro Rosso.

          The Petronas partnership continued but “Petronas Engineering” ceased to exist and the deal changed with the arrival of BMW. Which made a switch for Petronas to Mercedes easy when the future of Sauber was everything but certain in late 2009 after BMWs sudden withdrawal.

          In hindsight – had Sauber not done the BMW deal the team would be in a better position today (at least financially).

    4. Monisha is probably one of the most capable persons to run a successful sustainable business, but she is in a wrong field. This is a Formula 1 team.

      1. Explain. Because I have never worked in F1 and I don’t know her personally it is hard for me to make such judgements. So please go on.

  6. Could f1 teams offer a yearly membership to followers/fans like they do in other sports? If teams aim for a 100k paid up members at $500 pa there’s 50M alone. Obviously collaboration between F1 stakeholders and teams would be needed for this scheme to work. My local footy team just racked up 60K paid member’s and we only have 22M population. Hopefully someone bails them out or Marruber F1 sounds neat.

    1. Curious now… What locale has a population of 22M and are there really 60k fans paying $500pa? For what?

      Fans do indirectly pay the teams by buying tickets to GPs which pay for Bernie’s fee, and Bernie pays the teams through the Concorde Agreement. Of course it’s up to Bernie how generous (or not, indeed) a share he passes on and how much he wants to see teams stay solvent. But how many committed fans do you think the teams that need the money have?

      The closest model we’ve had to what you describe is Williams’ IPO and look how that’s going…

      1. @w-h – Aussie rules football. Team memberships range between an avg of $100-$1000. You can be a league member however the AFL like the Bernie & co take most of that revenue pie. Our team rely heavily on supporter memberships and not the skinny revenue handed out by the league/broadcasters. They also give aot back to there member’s. Although Aussie rules is nowhere near the size of F1 it is still a billion+ code.

        Something to think about…

        1. I guess what I am saying is, In these tough economic times teams need to engage there fans/members a little more rather than waiting for the slim drip feeds from F1 stakeholders. I would pay an annual fee & be loyal to a team if in return I was treated a little more special and had some small opportunities to be closer to the team. We are in it together/Scratch my back & I’ll scratch yours mentality…

          1. The problem I see though, is what could a team give back? Tickets to games is something F1 just can’t do.

          2. @ming-mong I’m assuming you’re talking about Richmond FC, and if so fair enough, but you also gotta remember that they’re finally coming off decades of underachieving and showing their worth in the league, whilst Sauber seem on a slide down towards the bottom. It’d be like expecting 60k members for Greater Western Sydney; just isn’t gonna happen unfortunately.

          3. @mike – I believe they could give few things back. Maybe priority seating, cheaper merchandise, ongoing web feeds, proper team/driver meet & greet days even on fly away races, competitions to win a go in the simulator, factory walk through (no cameras though) um and may a bumper sticker lol… Dunno I am sure there are plenty of options to engage there members. Or alternatively keep banking on having a paid drivers & loyal sponsorship…

          4. @ming-mong

            In that case, I think it’s a fantastic idea.

            i still think there are problems, like F1 not being free to air in many countries now.

    2. McLaren do this already. Not sure how much revenue it brings in though.

  7. When did technical failures suddenly become “fabricated racing”?

    I suppose Mansell’s famous blowout was “fabricated” too?

    Senna’s famous donington win was artificial because it was down to taking advantage of the tyres, or because his rivals made mistakes on strategy?

    The retirements due to failures, injuries, deaths which were so common in years gone by must all mean that all the racing of those years (you know, before the sport became sanitised and predictable) must have been really really fake.

    It’s a load of twaddle. The British gp this year was unpredictable and many drivers didn’t get the results they “should” have got? Nonsense, that’s what sport is supposed to be like: once the lights go out, all bets are off. If you dislike the race, fine, that’s your prerogative. But I loathe this development that people have decided “any aspect I personally dislike is Fake, and only the parts I like are Real”. What arrogant nonsense. Same with Drs, same with tyres, same with aero. These are the rules. You may *agree* with one rule and *disagree* with another rule, but here’s the facts, Jack: None of the rules are “fake”, “engineered”, “managed” or “artificial”. They’re all on an equal footing. The rules about using a drs system are no more arbitrary, artificial, or fake than the rules about how many cylinders an engine has.

    The technical failures that occurred could have happened to *any* driver. If one of them was a driver you felt didn’t deserve to be affected, because it interfered with their hard won result, then by all means tell us which drivers did deserve it.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      14th July 2013, 1:26

      Yeap, I can agree about the engine failure, but to have 4 tyre failures on the same rear left tyre is not “randomness”, it’s a big glitch on the construction, @hairs

      1. So, wait, you predicted what drivers were going to get blowouts well in advance of them happening?

        If not, that’s pretty much the definition of random!

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          14th July 2013, 15:55

          “random” would have been different sides or front-rear blow outs. Not the same left-rear in 4 “random” cars. @optimaximal

          1. The rear tyre was a commonality, but the explosions still fit the definition of random.

    2. +1
      As with modern technology, people have come to expect to much. Nothing’s perfect or fault free

    3. “or fake than the rules about how many cylinders an engine has” Inadvertently you have highlighted one of the earliest moves to “fake” F1, F1 was concieved out of “F libre” as a development series with only the swept volume of the engine being limited in the interests of safety, previous F1 engines have had from 4 to 16 cylinders in I,F,V and H formats. The movement to homoginize F1 cars started with the V10 only rule, creating an ever smaller window of development requiring more and more money to find smaller and smaller incremental performance advantages,thus turning F1 from a development rule into an entertainment to provide profits for the rights-holder.

      1. @hohum

        Do you think a no rules approach to engines would be good for the sport?

        1. then we’d just be complaining that the driver doesn’t matter anymore, just the best engine builder

        2. @mike, short answer “yes” qualified.

      2. Part of the reason for the fixed engine format is because, even in earlier years when engine formats were flexible, engine manufacturers would almost always tend to converge on the same design extremely rapidly. Yes, some manufacturers would produce H engines, such as BRM’s attempt, but normally there would prove to be one optimal design solution that would see those other designs rapidly dropped.

        In the 1960’s 1.5L era, there was rapid technological convergence towards a V8 format where Ferrari, Coventry Climax and BRM, all operating separately, all produced 90º V8 engines where the bore and stroke of each engine was within 2mm of its rivals.
        The 1970’s was dominated by the DFV, with most other attempts (Matra and BRM’s V12’s or Alfa Romeo’s V8, V12 and Flat 12) failing to succeed despite considerable investment by their respective backers.

        The 1980’s also saw most engine manufacturers converge on the same V6 turbo design fairly quickly – Honda, Ferrari, Renault, Motori Moderni and Cosworth all produced V6 turbos and the V6 design was, by far, the most successful design of the time.

        In the 1990’s, 72º V10’s rapidly became the engine of choice and were already the default design by the time that the FIA decreed that V10’s would be the default design (other manufacturers entering the sport, such as BMW, had already looked at other designs in the late 1990’s and dismissed V8’s and V12’s as uncompetitive).

        It was the engine manufacturers themselves who requested that V8’s would be the standard format when the V10’s were phased out – most of them had already concluded that a V8 would be best based on their preliminary research and decided to ask the FIA to make it official to save on research costs.
        Even the original proposal for inline four cylinder turbo engines for the post 2014 regulations was mainly a crude attempt to lure in VW and an attempt by Renault to cash in on sponsorship rather than for technical purposes (Newey made it clear that V6’s was a far more popular proposal for the designers).

        1. A couple of points, Anon, please feel free to correct me if I have it wrong.
          BRM in the 60’s were running a very sucessfull FLAT 8 1.5L which begat the 3L H16.
          When Toyota decided to enter F1 they wanted to use a V12 and had begun building their V12 when the V10 rule was introduced, forcing them to scrap the V12 and begin again.
          Yes there will always be an optimum configuration but the racing is more interesting when the engines have different characteristics, and just maybe a flat 4 or 6 (Porsche, Subaru) could be a winner in the new formula.

          1. @hohum

            Well, in the end, what he is saying is, even if a flat six was a winner, then everyone would move to that anyway.

            In terms of cost vs benefit, restrictive engine rules are good for the Formula.

          2. @mike, but not good for the fans. Look how enthusiastic people are seeing the advantage swing to and fro depending on track temperatures affect on the tyres, yet the teams have no control over this, at least when the teams design engines with different charecteristics (eg. Ferrari V12s for Monza) we know that the team has won or lost by its own hand.

    4. Tyre failures became fabricated when the type of tyre started being dictated by the FIA
      rather than selected by the teams. Mansell’s tyre was chosen by Williams. Sucks they chose the
      wrong tyre, but that’s motor racing. Once the FIA insists teams use a particular tyre that fails it is indeed fabricated.

      This is why the FIA should not be dictating use of specific components, and only their specifications because this is a non-spec formula so component defects should always be in components selected by of the team.

      1. The fia has been dictating rules about the. specifications of components teams must use for decades. The rules have become more restrictive over the years, but again that is not “fabricated”. It is the set of rules that competitors signed up to. As to letting teams choose tyres, how well did that work out in 2005? “poorly”, that’s how.

        1. @hairs, exclusivise supply contracts were what caused the problems in the “tyre wars” the teams should have had the opportunity to run the same tyre as any other team was using.

          1. no, a technical fault was what caused the problem at Indy. The failure to find a solution was political infighting.

            Are you seriously suggesting that a tyre manufacturer would have entered into a *non-exclusive* contract with a team? Ridiculous. And it doesn’t address the central point that technical failures are not an “artificial” part of the sport.

          2. @hairs, if the FIA mandated that any tyre supplier in F1 would have to supply tyres to any team that wanted to buy them I don’t see a problem.

          3. @HoHum

            +1 Absolutely yes… any tyre supplier should be required to provide same spec
            of tyre to any team that requests and within a capped cost per tyre.
            Exclusive contracts should be banned allowing teams to change with some small number of races notice.

            This would mean any team/tyre maker combo with a major advantage will be required to share the tyre advantage with other teams.

            This would not avoid a repeat of Indianapolis 2005 as the problem was discovered during the weekend. Everybody switching to Bridgestone wasn’t feasible without lead time.

            However, compared to Indianapolis 2005 — where the blame ultimately lies
            with the teams who selected Michelin as their supplier and the Bridgestone
            teams rightly capitalised on their superior wisdom — Silverstone 2013
            involved the FIA selecting and dictating the tyre manufacturer, and so the FIA and not the teams, bear the responsibility for the failures which makes it fake.

            Nothing the teams could have done would have avoided the problem.

          4. @ho-hum @boylep6 So there would be mandatory multiple suppliers, and it would be mandatory for the suppliers to allow teams to change from one race to another, and this is your “pure” solution to the current “artificial” single supplier arrangement?

            Firstly, you’re engaged in a contradiction if you think one rule is artificial and the other isn’t.

            Secondly, the proposal is completely unworkable because a team needs to understand a tyre and how it works on their car under a vast range of circumstances, and with parts of the car changing from race to race changing tyre suppliers from race to trade would be an engineering nightmare.

            Again, your argument boils down to “I don’t like this particular element of the sport’s rules”, not “this rule is artificial/arbitrary/fake/unhelpful/badly thought out”. The same rule applied to Bridgestone, so the tyre problems in Britain were down to a combination of technical factors, NOT the single supplier rule.

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        14th July 2013, 15:56

        +1 (see my comment above @boylep6 )

      3. @Boylep6 Your conclusion is an example of false logic. The technical failures of the tyres in Silverstone were not “artificial” because they were not designed to do that. Nobody sat down and said “let’s script this so that driver x has a failure on lap 8, driver y on lap… etc.”

        The fia dictated a set of rules which states that tyres will be supplied to all teams by one company. They don’t specify in those rules how a tyre should behave on a specific circuit or car or combination thereof. Nor do they specify on which occasions a component should fail. Extrapolating from “there is a rule about who supplies tyres” to “the tyres failed due to a combination of factors” to “I didn’t enjoy the race due to the failures” to “therefore the rules are artificial” is nonsense.

        Any component, whether a spec part, a supplied part, a commodity part, or a custom made part for a particular car on a particular weekend has the potential to fail. That’s arbitrary, or traceable to a bad design or operational decision. The one thing it isn’t is artificial.

        1. Any component, whether a spec part, a supplied part, a commodity part, or a custom made part for a particular car on a particular weekend has the potential to fail. That’s arbitrary, or traceable to a bad design or operational decision. The one thing it isn’t is artificial.

          The teams had no way to avoid the bad design. The operational decision
          to use weak tyres forced upon them. This is artificial because no matter how
          well the team did their job they were still forced into a game of roulette on the parts
          they could not control.

          1. and … of course your are right — any part can fail. That is why I think NO part should be mandated to be used by the FIA, only the specification of parts
            set in rules. That way the team remains wholly responsible for their own failures.

            For example, what if the Mclaren ECU’s were flaky. I recall Mclaren giving public apology to RedBull for their ECU failing in a situation where RB and Mclaren
            were competing.

            Horner complained about being forced to use the part, rather than having chosen to use the part. The apology would not be required and is not normally given when engines fail because the customer chooses the supplier, even if they are in competition with each other.

          2. @boylep6 You’re wrong on both examples.

            If you read the Pirelli statement, the causes of failure include the teams ignoring the manufacturer’s guidelines about tyre pressures, camber, and which tyre was supposed to run on which wheel. So the teams are partly responsible for the failures.

            McLaren’s ecu did not fail or encounter any problems. The data collection servers went down. As usual, Christian Horner blamed a supplier without either checking the facts, or just as likely to cover up something else (remember his rants about Renault’s engines being “underpowered” when the reality was the top speed differential was down to Red Bull’s aero setup, or his complaints about alternator failures when it was down to packaging problems). In the case of McLaren, I’m sure he was doing it to cause embarrassment to a rival.

    5. Yes thank you @hairs. Couldn’t agree more or said it any better. People always will find a way to complain.

      1. Regarding COTD I mostly disagree in that blown engines and safety cars are always a part of racing and are going to affect the order…help some…hinder others. I do agree that the serious tire problems had too much affect on the race in an overly unusual manner and frequency.

        Regarding @hairs opinon… I don’t agree for the most part. I disagree with the wording that these are all ‘rules’ and are the same for everybody. The current tires are not a ‘rule’… they are mandated by F1 as a direction that F1 wants to go these days. DRS is not a ‘rule’ so much as a concept. Of course there are rules surrounding tires such as how many a team is allowed, and using two compounds in a race etc etc, but their degrady, cliffy, delaminaty, explody nature is not a rule. DRS is a gadget that the teams can use. Is it a rule that the drivers MUST use DRS? Not that I’m aware of, but of course they are going to use it. But that doesn’t make the passing from DRS ‘real’ or at least as ‘real’ as a pass would be when it is just driver vs. driver with no DRS, on the same tires at the same stage of wear.

        So my issue is with calling directions or concepts that F1 is trying to take ‘the rules’. I think it is perfectly valid to decry these poor tires and fake DRS passes. I just think it goes too far to decry blown engines and safety cars affecting the outcome of a race. Those always will, but these tires did not have to happen, drastic measures have finally been taken, and yet Mercedes will continue to be raked over the coals for doing what was necessary all along…a Pirelli tire test that they had permission to do and that was obviously essential. Charlie Whiting obviously would disagree with @hairs that the tires are simply ‘a rule’ that is the same for everyone. FIA changed the rule for the YDT to allow primary drivers to test tires, so the tires aren’t simply ‘a rule’ that is the same for everyone. And even if one wants to put everything under the umbrella of ‘the rules’ and ‘same for everyone’ obviously rules get changed.

        1. @robbie The tyres and DRS aren’t rules, in your book, they are “concepts” and therefore damage the spirit of the racing. You don’t like the idea of F1 being used to push “concepts”.

          Let’s take a couple of obvious examples. The current F1 regulations specify that competitors use a V8 petrol engine. They previously used a V10. Why did that change? Not for safety reasons, the V10’s were perfectly safe. Not for economical reasons, because changing engine formulas is massively expensive for all concerned. Not for improved racing, because the racing is aero dominated anyway. No, it changed for political reasons to make the sport look “greener”. Previously, they used V12’s. Why did they change to V10’s? Hmmmm. Previous to the V12’s, they used turbo V6’s. Why did that change? (hint: Ferrari International Assistance).

          Why do the cars look the way they do currently, with wide front wings and narrow tall back wings? Why, it’s in the rules! Why is it in the rules? Because they wanted to get rid of some of the mad aero concepts from the previous set of rules, and to stop the aero dominated processional races where passing was impossible. But it didn’t give them the results they wanted so they thought up DRS.

          I could go on. The point is, every single part of the F1 regulations is part of a “concept”. That’s why it’s called “Formula” 1 or “Formula” 2 or “Formula” Ford or “Formula” Renault 3.5. A committee thinks of a bunch of restrictive rules to meet a “Formula” for what they think will make for good racing on an even playing field.

          So for people to dislike the tyres, or dislike the DRS is fine, that’s an opinion. But to single out one part of the regulations as “fake” while maintaining that other parts, which were equally arbitrarily decided by the same committee are “real” is utter, utter, nonsense.

          1. @hairs, agreed, my problem is “rule creep” we started with a simple maximum engine capacity rule leaving the teams the freedom to explore different solutions for everything else, but look at us now!

  8. If there were three drivers who would tweet a photo next to a kid with a Ferrari hat and see fit to caption it “my truly great fans” I guess one of them would have to be Lewis…

    1. Hahaha, I was thinking the same. :) The guy behind him also has a Ferrari hat, but the most amusing part is the McLaren Racing that stands on the tent behind them, as if they all gathered in front of McLaren’s post. :) Makes sense, though…

    2. Perhaps he didnt give him a autograph after the photo. “Sorry kid wrong hat” I magine the headlines then?

    3. Where is it written that you can only support one driver or team? The kid could be a fan of Hamilton and Ferrari …

      1. Yep. I feel sorry for the sport if it degenerates into the Footballist archetype where someone is “not allowed” to be a fan of more than one team, or driver.

        Much better that we’re all fans of the sport.

  9. Yeh, first off, not really digging the COTD.

    Failers are racing, safety is racing. DRS and stuff, I get. But c’mon, it’s nothing new. Check out the 90’s racing. It’s part of it. That’s just the way it is. I also kinda get the tyres thing, but again, everyone was on the same rubber. I get it, it sucks, and it shouldn’t have happened, but that’s how it was. It wasn’t manipulated. No one sat there and went ‘ok, now’s the time for the leader to….. RETIRE!’. That’s how it unfolded.

    And secondly, I think Sauber might be regretting their call for Perez to take it easy when he was about to gain the team’s first ever win. I still smell something fishy when it comes to the Ferrari engines, and I fully understand why 90% will disagree. It just didn’t feel right to me. It was a too perfect opportunity to miss, and they seemed to steer Perez away from it. But that’s just my view.

    1. *Failures
      *Safety cars are racing

      Sorry, had a heavy night, folks.

      1. Sounds like you also were dropped on your head.

    2. Perez took extremely valuable 3 points from Alonso in the middle of Italy in Monza when Alonso was clearly in a fight for the championship, so if there really was some hand twisting behind the door, I’m fairly certain that they wouldn’t have allowed Perez to demote a Ferrari in Monza in the middle of the championship fight.

    3. I think Sauber might be regretting their call for Perez to take it easy when he was about to gain the team’s first ever win.

      Even if Perez had won that race, I doubt it would have done much to change their financial position. Their problems are two-fold: they have a bad car and have run up a lot of debts.

  10. The odd thing with the COTD is there is a conflict with his disapproval.
    Hamilton lost out heavily due to the tyre failure, but them made it back to forth with some help from those pesky safety cars, though he didnt pit during a safety car he did make the charge back through the feild with fresher tyres. So all in all while he was voted Driver of the weekend, but based on the COTD analysis he had a terrible race (which he did in reality, though through no fault of his own)

    In my eyes it was one of the most fascinating, frustrating, exciting and unusual races i have seen

  11. What I think happened with Sauber is, because they did great last year they thought they could spend more money on the 2013 car, which would eventually attract more sponsors during the year, unfortunately (like Mclaren) it turned out to be a disaster and when that happens in a small team everyone starts to bail out (Morris, Hülkenberg, sponsors).

    It’s easy to say it now, but they should’ve done what Force India did, go safe with a proven concept for next year’s car, Sauber put all their eggs in one basket and are now paying the price.

  12. Actually, it wasn’t a blown engine but a transmission mainshaft failure.

  13. I’m stunned. How does a team with four podium finishes last year fail to even find a primary sponsor that’s not tied to Carlos Slim and end up on the verge of bankruptcy? How do two winning F1 teams (Lotus, Williams) end up in the same boat where most of their signage is either tied to their drivers or their majority stakeholder even after the seasons they’ve had?

    1. Read Dieter Rencken’s reporting on these very topics if you’re so stunned.

      How this could be anything less than predictable is what’s stunning to me…Rencken has been predicting this for several seasons (not Sauber specifically, but financial disaster despite the sport churning billions of dollars)!

    2. Because of irresponsible, uncontrollable and ultimately unsustainable spending in the name of getting an advantage. The teams had the option of controlling costs by giving the FIA the power to police a budget cap, but Red Bull opposed it, and by way of Toro Rosso, have managed to stymie the proposal time and time again. It’s no coincidence that they spend more money than anyone else – they know that the more they spend, the more competitive they can be. They showed up in pre-season testing with a front wing that had six individual elements on it, when most teams had no more than three at the start of 2012. They won’t care if other teams can’t keep up with their spending and collapse under the weight of their own debt because it just means that there is less competition and more prize money on offer.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Not only those teams under Red Bull opposed, and how can you control spending, when you can´t control testing?

      2. @prisoner-monkeys the problem is you can’t police a budget cap if you don’t consider subsidiaries or restrict a teams operation significantly and that’s where it gets sketchy.
        Easiest example – under a budget cap Ferrari can create a new company to employ all of their staff and leases each of them for a nominal fee of 1 Euro to the team. How would you police that if costs don’t show up on the books? You’d need to specify exactly what a team is allowed to do and that’s what they tried with the RRA – but there are too many possible loopholes to exploit and that’s why Ferrari and RBR quit the FOTA in 2011.

        Imo – the best way to achieve sustainability in F1 is if they share the profits more equally. E.g. 70% equally and only 30% based on WCC points. But that’s never gonna happen with Bernie and CVC at the wheel as they get a much better deal if they draw up agreements with each team individually.

      3. Sauber is one of the watertight teams there are in F1 today. Their troubles are not due to spending, it’s down to their change of leadership and vision of the team. As Frank Williams put it, you have to get down and dirty if you want to succeed.

        Instead of applying management accounting across their whole operations, they should be getting out of their skin to attract new sponsors and investors, constantly crying about wont appeal to many.

        1. Williams is not in a healthy financial if you take pastor out of the team ….i guess he brings in 20 million sponsorship.Thats exactly the amount sauber needed to finish the season

  14. Where’s Adam Parr when F1 needs him?

    Oh right…

  15. Here’s a thought for all the people complianing about how F1 is fake, false and fabricated nowadays, if you don’t like it, stop complaining and don’t watch it!

    1. I guess people complain because they like F1.

      A few little tweaks and it’s perfect I’d say – even though DRS overtakes pain me everytime I watch, there are still good moments.

    2. @becci224, a lot of people have taken your advice, it’s not helping the teams raise sponsorship.

    3. Yeah while I get the concept that if you don’t like something then you don’t have to watch it, but I think @verstappen is spot on when pointing out that if you DO like something then it is worth complaining about in the hopes of change. After all, something caused them to go to DRS and these tires, and it might have been a reaction to people’s complaints about processional races. I don’t know if it is a fact that F1 has gone the direction it has due to fan input, or if it is simply the way F1 has decided to go for their own reasons, but I do know that DRS and mandated cliffy degrady tires shade the racing for me. I would prefer stable tires, no DRS, and far far less dependancy on aero so that we know we are seeing driver passing driver, not driver passing disadvantaged driver time and time again. For me, any passes we see these days that don’t appear to have been due to DRS or vastly different tire stages from one car to the next, still are tainted due to the DRS and tires that put those cars where they were at that specific time of the apparent non-gadget pass. So for me, just as Pirelli went too far with their tires this year, so has F1 gone too far in trying to manipulate the rules for a ‘better’ F1. It’s not better if drivers are merely passengers monitoring their speeds so as not to overheat or underheat their tires, nor are able to defend positions for fear of killing their overall strategy.

      1. Right on @ robbie

  16. Sorry, @Mike-Dee I totally disagree with your COTD for lots of reasons, but the main one is your use of the word “deserving”. That’s a value judgement made by you according to a set of sympathies or values you hold; it’s subjective.
    Nothing is subjective in racing (or many other aspects of life), it is what it is. Did Vettel ‘deserve’ the lead less that Webber, did Vettel ‘deserve’ the gear box problem more than Webber, did Alonso ‘deserve’ to narrowly miss Perez?
    No. None of them ‘deserved’ anything. It’s just what happened.

  17. +1 i agree completely

  18. The price paid for Fangio’s Mercedes a couple of days ago would almost fill up Sauber’s budget hole.

  19. With the COTD, you made me realise that my rating and understanding of the race was amateur! Completely agree with every point

  20. bring back tobacco sponsorship & save sauber

    stuyvesant sauber F1 team has a nice ring to it

    1. I Love the Pope
      14th July 2013, 14:35

      Does F-1 not allow alcohol sponsors either?

      Crown Royal Sauber or Budweiser Sauber?

      1. No alcohol? Guess they should change their name to Sober.

  21. It almost seems like teams are paid their constructors cash on a race by race basis, considering Sauber had a decent car last year and this year it’s rubbish. You didn’t hear a thing about them being cash strapped this time last year. Or maybe Sergio Perez sponsorship was worth more then we thought?

    1. Points won have a cash value you can borrow on, the car may be fine, just not with this years tyres.

  22. Time for Ferrari to create a second team. Think of the benefits if they made Sauber a Toro Rosso. I’m sure it’s been discussed.

  23. Sauber F1 Team is facing all these Financial and Performance Issues because they are using a livery that is so much like HRT’s . If they revert to their last year’s still they can find some hope. Its a curse from HRT

  24. Wasn’t Renault banned for a race for repentantly having problems in tightening the wheels on? I think there are 2 very simple solutions. The first is to set a mandatory minimum pit-stop time and the second is to severely penalize offenders. There is no other way because setting up a common system through the paddock is an unrealistic long prospect to achieve not to mention not foul proof or impervious to cheating.

    1. @peartree, I recently counted 16 personell involved in an ordinary F1 pit-stop to achieve a sub 3 second tyre change, 16 wages,superannuation,insurance, transport, accomodation,and food will not make much difference to RBRs budget but it must be a drain on resources for the tail-end teams.
      A minimum pit-stop time of 20 or 30 seconds would save money, make more durable tyres more desirable and improve safety.
      Unfortunately Bernie thinks pit-stops are entertaining.

      1. @hohum I just pointed out 2 ways of solving the loose wheel pit-stop safety issue. I was replying to the autosport link. My comment was about safety not money.

        1. @peartree, I agree with you on safety grounds, cutting the number of people per team from 16 to say 6 in the pit row would greatly increase safety, as would reducing the number of pit-stops,( zero pit-stops would mean a zero% accident rate) and since most of this post has been on money matters I thought I would mention the associated cost benefits.

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