Big teams blocking essential cost cuts – Boullier

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lotus team principal Eric Boullier warns too little is being done to constrain spending in Formula One.


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Lotus: F1 costs must come down (Autosport)

“The problem today is 80 per cent of the teams are in favour of this but 20 per cent are not. I don’t think it’s fair if only three teams can afford F1, so we should find a way to bring the cost down.”

Horner: Vettel won’t influence driver decision (Metro)

“I don’t think Sebastian has any concerns about going up against any driver, and he hasn’t voiced a preference either way. He knows Kimi [Raikkonen], he knows Daniel [Ricciardo].”

Mercedes prepares for power shift (ESPN)

Ross Brawn: “[Paddy Lowe] joined the team earlier than we anticipated, but it will evolve in a way that is most positive for the team. We won’t do anything that risks the potential of the team and I imagine that over the next year to 18 months things will evolve. But there is no firm time scale.”

Vijay Mallya may face prosecution for not paying service tax arrears (The Times of India)

“The indirect tax department on Thursday hinted that Vijay Mallya, owner of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, may face prosecution in a service tax evasion case.”

Brawn: Winning both championships in 2009 was biggest singular achievement (James Allen on F1)

“When we looked at the numbers and looked at deal we were able to negotiate with Honda, it was kind of an 18 month extension of the closure. There was enough funding for a good year and most of second year if we needed to – and not be any worse off at the end of it if we closed the company there and then. We ended up in a no lose situation. It was fortunate the way things worked out.”

Mercedes revs up for 2014 (Race Tech)

“The pitch of an engine note is largely dependent on the frequency of its exhaust pulses. Current Formula One V8s use two separate exhaust pipes – one for each bank of four cylinders – but the new V6s use a single pipe for all six. Each cylinder fires once every other crank rotation, which means there will be three pulses going down the V6’s exhaust pipe, as opposed to two for each V8 exhaust pipe. This means the sound frequency is actually relatively similar, despite the reduction in engine speeds prompted by the new 15,000 rpm rev limit.”

When Surtees won the 1963 German GP (MotorSport)

“It was not until lap nine that [Jim] Clark’s spirit – and tow – was broken by the race’s fastest lap, Surtees circulating only three-tenths slower than his practice best. By lap 13, the Lotus, having been forced to go faster than it wanted to, began to suffer its ZF gearbox gremlin. Surtees, meanwhile, pressed on to score his first GP win on four wheels.”

Conman in Ecclestone scam targeted other luxury homes (The Telegraph)

“The man, who took 500,000 worth of earrings and a designer watch from the home of Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone, is suspected of carrying out a string of similar raids on the homes of the wealthy, posing as a Russian millionaire businessman to estate agents.”


Comment of the day

@Colossal-Squid on Adrian Sutil’s recent criticism of Lewis Hamilton:

Cutting remarks from Sutil there, but fair play for sticking his neck out.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

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

Patrick Depailler was born on this day in 1944.

He won the 1978 Monaco Grand Prix for Tyrrell and scored a second win for Ligier the following year. But shortly afterwards he was injured in a hang-gliding accident and missed the rest of the season.

He returned with Alfa-Romeo the following year but was killed in a crash during testing at the Hockenheimring.

Here he is lapping the Kyalami circuit during the 1977 South African Grand Prix in the six-wheeled Tyrrell P34. He finished third in this race:

Image © Lotus/LAT

Author information

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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70 comments on “Big teams blocking essential cost cuts – Boullier”

  1. Best COTD ever.

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      9th August 2013, 9:07

      Pure Genius the COTD ;-)

    2. Thank you very much! Seeing these made my day!

  2. Yeah, that COTD is a very sharp one @Colossal-Squid

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      9th August 2013, 9:13

      boo :-D

    2. @bascb Haha! Love it. I look forward to the day where we only discuss F1 through puns!

  3. “Which part of ‘I’d prefer Kimi’ don’t you understand, Christian?”
    “Yeah, no, obviously…”

    1. @Tomsk between Kimi and Alonso. Horner just told us only Kimi and Ricciardo are in being taking into account for the seat.

      1. Seb was asked “do you fancy Fernando as a team-mate next year?”
        Nothing about Kimi in the question – he could have said “I prefer Dan”…

        1. He said

          “I’d prefer Kimi,” Vettel told BBC when asked as to his choice between the two.

          “I need to be careful now, but nothing against Fernando. I really respect him a lot as a driver.

          “But I respect Kimi on track, off track, because he has always been very straight with me.

          “From that point of view it would be a bit easier.”

          He was talking about Alonso and Kimmi

          1. Vettel brought Kimi into it. I don’t care what they say on Planet Zog, or Planet F1. Watch the video on the BBC site, if it means that much to you.

      2. Yes, and later he said that new options had become available.

    2. who would want Alonso as teammate??

      He will do whatever it takes to make himself no.1 by any means. (ref :mclaren 2007)

  4. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    9th August 2013, 9:56

    F1Fanatic has become a ghost-town.

    More races Bernie! so we can have something to talk about.

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      9th August 2013, 10:07

      Meh.., just a bit more sillly season instead, what do you think? :p

      1. lol

    2. @full-throttle-f1 not so much more races, just less gaps between them! We only need a three week summer break ;)

      1. Why do they need a break anyway. Why should they relax… its their job! xD

        1. @full-throttle-f1 Channelling your inner Luca De M, I see?

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        9th August 2013, 10:25

        To me it seems like they screwed up the scheduling a bit.

        I mean; a 3 week break between Germany and Hungary, and then another month off before Spa. Which means we’ll have only had like 3 races in 7 weeks.

        1. Don’t forgot the TBA Grand Prix the weekend before Hungary.
          It was live on BBC!

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            9th August 2013, 10:57

            haha yeha how could I forget that one! lol

        2. @tophercheese21 as @tomsk said, that was to accommodate the now non-existent European GP!

          @full-throttle-f1 I would agree but I don’t think they would come Brazil ;) Also, I’m hoping to work with one so I’ll keep quiet!

        3. Is this the 3rd of 4th 3 week break this year? There’s too many long breaks either way

    3. I disagree: in my opinion, there are too many Formula 1 races. I love the off-season because it builds up an anticipation for the first Grand Prix. Same for the Belgian GP, it builds up tension, I’m already getting excited.

      What I hate is when I hear people say “Oh, F1’s on again this weekend?”

      1. @andae23

        Especially girls with no interest often hate the fact that a GP is on and that we have to have every part of the weekend built around it :-)

        1. @full-throttle-f1 I think Keith once found the solution to that problem: you just say “I did take your feelings into consideration and because of that, I won’t be watching GP3 this weekend.” ;)

          1. @andae23

            1 to remember ;-D

      2. What I hate is when I hear people say “Oh, F1′s on again this weekend?”

        Who the hell ever says that?! A three week break between Germany and Hungary, then another four week break before the next one!

        No wonder casual fans struggle to connect with F1, it’s barely even on TV. It’s not like there’s anything on TV or in the newspapers between races, there just no narrative for people to pick up on (unlike football when it’s either a match weekend or a few days away from one).

        I just don’t understand F1 ‘fans’ who moan about the prospect of more races!

        1. @graham228221

          I just don’t understand F1 ‘fans’ who moan about the prospect of more races!

          Yeah thanks for that :/
          What I meant is that if you have something that is not regularly shown on TV, it is still considered something special. The problem I have with back-to-back races is that it loses that spark. For instance I used to think that an airplane trip really was something special and I really looked forward to it (still do!). But as soon as you do it more often, it loses that spark. That’s by the way the problem I have with F1 in general: it’s losing the aspects that make it special.

          I think you’re right saying that it becomes tougher for ‘casual’ fans to connect to the sport with less races, which is probably the reason why football is so popular here in Europe – it’s on TV pretty much every weekend. But to be perfectly honest, they are the reason we are getting bored to death with DRS and extremely degradable tyres, so if that’s the reason…

          1. @andae23 sorry man, I didn’t mean that to come across as an insult to you – it’s just a topic I feel really strongly about and every time the possibility of an expanded calendar comes up there are always a lot of comments saying there are too many races already!

    4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      9th August 2013, 14:16

      @full-throttle-f1 just curiosity. Is the Round up posted at the same hour in the UK? Or summer time saving ended? I mean, I used to wait for it at 7pm (my local time), but now even checking it at 11pm (I mean 4 hours later ) and there’s not a nw Round up yet. But when I see it again in the morning, the time of the post still says 12.01 (UK) , I don’t get it. Help!

      1. @omarr-pepper Yes same here, I guess sometimes it’s delayed for a couple of hours, maybe a server problem? however there’s not many complaints because most people here are in Europe anyway.

    5. zak misiuda (@)
      11th August 2013, 11:09

      that’s a bit naive, f1 shouldn’t have a race every weekend, or even every other. the gaps between races build tension and whilst yes it is the mechanics and engineers jobs you also have to consider the lengths the teams personal go to to achieve perfection. a few weeks off mid-season is the least they should be getting. its not all about entertaining the general public. as for Keith’s comment about not watching GP3; i shall be remembering that one for the future ;)

  5. “The problem today is 80 per cent of the teams are in favour of this but 20 per cent are not. I don’t think it’s fair if only three teams can afford F1, so we should find a way to bring the cost down.”

    Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes, I presume?

    1. Yep, even McLaren needs to keep Perez because of Telmex support :/

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        9th August 2013, 14:22

        @paeschli You make it sound it as if Perez was a worthless driver.

        1. @omarr-pepper I don’t think he would be their first choice. I would go far as to say that they might have retained Lewis if they could afford it.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    9th August 2013, 10:17

    Good heavens. I had no idea that Bernie had another daughter in Petra, who’s even better looking that Tamara.

    Man, I’ve really gotta catch up on my Ecclestone news. That wouldn’t be a problem if they made a reality TV show called “Keeping Up With the Ecclestones”.

    Also, why do they refer to her as “Formula One heiress“? It’s not like she’s going to inherit Formula 1 when Bernie calls it quits… or dies.

    1. @tophercheese21

      I could see that reality show :-)

      Tamara walks through the door, “Daddy, what are you doing”

      Bernie: “Lots of things, i’m currently working on a degradable steering wheel, so the driver can only make so many overtaking moves”

      Tamara: “Daddy”

      Bernie: “yes”

      Tamara: “can I have an extra 21 million dollars?”

      Bernie: “Sure, and to get it back i’m gonna make F1 only watchable on SKY, that should get the money rolling in”

      Both laugh.

    2. You never know, imagine how fabulous it would be!!! That’s hot!

    3. @tophercheese21

      Also, why do they refer to her as “Formula One heiress“? It’s not like she’s going to inherit Formula 1 when Bernie calls it quits… or dies.

      I dread the day: there’ll be a mandatory regulation that the drivers have to have their helmets bedazzled…

      1. …and when each F1 car has a programmed satnav to take F1 drivers clothes shopping in the middle of a GP.

        1. Flow-vis? Pfft, make up will do.

          1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
            9th August 2013, 18:38

            “Why are they all complaining about having too many races? I’ve already been on 26 holidays this year!”

    4. What makes you think Bernie will ever die? He’s going to carry on forever, a lá Robert Mugabe

      1. I always imagined that he would be cryogenically frozen. He would then be defrosted for a couple of hours a week so he has a chance to complain about the absence of a luxury spa in the Interlagos or Montreal paddocks, or to negotiate a Grand Prix deal with some third world dictator.

    5. Probably because when bernie passes, his shares of control in F1 will pass to them, if not owned in part by them already. Wouldn’t she be the ideal wife for an F1 fan, lol.

  7. From the Autosport article about costs:

    Don’t forget that in the beginning of the 90s, a top team was spending maybe £40 million; by 2008, a top team was spending £100 million.

    Plugging the numbers into the inflation calculator, just to keep up with inflation, the £40m in 1990 would need to be nearly £70m in 2008. So the increase is nowhere near as bad as he is making out. Sure, it’s a 50% increase in real terms, but it’s not like the costs more than doubled like the figures he talks about suggest.

    1. I thought Toyota and Ferrari were both reportedly spending between 200-300m a year circa 2007??

      1. I don’t know, I’m only using the figures from that article.

        The problem is purely that, as presented, they are misleading. £40m in 1990 to £100m in 2008 sounds like a very big jump, but taking inflation into account it is not.

        If the figures in the article are inaccurate, obviously my calculations will be, too.

        1. I’m sure it must be a typo, teams are known to have spent a lot more than that in recent seasons:

    2. Not sure the numbers are correct, but on top of inflation you also need to take into account the devaluation of the Sterling against Dollar and especially Euro. A lot of the income and expenses of the F1 teams will not be denominated in Sterling, so this could make quite a difference as well.

  8. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    9th August 2013, 12:13

    Aaah Pembrey, Ayrton Senna’s favourite circuit (according to Jo Ramirez).

    You might not believe that but he would have good reason to be fond of the place. In 1989 and at the height of the in-house war between Senna and Prost McLaren arranged a behind-closed-doors tyre test intended to encourage the pair sort out their diffenences. Bearing in mind that at the time tyre tests were usually only attended by a small test team and a lowly test driver, the fact Ron Dennis and Gordon Murray both made the trip to South Wales shows how seriously McLaren were taking the feud. Any stories of what happened during the test have not been told but a sign of just how hard Senna and Prost must have been trying to outdo each other is that Senna set the unofficial lap record of 39.?? seconds which still stands to this day even though Formula One testing was a fairly regular occurrence at Pembrey until the mid 1990s including Damon Hill testing the Williams FW15C there in 1993 yet no one has gone around there faster than Senna in 1989.

    Another Formula One story from Pembrey is that when Benetton tested there for the first time in 1992 they (very wrongly) assumed that there were catering facilities at the circuit. A couple of mechanics were sent off to find lunch for all the team and all they could find was the fish and chip shop in nearby Burry Port. A young Michael Schumacher was driving the car and he had never eaten fish and chips before and on his first lap out after lunch he had a funny turn (a la Mark Webber at Fuji in 2007).

    Although some of the greatest drivers in the history of motorsport were plying their trade in a part of the world where nothing ever happens, the sound of Senna and Prost’s Honda V12s and Schumacher’s Cosworth V8 drowned out the sound of the locals recalling how great Llanelli used to be and how they beat New Zealand at rugby in 1973 so a noise restriction got placed on the circuit preventing any F1 running.

    1. Great stuff. Thanks!

    2. Ken (@myxomatosis)
      9th August 2013, 19:16

      Seconded, wonderful comment @jackisthestig.

    3. Agreed. Great comment @jackisthestig

      Is it just me or does the circuit map posted by Alguersuari remind anyone else of Tsukuba Circuit?

    4. Awesome information, cheers mate :)

  9. The problem today is 80 per cent of the teams are in favour of this but 20 per cent are not. I don’t think it’s fair if only three teams can afford F1

    Is this a maths fail, or is there 1 team which can afford F1 but have enough of a conscience to realise that caps are best for the sport?

    1. Boulier himself named the teams. He said Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes so the one left out is Mclaren.

  10. Meanwhile at Hinwill…
    ‘Hey Peter, did you read that story about this conman posing as a Russian millionaire?’
    “Shhh Monisha, I’m on the phone with Venezuela’

  11. Couldn’t the 8 teams who are in favour of cost-cutting impose a voluntary budget cap on themselves? This might put pressure on the 3 other team, in a similar way to how the voluntary testing ban forced Ferrari to accept a massive reduction in testing.
    After all, they’re going to get beaten by them anyway (or go bust), so what’s the harm?

  12. Bouiller makes some interesting comments including “[some teams] can still afford the old way and can spend a lot on the car” but “[this is] above [our] revenue stream so we need our shareholders to bridge the gap.” First, this is what shareholders are there for. If they want the prestige of F1, they’ve got to have the budget to make a good business plan leading to driver and constructor championships — Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull seem to have understood this, and even Bouiller notes that with his new Infinity Racing contract he’s playing catch-up to “the old way.”

    “Spending a lot on the car” (the “old” way) is probably what most fans want to see — F1 is, and must remain, the most sophisticated motor racing in the world. Just reading the stories about Ecclestone, there’s enough money floating around. Small contenders have been coming and going for sixty years, but Ferrari came from nowhere and look where they are now, in part from investing in F1 …

    1. When Ferrari came from “nowhere” F1 was nothing and didn’t cost anything. How do you really expect that to happen today unless it is major corporation like Red Bull that just decides to spend whatever it takes?

      Why is it that fans would rather see three teams burn exaggerated amounts of money to stay in contention than eight or ten teams all having a reasonable chance? Does it create better racing to have just three? Certainly not, it seems to be the total opposite because the constant aero development made it impossible for the cars to follow each other closely which again caused F1 to run on bicycle wheels with artificial overtake buttons only applicable in certain situations. Very “sophisticated” indeed, but not exactly for the right reasons.

      Outspending each other does much, much less for sophistication than the rules take away again. We have lost enough great teams already and been too close to losing even more while the uneven distribution of the revenue prevents the new teams from ever progressing.

      Boullier makes a very fair point.

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