Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, 2014

Downforce levels ‘not much lower’ than in 2013

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, 2014In the round-up: Lotus technical director Nick Chester says F1 cars are generating almost as much downforce as last year, despite efforts to reduce it.


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Q&A with Lotus’s Nick Chester: We’ve learnt our lessons (F1)

“Q: How does the level of downforce generated in 2014 compare to last year?
NC: It is a little down, but not much. When we started developing for the 2014 regs we were a long way down and then we had a very good build-up theory and we got to a level that we were reasonably pleased with.”

Mallya says double points illogical (Autosport)

“Even if we go away from Brazil in third or fourth position and say ‘wow! What a season!’ everything could come to naught in Abu Dhabi. Once again I don’t understand the logic of this.”

Williams ‘inching closer’ to Mercedes (ESPN)

Rob Smedley: “If you take Mercedes as the benchmark – and they are the benchmark as they are doing a by far the best job of anyone – obviously we are not a threat to them but we are inching closer to them which is really heartening to see with all the effort going in.”

Bianchi not expecting Ferrari call-up (Crash)

“They have a contract with both drivers for next year and I don’t think they will change that.”

Saving Albert Park: Round and round we go (The Age)

“Save Albert Park has lost again. It has failed to stop the Grand Prix. Yet, it keeps going. Why? Theirs is a story of extraordinary community activism and persistence against overwhelming opposition.”


Comment of the day

JeffreyJ remember Jos Verstappen’s first podium 20 years ago:

Sweet old days… I still have a childhood book somewhere full of pictures and Dutch newspaper articles on Jos the Boss’ podium. I was 10 years old. This was the day Verstappen acquired a status I previously had reserved only for Michael Jackson in my childhood mind, haha! What a hero he was.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lin1876!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher led a soporific Hungarian Grand Prix from lights to flag ten years ago today, for his 12th win in the first 13 races of the year.

It sealed the constructors’ championship for Ferrari, who also took their seventh one-two of the year with Rubens Barrichello second.

Image © Lotus/LAT

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  • 72 comments on “Downforce levels ‘not much lower’ than in 2013”

    1. Williams really think they are getting closer to Mercedes ? lmao

      1. Well, they are definitely getting closer on raw pace, quali pace, as the Silver Arrows’ 1s-plus early season advantage shrank to around .5 on average off the top of my head (but remembering quali results vividly).

        Race pace is another question entirely as Mercedes just shows time and time again that it can just pull out hefty gaps whenever it wants to – the only exception was Hungary, but that race was not normal (in a positive way).

        1. Based on what? Austria? Silverstone? Hockeheim? All they have is the engine, next year when Ferrari and Renault close the gap, they’ll be back in the midfield.

          1. So if Williams’ pace is solely down to power advantage then why aren’t McLaren or Force India ahead of them regularly? Form in Silverstone and Hungary go some way to proving they have a much-improved chassis from last season.

          2. to Breno: don’t you think that Mercedes will drastically improve their current engines too? So, next year everything should be the same: Mercedes engine again is far better than those of Ferrari/Renault. Williams have taken a very good decision last year. Besides, they are actually improving, comparing to Ferrari. They simply do not have 2 pilots racing excellently, that is why they are lower than Ferrari or Red Bull.

            1. Ferrari definitely doesn’t have 2 good points scorers. If Raikkonen had just been half as good as Alonso (in terms of points) Ferrari would be 38 points clear of Williams instead of 7. And Massa also has 13 more points than Raikkonen even with all the mistakes.

            2. Ferrari have “2 pilots racing excellently”???

            3. Slava, I don’t think Mercedes will drastically improve there engines, they have a much more optimal turbo design then Renault and Ferrari, that is about the difference, the difference in the internal combustion chamber and other parts of the engine wouldn’t be far apart as in the past 10 years. Ferrari and Renault will copy Mercedes split system turbo to bring themselves closer while Mercedes will merely optimise its system. but they should stay ahead because of the extra time they have had current system. Redbull have shown in the past 5 years they just need an engine close to Mercedes and Ferrari, and their superior chassis will do the rest, so if Renault is only 30hp behind Mercedes next year, not 80hp or so like this year, then Redbull should be winning again. and Williams could easily fall back again with redbull and Ferrari back ahead, as well as lotus if they get their chassis and drivers right

        1. I think this is also a sign of what seems to happen every year at Mercedes since the brawn days, Mercedes do not develop their chassis as fast as rival teams over the course of the year. it would not surprise me to see Williams challenge Mercedes at say monza, and redbull even with their power deficiency fighting for a win by the end of the season on equal terms, where it is a dry race without safety cars.

      2. Maarten van Berge Henegouwen (@)
        15th August 2014, 13:30

        I think it makes some sense if you look at the average of Driver points per team:
        Mercedes has some 197pts;
        RBR sits at an average of 110pts;
        And Williams at 95pts (of course I only use Bottas’ points as a representative driver);

        There are 3 teams equal in the midfield:
        Mclaren, Force India, and Ferrari sit all at an average of 49pts
        (note again that I weighted Alonso only at 25% of Ferrari, as he is probably getting more out of the car than what a normal driver would achieve.)

        And continuing this Lotus would only sit at a miserable 8pts (of course only looking at Grosjean)!

        1. So Alonso is a superhero who is quicker than the car’s limit?

          And you don’t count Massa but you count Raikkonen who is worse than Massa against Alonso. Fukk logic.

          1. Maarten van Berge Henegouwen (@)
            15th August 2014, 16:53

            Sorry to hear that you don’t agree, but yes:
            – I (and other ‘fanatics’ it seems) believe that Alonso is taking the car further than what it’s worth – I would hardly call him a Super Hero though;
            – And IMHO I see a significant part of Raikkonen’s performance as a reflection of the red car’s quality; and,
            – Massa is not showing the William’s speed at all: party due to his own mistakes, and partly crashes caused by others (not the car).

    2. To be fair to Williams, their upturn in fortunes is glad news to the fans. To be where they are now after last season must have taken some effort. They acquired the engines only this season and have done a good job with it than the traditional teams (McLaren and Force India to an extent). They have also managed to grab a pole position and with a better set of drivers & Strategist might have nicked a win too.

      They are there when Mercedes seem vulnerable. Hope they get a win to round off a great season.

      P.S. Ferrari, please come good soon!

      1. Hope the win is at Abu Double so it counts for 50!

        P.S. Ferrari, please come good soon!

        See this is the problem I have.

        My hardcore Ferrari Italian side really wants success for the team, and for it to beat Williams, yet my British pride-ness desperately wants to see Williams rise again and return to a proper front team, and beat Ferrari.

        1. Williams any day of the year, it seems Ferrari assume because of their stature that they should be at the front, and have been mediocre for years now. They have the biggest budget and yet they struggle to compete with force India on race day. Almost laughable. Williams are the true British underdog of the F1 paddock right now (although McLaren are starting to join Ferrari in terms of under performing against budget).

          1. If Ferrari have been mediocre, McLaren are non-existent!

            Williams/McLaren would bite the hand at a chance of getting Ferrari’s results in the past 4 years. Ferrari are mediocre by their own standards which is considerable since they are expected to win every year.

            1. Well sort of, but, imagine if they had two times Räikkönen’s tally…

            2. I think McLaren were second best after RBR in 2011 and 2012, Ferrari have been dragged along by Fernando, you have to take into account the Alonso effect, looking at Massa’s performance is a more fair representation of how good the car is relative to other cars (no disrespect to Massa but he’s not as good at overperforming a car (plus he’s just not as good as Fernando)). Ferrari have not been that close to the front runners in recent years, absolutely disposable given what their budget is. You just have to wonder where they would be if they had a midfield budget.

            3. To demonstrate my point, I looked up the budgets of the teams, and used the 2013 season point tally (bear in mind this was a very quick calculation only taking two data points into account, so it could be inaccurate (I’m aware this is a bit of an over generalisation)).
              RED BULL: €713087 per point (BUDGET/POINT TALLY)
              FERRARI: €1158192 per point
              MERCEDES: €833333 per point
              LOTUS: €507936 per point
              As you can see, despite Red Bull having (surprisingly) a very slightly larger budget than Ferrari, per point RBR spend around €400,000 less per point than Ferrari, which is almost as large as Lotus’ whole budget!! It really demonstrates how ‘inefficient’ Ferrari are with their money. Bear in mind this was last season, which is far more accurate for this comparison as it wasn’t an engine formula which is out some teams’ hands.

    3. Lotus really have made great progress this year but it was a terrible decision to get Maldonado, no matter how much money he brings in, it isn’t enough anyway.

      And Mallya is completely correct, of course. All the efforts could go to nothing in the space of a single corner. Stupid rule. Awful.

      1. Are Force India are not allowed to participate in Abu Dhabi? They can still compete for the points and if their cars are good, they will get double the points for it. Makes all more sense to develop the cars until the final race.

        I am sure he won’t be partying if his team is the benefactor of the rule :)

        1. So that a retirement would essentially cost them double doesn’t factor in?

          1. so in essence, it is an equal opportunity for a grand result or a stinker?

            What’s the problem there?

            1. @evered7

              Hey everybody! We have found the 3%!

              What don’t you get about it? It would be “equal opportunity” if it was the only race in the championship or had the same points value but that is not the case.

              Look at this simple example: There are two races. First race, car A retires, car B wins. Second race, car A gets a 3rd, car B retires.

              Which car should come away from this with more points? Why should it be arbitrarily and unfairly decided that car A did better?

              Again, it would be fair only if it was the only race, but it is not. (Or there was some actual justification for DP, only double distance comes to mind)

            2. @mateuss – I think that’s a perfect (and simple) description of the issue and the concern that many of us have. I’ve never thought of it in quite those terms.


    4. All these circuits in GB looking for revenue sources and/or publicity and yet the FIA and FOM cannot find a way to allow teams to test cars on track without involving flying the entire circus halfway round the world, and their argument is that they are saving the teams money. Rubbish !

      1. @hohum In order to test F1 cars on these circuits, the circuits would need to have a FIA safety grade of 1T (grade of 1 to host F1 grand prix), and very few, possibly none do because it requires special medical centers, helicopters, etc. However, I totally see your point, why not test somewhere like Silverstone? I think the reason has something to do with Bernie Ecclestone getting more money form foreign tests/losing money from tests in England. But that’s just my two cents on it.

        1. The lack of testing has nothing to do with Bernie not getting money from circuits, Its purely a cost cutting measure which the teams themselfs actually voted for via FOTA.
          And last year when discussing testing in a meeting involving every team only Ferrari voted in favor of it, Every other team voted against the idea.

          The people who seem to think the test ban isn’t saving money obviously have no idea just how much money testing costs & just how much of it often ended up been a complete waste.

          For example if testing was allowed & Williams wanted to run somewhere, They woudl have to pay to rent the circuit (Not cheap), They would have o pay Pirelli to take x sets of tyres, Pay for the fuel, Pay for the engine supply, Pay to transport car/crew to the circuit, Pay for accommodation for the crew to stay in close to the circuit, They would need to pay for the medical staff stationed at the circuit & for any emergency vehicles been kept on standby & perhaps other things I’ve forgot about.
          The cost of a team doing a private is easily well over $50m & most the teams simply cannot afford that.

          Also consider this, We see new components tested during Friday practice these days & its not uncommon for teams to find the new bits don’t work as expected.
          During a race weekend much of the cost is subsidized by FOM & FIA who each pay for things like travel, accommodation, Circuit rent, The medical staff/facilities etc… so taking extra components which didn’t work doesn’t cost the team any extra.
          However spend $50m+ on a test & find the bits you were testing didn’t work is basically a complete waste of the day & however much you spend on organizing & running the test.

          The only reason Ferrari are against the testing ban is because owning there own circuit & producing everything in-house right next to that circuit means the cost of testing for them is a tiny fraction of what it is for everyone else.
          Thats a big part of what gave them there advantage a decade ago, They could go testing every day of the week (And often did, Including during actual race weekends sometimes). Other teams simply couldn’t afford that back then & certainly can’t now.

          1. Just because the team finds out that some part doesn’t work as intended does not mean the test was useless or worthless. That knowledge is vital information. Some information makes you faster and some makes you not be slower. In pre-season test the teams are even hoping to have problems so they can fix them when it doesn’t cost them possible points and good finishes.

            Not to mention that a good team can work around a problem and having problems in testing can provide invaluable information about what to do when something is going wrong. Knowing what doesn’t work can be as useful for the teams as knowing what does. Only situation where the test is useless is when there is a problem that makes it impossible for the car to even leave pits.

          2. Ferrari has a second incentive for unlimited testing to resume – even if some teams could afford it, such as McLaren, the usable period of time for tracks in the UK is considerably shorter.
            OK, you could test at Silverstone in the winter, but the conditions are so unrepresentative for most of the events on the calendar that the data is of limited value (hence the preference to undertake winter testing in Spain or Bahrain). Being able to undertake tests much more cheaply and obtain useful information over a longer period of time both add up to a sizeable advantage, which is why Ferrari is so keen for it to go ahead.

          3. The biggest sign to me that we’ll go back to more private testing fairly soon was Red Bull purchasing a track…..

            1. @petebaldwin if your referring to the Red Bull Ring in Austria then Red Bull brought that track about 10 years ago.
              They had intended to rebuild it using more of the original Osterreichring layout but environmental concerns prevented that so they just reverted back to the A1-Ring layout used since ’97.

              And Red Bull was one of the teams which voted against In-season testing both in 2009 & again last year.

          4. @gt-racer: Is that $50M for one day’s testing or the whole season? Either way, consider my mind boggled! O_o

            1. $50m would be around the low-ish end cost of testing over a season.
              Back when testing was unrestricted the biggest teams were spending a lot more than that.

        2. @zjacobs,@gt-racer, My concept is far more modest and I believe does not require so much red tape in order to be safe, after all Moto GP riders reach higher speeds than F1 without being enclosed in a safety cell, serious injury is rare and usually involves a rider being hit by another bike, something that would not happen in single car testing. My concept allso revolves around a morning or afternoon being all that would be required to see if the modifications actually work in practice as well as theory says they should, or alternately run a race distance to test durability. I do not propose allowing “practice” for the race drivers or unlimited running, tyres could be unused race tyres that would otherwise be destroyed anyway, the purpose of testing not to be setting ultimate lap times but to get data from the myriad sensors and flowviz etc to aid the design team, obviously the FIA would have to modify the current rules for this to happen.

            1. @hohum I’m not disagreeing with you, I think you’re making an excellent point, one that I agree with, I was just pointing out why the FIA and FOM do things like they do, also the circuits that they do test at probably pay lots to have F1 come test there.

          1. Most of the cost of a test is in the mobilisation of the resources to enable the test to take place in the first place – if anything, making the test session only half of a day makes the relative cost of the test more expensive, since you are only obtaining information over a limited period of time but the mobilisation costs remain the same.

            As a rough guide, Symonds gave an interview to Auto Motor und Sport shortly before he left Marussia where he discussed the costs of competing in F1. He estimated that, merely to get two cars to a circuit and prepared for a race weekend, cost the team around $2 million – even if you were only mobilising a single car for a test session, you are still looking at a very substantial bill before you have even hit the track.

    5. How…how can Ricciardo smile through a blood test?

      1. I’d guess that’s Ricciardo’s version of a grimace!

      2. It’s not that hard really… just a little pinch. I can smile through 4 hours of a tattoo session; I think 5 seconds of sticking a needle in your arm isn’t so bad.

      3. That smile is Ricciardo’s only facial expression

    6. We have a new era for the sport which is more eco-friendly and those environmentalists in Victoria are still rambling?

    7. Those nutjobs at Saving Albert Park would do well to concentrate their (considerable) time and effort onto something worthwhile.

      1. While a handful of ageing NIMBYs keep up their eternal protest, ninety thousand or so fans vote with their feet each March….

      2. To be honest, I would love to see Bathurst on the F1 calendar, that track would fit F1 perfectly, and it would almost feel like a heritage track if they raced there. However, it may be a little bumpy, but JB did a promotional lap there for McLaren a few years ago (despite the fact it was simply a promotional lap, JB set a lap record, smashing the previous record)!

        1. Bathurst could never host an F1 race as I’m pretty sure there’s a ban on single seater cars above Formula Ford level racing there due to the circuit safety. They had to get special dispensation to do the McLaren demo run.

          As good a circuit as it is, Its barely safe enough for the cars which do race there because of the speed & lack of runoff which concrete walls in the faster spots & big drops behind them at the top of the mountain should someone get airborn (No catch fencing either to stop that happening).

      3. Smashed the record by 20 odd seconds. All this talk has whet my appetite for Mount Panorama, I might just join Save Albert Park…

        1. Of all the F1 racers, they put a guy who took three years before his first pole in a McLaren in that seat on that day…

      4. To me it more or less reads as if they have found a purpose in live and now just stick with it because its easier than sitting back, looking at the grander picture and find something more worthwhile to do with their time and energy.

        1. Completely disagree with these comments I’m afraid. These people have an opinion and its good that they are heard… Anything to keep governments on their toes when paying for Bernie’s daughter’s mansions.

          Don’t get me wrong, I love the grand Prix at Albert park but I do admire the fact these people haven’t given up.

          1. I agree with @john-h. I can imagine that people are not too pleased with having a racetrack in the middle of a recreational park. Normally these two don’t mix very well.

            On the other hand: is it really that bad? If I lap this racetrack on Google Streetview I also see this: Google Streeview suggests that it is taken at April 2013, just one month afther the GP. The impact on the environment seems minimal. Perhaps some locals can shine some light on the subject: what is the atmosphere around Albert Park when there is no GP? Is it like the streetview I posted, or more like the streetview a few yards back, (and taken March 2010, just prior to the GP)?

          2. Don’t get me wrong @john-h, I have nothing against people vehemently protesting putting a race in a park near them (or quite far away for some as is mentioned in the interview) instead of 1. doing better stuff with the money spend, 2. leaving the park a place to relax and enjoy a piece of nature in the city 3. having to endure 7am V10 2-seater F1 car loudly showing off, etc. I think that certainly is a worthy cause to fight. But when the race has been signed off already for another 6 years then surely the attention/focus should change. And that was something I don’t see from the interview at all.
            I think it would be a time to rethink your approach and find new angles of achieving most of what you are fighting for. Not keeping to do the same because you have been doing it for 20 years already
            Lets compare that to the opposition from many in/around Austin against the race. A lot of their objections were actually taken up and acted upon with the council, with the track operators etc and are now closely monitored to keep a check on how it works out in practice. Sure, it seems that the GP operator in Australia is handling this quite differently, and that is a huge failure.

      5. @oblong_cheese Yeah! Let’s dismiss a group of concerned citizens with genuine political grievances as crazies simply because they have an issue with some of the negative aspects of our sport!

        Way to make us F1 fans look like a classy bunch…

      6. I think we need to listen to the activists and try to understand their concerns even if we do not agree with them. I was unhappy about how several journalists and fans reacted after Greenpeace’s actions at Spa last year. Greenpeace were ridiculed for not having got the attention they had hoped for and no one really tried to understand why they were there in the first place and how harmless or dangerous Shell’s actions in the Arctic were. It is important to not ignore the world outside our window, particularly at times when F1’s audiences are declining.

        1. I think we need to listen to the activists and try to understand their concerns even if we do not agree with them

          I’m Australian. My brother lives one suburb away from Albert Park. I’ve listened to the concerns of these activists, I understand them perfectly well and like the vast majority of my countrymen, I disagree with them. If the event wasn’t so popular, the successive state governments (of both sides of the political divide) wouldn’t keep renewing the contract.

          Don’t get me wrong, in this wonderful democracy in which we live, they are perfectly entitled to express their views, as am I. And my view (which I choose to express) is that they are a tiny, whining minority. In life you can always find a noisy few who complain about any development or activity.

          Don’t mistake the prominence which the Age continues to give the views of these handful of people over the tens of thousands of people like me who attend the race each year, and the many more whose livelihoods benefit from this event.

    8. Talking of Williams, a friend of the family reckons that Pat Symonds has just moved in opposite him in Summertown, Oxford. Living only a mile or two away I’d love to know if it is him (I might pop in and give him some of my ideas for the 2015 car haha), anyone heard if he’s moved recently??

      1. I dont know about Symonds but Aldo Costa has his house here in Italy, Parma to be exact right behind my house. When he is here on holidays like Easter he takes his dog a golden retriver for a walk by my house. I see him when I take my dog out for a walk too but the problem is that our dogs hate each other for some reason and we can never talk F1 because we are too busy getting our dogs from ripping each other ;D

        1. @gdon So you both are like the Mercedes F1 team and your dogs are like Rosberg and Hamilton!

          1. @girts McLaren and Ferrari, Lewis and Felipe.

    9. So what will Jules Bianchi do next? Is he really Ferrari’s number one choice to replace any of their current drivers like Massa once was or just plan B like Perez before 2013?

      Currently it seems that staying at Marussia will be the best available option for Bianchi but I would not be too surprised to see him joining Lotus or even McLaren. One thing that is clear is that he deserves the chance to demonstrate his potential in a more competitive car.

      1. @girts – If I was Bianchi, I’d give Ferrari an ultimatum. Put me in Kimi’s seat next year or I’m available to any team that wants me.

        He can’t spend his whole career driving for backmarkers hoping that he gets the call from Ferrari.

        There are plenty of potential seats in F1 that would be an improvement on his current position. To be fair, other than Caterham, anywhere else would be an improvement! I’d have thought there is a chance of a seat a most teams excluding Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Mercedes if he makes it clear he’s available….

        1. That would be stupid. Both drivers have contracts until next year (unless Ferrari can use a performance clause on Raikkonen, or just fire him and take the fine). Not to mention that Ferrari partnership probably secures a seat for a FDA driver.

          Besides, things worked out so well to the last driver who left the FDA, he had a shot at Mclaren’s worst year in decades, and is now back in the midfield being beaten by his teammate.

        2. It would make more sense if he went to Ferrari’s ‘in between’ team in 2015 – Sauber, then later head onto Ferrari.

          I’d be excited to see Bianchi and Vergne at Sauber in 2015 to see what both drivers can do in a different car.

    10. All those who scream about the cars and V10 engines of the early 2000’s how fast they were etc. etc. should be made re-watching the 2004 Hungarian GP without nodding off, and a jolt of electricity to wake them up any time the do.

      Yes, most of the speed records are from 2004, which is incidentally one of the worst ever seasons of F1. Ever. and 2002 was as bad. But what made 2004 worse than 2002 was that it came after the great promise of 2003. Such a letdown So yes, the speeds were incredible and the V10 sound fantastic but everything else was terrible especially the racing. Almost everywhere, not just in Hungary. Hungary I turned off the TV before halfway to stop wasting my time.

      Really everyone who was an F1 fan before 2004 and remained a fan after 2004 should be given a medal of loyalty and perseverance. I know a few who didn’t make it. With all the criticism, I’d take the F1 of today over 2004 any day of the year(apart from Abu Dhabi and the double points lunacy)

      1. and 2002 was as bad.

        That depended on what you watched it on.

        I watched the PPV broadcasts through that year & the frankly superior coverage/direction on that service made the races that year seem to be significantly more exciting than the broadcast put out as the world feed by the local directors.

        I remember Monza where the local director just showed the 2 Ferrari’s all race, Yet on the PPV broadcast we got to see a lot of very good racing & overtaking through the field.
        It was honestly like watching 2 totally different races depending on what broadcast you watched.

        1. @PeterG That was a part of the explanation, yes. But just a small part and not always applicable. When you see a leaderboard where everyone is some seconds apart and the Ferraris are always in front, always in the same order, 10 teams, 2 of whom are like Sauber and Caterham of today=strugglers. Teams lining up on the grid in 2X2 formation and circulating that way in the race unless there’s a problem at the start(not a driver’s mistake just a problem with launch control-another “exciting” feature on those early 2000’s car taking away a driver’s fundamental skill and replacing it with electronic boffins work). I could go on and on and on about the things that were wrong with that era of F1, and you cannot just dismiss them by blaming the TV coverage

    11. So every weekend untill Abu Dhabi we’re going to get another team principal or high placed guy complain about this double points rule? Either they expected Red Bull to be so dominant they needed the rule badly or they just for a moment all shut their brain off when voting.

      1. I think I remember reading how Mallya was voicing his support for this move after the WMSC – of which he is a member representing India – confimed this into the rules @xtwl.
        I find it almost amusing to see how now he suddenly remembers how unfair and stupid an idea this really is. Shame he didn’t express that view when he had the opportunity to change something.

      2. I’m still betting that Bernie did the deal then told the teams they had to accept it if they didn’t want a very reduced prize-money pool. Of course it could be Bernies way of clawing back some of that extra 13% of revenue the teams are now sharing. @xtwl, @bascb.

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