Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

No three-car teams before end of 2014 – FIA

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2014In the round-up: The FIA will not require teams to enter three cars before the end of the season even if the grid drops below 20 cars.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

FIA won’t force third cars in 2014 (Autosport)

“With agreements believed to state the teams will get 60-days’ notice to run a third car, and clarification about the livery, driver qualification and points-scoring capability of an extra machine still needed, such a move has been ruled out for now.”

Bahrain F1 Grand Prix rights complaint ‘merits examination’ (BBC)

“[Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain] also alleged the events ‘have given rise to new human rights abuses, because of the response of security forces to protests associated with the events’.”

Thanks Steph for the tip.

Ecclestone Puts The Brakes On Madrid Grand Prix (Forbes)

“If I want more than 20 races I don’t need consent from the teams. I don’t think so. I don’t care about the consent from them which is more to the point.”

Audi to join F1 in 2016 (Auto Express)

“Insiders at Audi and its parent, the Volkswagen Group, have revealed that Audi is set to abandon both Germany’s touring car championship (the DTM) and the iconic Le Mans 24 Hour race in favour of the world’s top open-wheel formula.”

Caterham Sports Limited in administration (The Sheriffs Office)

“This was our second visit to their premises; payment had been promised on the first visit, but was not made, hence the return visit. On this second visit our enforcement agents took control of goods at the Leafield site and removed them to secure storage, with the intention of selling them at auction to satisfy the judgement debt, should payment not be forthcoming.”

50 years on – John Surtees on his unique bike-car double (F1)

“In 1964 Ferrari didn’t have a dedicated F1 programme as such – it fitted in with their prototype programme, wich was the first priority. We didn’t start the season well either – there had been debate about the engine we should use, and I think for political reasons the eight cylinder was agreed upon.”

Mechanics’ tales: Dave Redding (MotorSport)

“[Alessandro Nannini] drank a lot of coffee and smoked Marlboro cigarettes like a chimney, but we were sponsored by Camel so the girls had to put his Marlboros in Camel packets.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

@JackySteeg is pessimistic about Caterham’s chances of finding a buyer.

If this is the end then it’s a real shame.

Consider that when Caterham first lodged its Formula One entry in 2009, Formula One was set for massive cost-cutting actions. Fernandes had every reason to think that he had the finances to run a reasonably competitive team.

And now, as Formula One delegates more powers to the wealthiest teams, whose chief concern is moulding the rules for their own benefit you’d have to wonder who in their right mind would want to throw tens of millions at keeping Caterham trundling around at the back of the grid.
@JackySteeg

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On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonToday in 1994 McLaren confirmed they would cut short their Peugeot engine supply deal at the end of the season. On the same day Jan Magnussen had his first test for the team.

On this day 50 years ago John Surtees won the drivers’ championship title following a three-way showdown in Mexico between him, Graham Hill and Jim Clark.

Second in the race was enough for Surtees to take the title after his team mate Lorenzo Bandini tangled with Hill, and Clark retired on the final lap.

The collision between Bandini (number eight) and Hill (three) can be seen in this brief video clip from the race:

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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  • 88 comments on “No three-car teams before end of 2014 – FIA”

    1. Getting to the point where no news will be good news… . I’m increasingly disenchanted with the sport. Looks like it’s a go for 3 car teams next year then.

      1. @maciek It all rests with Marussia… if they make it to 2015, they’ll get at least $55m combined prize money for the first time. Even if their backer abandons them, add in some sponsors and sponsored drivers, and they are guaranteed in F1 for the next few years, collecting that money until 2017, which is the first chance that Haas would have to take it off of them.

        Monaco 2014 could be a pivotal race for years to come, namely, Gutierrez spinning out of 8th, and Bianchi forcing his way past Kobayashi, effectively ending Caterham in F1.

        1. Raikkonen spearheading into a barrier and delaying himself and Magnussen.

          1. @austus True, although they would have been fine if not for the tyre barrier blocking their way. But the order between the bottom 3 (Sauber, Marussia, Caterham) would have defined their year even without that.

            1. That’s a bit like saying Rosberg would have been fine at Monza had there not been a chicane…

              That botched overtake was nothing short of abysmal driving.

          2. Chilton driving into räikkönen and dropping him last.

      2. “Looks like it’s a go for 3 car teams next year then.”

        In which case how many more teams will we lose next year?

        The Mid-field/Bottom of the grid teams are struggling to run 2 cars so having to run a 3rd will just put them under more financial pressure.
        If you say only the top teams can run 3rd cars then your pushing those Mid/back of grid team even further down the grid, Making it harder for them to score points & that will also cost them money & make it harder for them to find new sponsors.

        There’s also the other issues with 3 cars teams such as teams dominating more, wrapping up titles earlier & using the 3rd car for strategic reasons & more.

        To be honest regardless of what the regulations state, I’d much rather teams run 2 cars even if the field drops to 18 cars than allow 3 car teams which would do far more harm than good in my view.

      3. I see from the Tweets section that MB-AMG have their 3rd car ready if needed.

      4. @maciek, @fastiesty can anybody explain me why the grid MUST have at least 20 cars? I mean, maybe the rule was written in more buoyant times, but rules should grant a “license” for these cases, when the crisis/Bernie (or both) make teams struggle for raising the money and going to 20 different places in short schedules.

        1. I do believe there is some rule/agreement/contract somewhere that requires 20 cars on the grid.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          25th October 2014, 2:06

          @omarr-pepper, must be part of the ‘show’ Bernie promises when he signs deals with organisers. They pay (to Bernie) a lot of money and want to see at least a certain amount of cars on track.

        3. Yep, due to commercial agreements there should always be at least 20 cars.

          If Marrussia is on the grid next year, it will be business as usual, no worry.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            25th October 2014, 13:35

            @paeschli, interestingly Marrussia will miss COTA next week, thus only 18 cars on the grid.
            I wonder if COTA and Sao Paulo will ask Bernie for their money back, or will Bernie just add SC and medical car to the starting grid.

      5. “3 car teams next year then.”
        Even though I think Alonso is leaving Ferrari, I would love to see Raikkonen, Vettel and Alonso in the same team.

      6. I don’t think we will have 3 driver teams even in 2015. If Marussia leave we will be down to 18 driver grid.

        Teams have confirmed already that FIA are late to announce for next season. They have to make preparation like extra engines and other things. Something like Mercedes who supplies to 4 teams will have significant increase in workload.
        It’s not like going to Mcdonald and changing order from 2 to 3 burgers.

        On other note, we have always had teams leave and enter F1. This is natural cycle. Even when financial crisis was worst 2 years back we still got new teams. And next year we will have 10.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      25th October 2014, 0:28

      Is Audi really going to leave both DTM and WEC for F1? I highly doubt that.

      1. The audi/vw group has Porsche in WEC, so they´ll stay there with one brand, and they may get VW or Seat into DTM… or abandon it.

        1. The reason I find it hard to believe is that Audi is to Le Mans as Ferrari is to F1. This would be like if Fiat entered an F1 team and Ferrari left to put their resources into Fiat F1

          1. Errr… Audi wasn´t in Le Mans before ´99, Porsche has a rich connection to Le-Mans for several decades. Also, comparing Audi with Ferrari is… creative at best. Audi is a normal average family-car-brand, not a legendary supersportcar-manufacture.

          2. “Audi is to Le Mans as Ferrari to F1”? I just can´t get over this sentence… it sounds so deeply wrong. I mean, the 15 years where Audi was at Le Mans was mostly the dark-age of that race, nearly no competitors, no good names, Le Mans was nearly dead most of that time. Le Mans has had Bentley-years, it had a long-lasting Porsche-Ferrari-battle, it had the Ford GT40, the Mazda 787B, the Jaguars, the Sauber-Mercedes, Le Mans had several golden ages in the 20ies/30ies, the 60ies, the 80ies… I mean I am glad Audi was there and kept Le Mans alive when nearly noone else was, but it would had immediately sounded better if that hadn´t been Audi but Porsche… or any carmaker with any history embedded in better years of Le Mans.

      2. Who knows what is fact and what is conjecture, but it is a fairly credible scenario.

      3. @lite992 I think the rumour could have started simply because Porsche is back at LeMans. That said I’m sure they are happy winning with 3 or more cars in LeMans.

      4. If the Audi-to-F1 rumors have any basis in fact, then surely Audi will buy Caterham, pronto. Much the quickest and cheapest way to get into F1. They also know about running three cars.

        1. I don’t know about cheapest, unless they can just buy the entry. The physical assets seem to have tens of millions of liabilities against them with the assets as collateral. They would have to spend an enormous amount of money just to get possession.

          1. Agreed Audi would essentially have the pick of Sauber, Marussia, Caterham, Lotus and even Force India if they wanted to buy a team but they could also have partnership with Williams who they already worked with on their Le Mans car hybrid power system. Of those choices the insolvent team that’s last in the championship would seem somewhat unlikely.

      5. Alonso only wants a one year-contract because he wants to join Audi in 2016. :P

      6. There are yearly rumours about Audi/VW going to F1 and nothing ever comes of it.

        It would more newsworthy if there *weren’t* rumours.

      7. Audi=Volkswagen. “VW stands for Very Wavering” when we talk about VW (unstable) desire to run an F1 team.

    3. Not seen the Bandini-Hill footage before, always thought it was a rear-ending at the hairpin until now. F1 should really use that hairpin again in 2015, it would add a great overtaking opportunity and add some lap length.

      I do hope Audi pivot to F1 – leaving Porsche take on Toyota, Peugeot and Nissan in WEC/Le Mans, and summoning the 30s GP era, taking on Mercedes. What’s left to see now is whether this is Red Bull’s exit clause, moving back to team/F1 sponsorship, or if they ship off Toro Rosso.

      Given the lack of new talents entering the RB Junior stable – it’s not far-fetched to imagine Stefano Domenicali leading that team in a few years time. Otherwise, it would make a great Ferrari B-team, using the historic Alfa Romeo, Maserati or FIAT names, should Forza Rossa or a Stroll buyout not take place in the next few years.

    4. Just wanted you to know “Cojocar” could be in “Spanglish” something as “Limping Car”, and unluckily it fits the situation Catherham is going through right now…

      1. @omarr-pepper You couldn’t make it up….

      2. #Cojocar

        It’s a Romanian word, it means “craftsman” or “artisan” but in a pejorative sense, because it’s a craft not a sophisticated job. So cojocar is the person hat makes “cojoc” which means a traditional waistcoat made of wool. Colin Kolles being born Romanian.

        1. PS you were not far with spanglish, Romanian being a Latin language. And also you could say that cojocar it’s someone which at the most patches “clothes”.

    5. Interesting news about Audi. Did Lotterer’s drive at Spa mean anything in terms of Audi getting to know the new cars or anything?

      1. That´s what I thought back then, and this seems to hint in the same direction. Lotterer was working for Audi when driving the Caterham, collecting F1-inside-information. I´m not really sure how much was about the cars, maybe it´s also about working-routines, paddock-culture and politics, just a rough idea how it looks like from the inside, whether there´s anything considerably different from WEC that´s not apparent from following F1 in media.

        1. Lotterers’ report to the Board ” My Granny could build a better car than that”

          1. And the next sentence might just have been “So don’t bother buying that team!”

      2. @hsvdt15 @crammond @hohum Good call… Apparently they want Alonso, but what about drivers from their stable? It makes no sense to can DTM, they could continue that on a shoestring like Mercedes have done, so BMW would probably dominate it, since they aren’t in F1 (unless they get back to Sauber..).

        In WEC, most of their drivers could move to the new entries, but I imagine Lotterer, di Grassi, Mortara would all like a shout at an F1 project, maybe Albuquerque? Gene might also make a good test driver too.

        1. @fastiesty, Maybe Bernie has “guaranteed” them there will be 3 car teams and they can have 2 teams like RBR/TRR, or perhaps they can have RBR/TRR.

    6. There’s a decent article from Joe Saward about why 3 car teams are not the solution-

      http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/knock-on-effects/

    7. In terms of Audi, I don’t trust that website. That information is completely out of nowhere.

      That said, if it were / is true then great!! I’ve been thinking Audi would do great in F1 for years. However, is it not too late now, to enter F1? Surely the entry process for the next few years is done, so would they have to buy a team. If so, I think there may be one available right now… ;)

      That said, if they could get Forza Rossa’s entry (which seems to be nowhere), and maybe have an Audi Rossa team or something, then that would be cool. It would do great things for Audi’s car brand, which, from the impression I have (and forgive me if I am wrong), seems to have slipped into the shadows lately, at least here in the UK.

    8. “If I want more than 20 races I don’t need consent from the teams. I don’t think so. I don’t care about the consent from them which is more to the point.”

      There we go! Who said that Bernie’s roll has been diminished by the bribery case? It really just proved how untouchable the guy is when it comes to business.

      1. @repete86 just yesterday I was reading an article at CNN news whose topic was greed. They compared many movie plots where a greedy man gets what he wants and needs, and later loses everything for that same greed (Tony Montana, the bad guy at the Shawshank Redemption, Michael Douglas in Wall Street, etc, etc).
        I mean, Bernie, feeling untouchable, says he “doesn’t care”. One day teams will actually leave F1, maybe 5 or 6 teams at the same time, tired of being exploited by him. What “circus” is he going to offer in 20 or more countries, then?
        I know there must me really big contractual chains driven by Bernie to keep teams from doing that, but maybe he is just overestimating his own power (and his own age) to state stuff like that.
        I would love to see a FIA series with the same teams, the same drivers, the tracks, but without him. I wouldn’t mind if they end up calling the series Bellator Prix. It could have all the potential to be much better (in all senses) than current F1.

        1. *I know there must BE really…

        2. Those movies are fiction. Bernie’s living in reality. Luckily for him, it is his own reality that he’s built around him. He’ll win.

    9. Audi Red Bull does make sense in a way.

      Red Bull could still run the young driver programme as part of the sponsorship deal and would get the same brand coverage they get now but would likely do so at a fraction of the price. Red Bull’s domination appears to be over and a huge part of that is being stuck with a Renault engine. What can they do unless a new manufacturer decides to join F1?

      The team itself would benefit as it would gain real factory team status. Working with Renault is great but it’s not a full works team in the truest sense like Mercedes or Ferrari are.

      Audi would be in F1 with one of the strongest teams already assembled and ready to go.

      It sort of seems like everyone would win from that…?

    10. ColdFly F1 (@)
      25th October 2014, 1:51

      Would be great if Audi joins.
      And according to the article they are targeting Alonso to join them and hook him up with the guy he has a “close relationship with” – Domenicali. How successful was that cooperation! ;-)

    11. I’m a little confused about how many cars the grid can/must hold. If the minimum is 20 and the maximum 26, what happens when there are only nine teams? 9 x 2 = 18 26. Would they run three-car teams and have one car drop out in pre-qualifying every time? That would feel a bit absurd to me.

      1. In 1993 they had 26 cars but decided that only 25 could qualify (To add some extra excitement to qualifying) so you had 1 car not qualifying every race.

      2. My comment got a bit messed up there. It was supposed to read “9 x 2 = 18 [less than] 20, but 9 x 3 = 27 [greater than] 26”. The less than and greater than symbols got interpreted as HTML tags I suppose. Oops :)

    12. I have a hard time believing that Audi is going to drop out of two series in which they’re very successful to join F1 where it has been proven that resources don’t necessarily guarantee success. While it gives them a good advantage, I’d hate to see them go through the downward spiral of Toyota or Honda. I’d love to see Audi in F1, but this seems like a fantasy more than anything else.

      If Audi is joining in 2016, I feel that they’d have to make an official announcement very soon, stating that work is already in progress. Otherwise, I believe that 2015 would be too late to start, even for a manufacturer of Audi’s capacity (also taking into account the overall size of Volkswagen).

      1. It does make sense though. The WEC is virtually non-existent to most of the public, mainly thanks to the very poor TV coverage. And the DTM … well, I don’t know about other countries but here, in Germany, even the hardcore-motorsports-fans I know don’t even bother to check the results after a race, let alone watch it live. It’s the dullest of all series. So if Audi can compete in F1 with the combined budget of their WEC and DTM efforts – it might pay off for their marketing.

    13. I think something to consider regarding Audi is that they did have a VW Group representative in all the meetings when the current engine formula was been discussed.

      It is also worth pointing out that Stefano Domenicali recently joined Audi despite having no prior history/experience in any category Audi currently compete in. Its not impossible that they brought Stefano in as someone with a long history & a lot of experience in F1 to give input into an F1 program to decide if its a viable option for Audi.

      Additionally with regards to WEC/Le Mans, Audi have done everything they can do there. They have been the dominant outfit at Le Mans pretty much every year since 2000 so anything less than victory will be looked on far more critically over there & in the face on stiff competition from Toyota & Porsche there success is no longer as guaranteed as it once was.

      And for DTM, Its no longer what it was as its popularity has declined big time over recent years & to be honest I don’t think Mercedes, BMW or Audi really gain a great deal from been in DTM anymore.

      1. How old is Dr Ulrich? I somehow can’t imagine Audi taking on a mammoth new project such as F1 if he is going to retire in the next five years.

      2. Pure speculation but they could have hired Domenicali to take over FIAT if/when they decide to buy it.

    14. Would hate to see Audi leave LMES and DTM, an F1 entry is probably worth the two, but it would be a huge blow to both series to lose such a big name.

      Whereas I can’t wait to see Ecclestone gone from F1 for good. There’s no support for lower teams, he literally doesn’t care about the opinions of anyone who actually knows anything about the sport. He’s gone far beyond the point of usefulness for the sport, please get someone in who has a shred of respect for anyone in the sport, and cares about the sport, not just the amount of money he can bleed from it. The Caterham situation is completely typical of his time in the sport. No support for the young and/or unsuccessful teams, he only cares about you if you’re winning and pumping money directly to him. To be frank, he should be in jail right now, not running the sport that he bribed people to keep control of, and then legally bribed his way out of the trial because he was so plainly guilty. Him, and his frankly archaic opinions on many things (Probably why he’s so close with Putin), are toxic. Get rid of him. Then we can ditch Bahrain and Russia as well and actually start rebuilding the reputation of the sport.

      1. Look on the bright side. I don’t mean this in a rude way, but Bernie is coming towards the end of his life.

        1. Uzair Syed @ultimateuzair

          I have said this before ,

          “You need a Heart to die”

          Dont expect to see Bernie BloodfromStone gone anytime soon ,

          :)

      2. “he literally doesn’t care about the opinions of anyone who actually knows anything about the sport.”

        I feel you could have stopped after “anyone”.

    15. Brundle rewrote my comment of yesterday in a rather eloquent manner, it also is more concise.

    16. I remember the 3 car teams being talked about in the 70s, 80s, 90’s, 00’s and now the 10’s

      I would be surprised if it ever happens

    17. Regarding the collision from the video: it’s the collision that potentially cost Graham Hill the World Championship that year. Whether Bandini did it on purpose to help his team mate win the championship will remain a mystery.

      A nice bit of F1 trivia, Graham Hill apparently bought Bandini a Christmas present: an LP album of advanced driving lessons ;)

    18. If it does drop below 20 cars this year, does the whole commercial agreement with Bernie unravel? Formula One Group has failed to deliver the minimum cars for an event and so on?

      If so, bring it on. If Caterham don’t make it, I hope Marussia use just one car again in Austin to kick that off…

      Doesn’t the Formula Money woman know that Abu Dhabi counts double?

      1. on that note… Marussia F1 team set to miss United States Grand Prix as well, says Autosport, and quotes Bernie as saying neither Caterham or Marussia will be there. Yikes.

        1. Tweet “reports” Caterham dont have any wheels to go racing !
          The Sheriff is in town and is rounding up rustlers !

    19. Can we have a poll to see how many fans want three car teams? I’ll be its not many. As someone who remembers the days of pre-qualifying, one of the things I’ve always loved about hte sport is the rich mixture of teams and colours. 3 Ferraris, 3 Mercs, 3 Red Bulls, 3 McLarens holds less interest for me!

      1. Only as one-offs – I’d love to see a blue and white Ferrari to commemorate John Surtees’ achievement (7’s the right number for Kimi too) or a third McLaren to give Vandoorne a crack at F1. That’s how Mario Andretti, Gilles Villeneuve and Nigel Mansell got started.
        But not everyone, all the time. Horner and Red Bull will only want a third car because everyone else has one (and they’ve struggled to produce two reliable cars).

      2. @f1bobby thing is with this poll, are we comparing having 3 car teams to having less teams (9-) with 2 cars, or 3 car teams compared with more teams (10+) with 2 cars?

    20. Will Marussia get the money they deserved for finishing ninth if they do not race in Austin?

      1. @robertg From what I understand they have been let off too, like Caterham, however it would be a real shame if many teams and cars were to retire for some reason, and allow Sauber to score some points.

    21. I still & will always think 3 car teams are a bad idea for F1 for a few reasons.

      * If you have a season like this with a dominant car we could see 1 team lock out the podium & the constructors championship be locked up earlier (Would Ricciardo have been able to win those 3 races this year if there were 3 Mercedes?).
      * It pushes the mid-field teams further back, Reduces the chance of them scoring points & puts them in further financial difficulties.
      * You will have the 3rd cars used for strategic reasons to block rival teams (Especially if you say the 3rd car can’t score).
      * If you say the 3rd car doesn’t score, Then whats the 3rd driver racing/risking his life for?
      * Could also cause problems in the pits as 3 cars for 1 pit box is going to be a real traffic jam during safety car periods where everyone pits.
      * It puts a bigger financial strain on the teams as they would need to bring more equipment to races, More staff, buy/use more components/tyres through a season & remember that its not just the bottom 3-4 teams who are marginal on finances as it is.
      * It also puts off new teams joining, We have Haas F1 coming for 2016. With 3 car teams where would they fit in?

      Like many other things the past few years, There just trying to stick a plaster over something without doing anything about the actual underlying problem.

      If Caterham/Marussia don’t make the 2015 grid, I’d much rather 2 car teams fielding 18 cars than some or all teams running 3 cars because I just don’t see 3 car teams as a positive thing for the reasons I list above & probably a few more I didn’t think of.

      1. Ricciardo would probably have won Canada even with 3 Mercs. The Mercs had brake problems and even Rosberg only finished by nursing his car better than Hamilton (& with the advantage of clear air to help cool the brakes.) Another Merc in dirty air would probably have gone the same way as Hamilton’s.

        1. Perhaps, But a 3rd car gives them more options to try & handle the situation.

          They could for instance have used that 3rd car strategically after Lewis retired by holding the cars behind up for as long as possible to help Nico build a larger gap.
          Put the car in the right place round most of the lap & the car behind isn’t going to have an easy time getting by & have the 3rd Merc over-slow the car mid-corner & the time loss could be substantial.

    22. It’s all coming to roost now for Ecclestone. Arguably the most successful man ever in completing deals where the balance of power is always in his favour. He has mercilessly manipulated the passion of others and used it as the last bargaining chip to ensure he maintains control of all his business relationships. With the news that Caterham and now Marussia (http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/29770496) will not be attending the USGP, we need no further evidence that the economic model on which F1 is built, is well and truly broken. Like we didn’t know it was coming!

      If this sport that we all so dearly love is going to have any future then change needs to happen and it needs to happen fast.

    23. I am getting so sick of Bernie that I am starting to hope that the whole thing just comes crashing down. Although I have seen Indycar kill itself and not really be able to rebuild something that I am interested in watching, I am starting to think that it might be the only route for F1. The Putin Grand Prix really made me realize that I have been in denial about the farce that F1 has become.

    24. Formula 1 with only 20 cars? 18 cars? with 2 cars per team? It is no more formula 1, it is a bad joke!!!

    25. with 3 cars per team?

    26. I can see Marussia skipping the next two GPs to save a bit of cash, racing at Abu Dhabi and preserve their racing licence.
      They are pretty much guaranteed at least 9th position now, in the absence of Caterham, and they could save vital mileage on their engines for the final double pointer. Who knows with a few grid penalties, engine failures and one or two ‘career saving’ over-ambitious moves, they could sneek 8th.

    27. Bernie’s the Donald Sterling of Motor Racing, time for the caveman to go…

    28. Was both teams missing races known for a while by those at the top?

      When Alonso said his future would become obvious will he be in the 3rd Merc? He knew what was happening?

      Ferrari had Raikkonen and Vettel but seemed Bianchi was not far off moving across, did they know as well?

      Used to have 3 car teams in the 50’s so it is a tradition.

      Better to have 3 cars per team in my opinion. Better to have extra competitive cars than 4 cars seconds off the pace. Top teams can afford it and so engine unfreeze and tight rules to help little teams can be thrown out. If you cannot afford f1 go race somewhere else, fancy road cars or fashion boutique don’t reduce their prices so I can afford it. Tough luck. The best costs a lot.

      1. Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes & McLaren are the only 4 teams that are not struggling financially right now.

        Having Williams, Force India, Sauber Lotus & even STR having to spend any extra on a 3rd car or via an engine unfreeze or whatever will see them out of business within a few years.

        The budget cuts, Engine freezes & all the other cost controls are not simply to help the 2-3 slowest teams at the back, There there because as I say all but 4 teams are struggling right now.
        Throw the cost cutting out the window & the top 3-4 teams will just throw money at themselfs & the gap between the front, Middle & back of the grid will grow back to what it was in the 90s & its probably over half the grid will drop out.

        Where do you stop it, 6 4 car teams, 4 5 car teams?

        1. To be honest I don’t even think McLaren are as financially safe as they would want to be. They don’t even have a title sponsor this year.

    29. Getting more and more concerned that at this rate, the sport may fold before we ever get to see Haas (potentially) Audi make it to the grid.

      So this is how the world ends, Not with a bang but with an old greedy dwarf stealing all of the money

      1. @torretto1 As bad as the situation is, I doubt F1 will fold. Bernie Ecclestone, as much as he loves money, he knows that Formula 1 is crucial to making even more of it, so he will ultimately, ensure that it stays alive some way or another. Also, he has so many F1 agreements with so many people, circuits, teams, etc., I imagine the legal problems it would create for him would be far too big for him to risk. And when F1 has gone, he will lose what is essentially protecting him now.

        1. That’s very true. I just wonder how long it will be before the sport as we know and love it, is dead though

    30. The rumours about Audi would be more credible if not gor the PR catastrophe that is Caterham, and now Marussia.

      Would like to see Audi competing in f1 but the cynic in me sees an article that was paid for to suggest Audi is joining f1 in order to offset the negative publicity

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