Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, Suzuka, 2014

F1 warned more teams could collapse

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Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, Suzuka, 2014In the round-up: Force India deputy team principal Bob Fearnley warns more Formula One teams could collapse due to the sport’s failure to get costs under control.

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F1 chiefs under fire as two teams face collapse (The Telegraph)

Only five teams have a say in the running of Formula One – we’ll lose more teams if we carry on like this. If there had been cost control and more equitable distribution of the prize money maybe Caterham and Marussia wouldn’t have failed.”

FIA could change US GP qualifying format for 18-car entry (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Once the stewards have officially been notified that only 18 cars are in the Austin field they will have the option to decree that four cars are eliminated in Q1 and Q2.”

F1 teams have written contracts to supply struggling rivals with a spare car, reveals Bernie Ecclestone (Daily Mail)

“They would supply a third car to someone else so if, for example, Sauber disappeared, a team could do a deal with Sauber. Ferrari could say, ‘we will give you a car, all that goes with it, and we want you to put this sponsor on it. You have your own sponsors but we want you to include this one as well and we want you to take this driver’. The team wouldn’t have to go under then would they? If Red Bull decided they would give a car to Caterham for example that could solve their problem.”

Marussia Formula One Team Motors Towards Administration (Forbes)

“Marussia is losing the chance to score more points and earn more prize money. However, if it manages to stay in ninth place by the end of the year it will still get its money.”

Massa: Raikkonen outpsyched by Alonso (Autosport)

“It is not easy to be his [Alonso’s] team-mate, and for sure the problem Kimi is having [this year] is in his head.”

Nothing Lasts Forever (Will Buxton)

“Questions have always been asked but now answers must be given as to the true story behind a selection process that saw the seemingly worthy applications of Epsilon Euskadi, N Technology, Prodrive and Lola, amongst others, overlooked in favour of Campos (which became HRT), Lightspeed (which became Lotus/Caterham), USF1 (which never even made a race), and Manor Racing (which became Virgin and then Marussia.)”

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Comment of the day

Eric (@Fletch) provided the best suggestion for last weekend’s particularly unusual Caption Competition:

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi, 2014

“I’ll just add a bit of smoke out of Ron’s ears… Perfect!”

Honourable mentions also go to Simon, Mashiat, Bob, EuroBrun, Suvan Naidu and Bullfrog.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Sebastian Vettel clinched his fourth consecutive drivers’ championship title in the Indian Grand Prix on this day last year.

The race was held for the third and possibly last time. Having been dropped this year it is not on the 2015 F1 calendar either.

Images © Caterham/LAT, Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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  • 90 comments on “F1 warned more teams could collapse”

    1. Is Bernie making up stuff to keep the noise down? Did anyone else hear about a team like Ferrari supplying a third car to a struggling team?

      1. He calls it a “solution”! Unbelievable. Just distribute the prize money more fairly. That would be a solution.

        1. The “final” solution ?

        2. Totally agree. Every car on the grid contributes to the race, so every team should be paid equally.

          1. It shouldn’t be equal, but it should be fair.

            The way it is now , the top 10 teams (based on the last 3 years) get an equal share of half the money, then the other half is distributed incrementally among the top 10 teams depending on where they finished in the standings that year. (I think this is correct).

            The fact that the 11th team gets none of that money and that Ferrari get extra cause of their “deal” isn’t fair.

            1. And don’t forget that until the last couple of years those 2 halves were actually quarters because after CVC took half they were dividing halfs of half, now it’s halfs of 63% up from half of 50% , still less than 2/3rds of net revenue.

            2. +1. This is my second year following F1 & I cannot fathom why, with only 11 teams, the 11th team does not get a portion of the money as well. It would assist in keeping the smaller, less competitive teams solvent. The total amount need not be more, so nothing out of Mr. E’s greedy, little pockets.

            3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              27th October 2014, 19:19

              @need4speed – I guess the last teams should be penalized for participating in F1 – of course, they should be paid a flat amount as should any team participating in F1 and working the behinds off to be the last. No doubt the winners should take more than the last.

        3. The world is not fair and @drycrust every car does not contribute to the race, at least not evenly. The teams at the top spend more money in engineering their cars, more money in promotion, and drivers and as a result attracts more media money to F1 which is part of F1s revenue. The teams at the bottom would not bring in as much media money as the top teams, they don’t even attract high dollar sponsors (specifically because they don’t matter to them as much as the bigger teams or some of the mid field teams.) So for that reason why should they get an equal share of the money F1 makes? To me the solution isn’t reduce the budgets of F1, thats foolish, Formula 1 is a business just like manufacturing cars and airplanes is, you don’t see people going to other car companies and boeing or airbus and telling them hey lets limit spending so that we can all survive. All the guys who enter F1 are smart enough to know the costs before entering and yet they fail to plan themselves properly. My solution is F1 needs to attract more companies that have the budget to survive in F1, they need to find out why Toyota and BMW wouldn’t come back and try and convince them to come. A cheaper F1 wouldn’t work simply because it doesn’t make sense to the bigger teams to compete if they don’t get anything out of it.

          1. They don’t know all the cost associated with F1 because it can change at any minute as it did. Secondly, when they joined there was no F1 commission that now decides the direction of F1 without taking in input from all the teams but just a select few.
            And every team contributes towards the show in their own little way.

            1. They get in the way, thats how they contribute. They don’t even have money so they have drivers having to pay for seats. I’d rather see a big team with money to hire a driver that has talent. So if they can’t survive they shouldn’t be in F1 because they will never stop complaining about costs, even if its lowered.

            2. There is no such thing as a big team.
              You have manufacturers and then privateers. The manufacturers can leave at any time especially if they are public traded companies.
              VW generates more revenue than Mercedes, Fiat – Ferrari, Honda, Renault etc, yet they don’t see F1 as a sensible motor sport investment.
              Then you have sponsors who are gradually pulling our or reducing their input. Once the sponsorship money goes, everything will collapse.

            3. @OOliver, when I say big teams I mean teams with a big budget, and small teams don’t have a high budget. So Merc RedBull Ferrari McLaren are big teams because they spend the most on developing their cars. The sponsorship money does matter however this year McLaren doesn’t have a lot of sponsors but they are still spending a lot of money in development. Ferrari has some sponsors but most of the money comes from Ferrari and RedBull well most of the money comes from RedBull so even if Infiniti pulls out RedBull will not collapse, or if Santander pulls out of Ferrari, Ferrari will not collapse and neither will Merc if Petronas pulls out (they will all still be miles quicker than Caterham or Murrussia)

            4. @OOliver

              Yes. It’s starting to look like rats leaving a sinking ship. I believe the situation is much more dire than most people think.

          2. @manu
            The prize money is distributed proportionate to where a team stands in the Constructors Championship. Its unfair because not all teams get the money and only the top ten do. If the current distribution of prize money is fair, then last years teams who couldn’t make it to the top ten should be allowed a free entry into this season grid shouldn’t they? Else where is the sporting fairness?
            You think the top teams work hard at their engineering and promotion? The bottom teams don’t work hard? They probably work harder but the scale is lower because they work within their means!
            Also F1 visits many nations and teams are from many nations. Marussia would probably generate more interest in the sport in Russia as compared to maybe Williams or McLaren. Then shouldn’t Marussia be given more money for racing in Russia? I’m putting this forward based on your argument about which teams can be perceived more important based on how much media revenue they bring to F1.

            1. If Marussia generated more interest in Russia then Russian companies would sponsor the team, which isnt really happen given that the Russian who was bankrolling the team is rethinking whether its a viable team to bankroll. To your other point. I know the smaller teams work harder because they have limited resources but RedBull was a midfield team at some point, it took smart work and a lot of money to get where they were, and for your information RedBull did push for lowering the budget but Sauber (Then BMW Sauber) voted against it. So why should RedBull have any sympathy now?
              Secondly, nobody cares about the smaller teams (how many people actually remember HRT) very quickly they will get replaced by other teams and people will forget about them. So why not have create incentives for other bigger investors to invest in F1 who actually have the money to run with the likes of Force India.

          3. I really enjoyed watching Marussia score their first points in F1 at the Monaco Grand Prix this year. The elation within the team and their celebrations were greater than if one of the “big teams” had won the race! They contributed massively to the sport that day and most likely will finish higher in the constructors championship than they ever had before. It would be great to see them kick on from this and aim for even higher next season but unfortunately that possibility is in serious doubt.

            F1 benefits greatly from the “David vs Goliath” stories, a team beating the odds and springing surprise results, punching above their weight. Surely the goal for a new team is achieve this, then reinvest the well earned prize money into becoming a well established midfield team, then who knows what is possible. Unfortunately this doesn’t really seem possible with the current distribution of money in F1. Time for a change, we want Goliath to be anxiously looking his shoulder, not just resting on his laurels.

            1. I really couldn’t have said it any better than this. +1

      2. Sick and tired of Bernie. He can spot a fly on the horizon but the elephant in front of him is invisible…

        Fix money distribution scheme now! Cut Ferrari’s prize and give more money to smaller teams!

        1. Why Toyota and BMW left, well the simple answer is the turn around profit is to unsure even in long sight.
          Smaller teams would benefit from a more equal system, isn’t that obvious. And as you say bigger money tends to attract even bigger money so let the others have a bigger share. What to do if Ferrari leaves. ….then this business is dead, the sport died 20 years ago.

          1. So Ferrari would leave if they cut 10-15% of their “premium prize”? They can afford keeping the whole Formula hostage? That’s really bad.

          2. The reason BMW left has nothing to do with the distribution of the prize money. BMW was about a reasonable prize level for a fair competition. They left because they wanted a budget limit and didn’t get it even after it was promised several times.

      3. for free too @icemangrins. Not going to happen, I would suppose (or is Bernie going to pay for that?).

        Not to mention that the team running that car would look like being operational, but as they are then not a constructor, they wouldn’t be getting ANY money for the constructors championship at all – which means its no real solution at all.

      4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        27th October 2014, 19:27

        Not sure sure how Marussia and Caterham adding a 3rd car will help them unless they plan to drive 2 cars side-by-side and block all traffic so their 1st car can beat everyone else! They can’t afford to run a single car…

        I wonder what Sauber, Renault and Force India are thinking about running 3 cars…

    2. Only 18 cars in formula 1 races? Only 9 teams? Stupid, at least. Bernie, go home! Now!!!

    3. Basically allowing teams to become puppets of more wealthy, stable outfits. What a ludicrous state of affairs we could have on our hands. F1 needs diversity to keep competition healthy and fair.

      The playing field needs to be seriously balanced before we start next year

    4. It seems F1 is making it up as it goes along. Pretty sad that the sport I’ve grown up with, is in such a shambles.

    5. Doesn’t Appendix 6 of the FIA F1 Sporting Regulations list a whole bunch of parts that each competitor must design and build independently of any other competitor?

      1. Is that right? Can you give us a link to where we could see the list, please. It would make Bernie’s suggestion a lot more difficult. In the longer term, these Regs may have to be rewritten to allow common components . . . and even common cars.

    6. Seriously, this isn’t funny now. Having this guy in charge really has to end. If you’re going to take Putin’s money and presumably whatever Abu Dhabi paid for double points, then at least dish it out a little bit to stop these teams going under.

      I’m not sure even prisoner monkeys would defend Bernie these days!

      1. @john-h He gives more money to his daughters than companies employing tens of skilled people… shame.

        If there’s someone in F1 deserving a loud boo, it’s Bernie.

    7. It is not easy to be his [Alonso’s] team-mate, and for sure the problem Kimi is having [this year] is in his head.

      I don’t believe this. Kimi hasn’t been comfortable with the car since the first test, how exactly could Alonso have gotten into his head when they’ve hardly spent any time together in the team? Not that I think Raikkonen is the kind of personality to get fazed by mind games in any case.

      1. Because you must know very well how hard is to be Alonso’s teammate, amiright?
        If there is a driver today that knows exactly how hard is to be Alonso’s teammate at Ferrari and be beaten by him, that driver is Massa. I am sure that, regarding this specific situation, he knows something you (we) don’t know.
        I expected Kimi to be a harder competition to Alonso, to be honest, and I feel that Ferrari tried to do with Alonso what they did with Schumacher, build a team and a car around him . They failed miserably.

      2. I wouldn’t be suprised if Kimi didn’t even know Alonso was his team mate. The car is 100% the problem.

        1. @spinmastermic I doubt it. To some degree, it has to be fact that some of the problem is in his head. I mean, he is even more under pressure now to perform.

        2. If there’s someone who won’t, it’s Kimi.

          1. @george

            Not that I think Raikkonen is the kind of personality to get fazed by mind games in any case.

            @spinmastermic

            I wouldn’t be suprised if Kimi didn’t even know Alonso was his team mate. The car is 100% the problem.

            The problem is likely to be both his head and the car. Kimi can’t understand how Alonso can drive the exact same car as him so much faster around a circuit; and the gap in performance between the two is showing no signs of shrinking no matter what Kimi does.

            It’s not Alonso’s mindgames (has he even played any this year?) which have phased Kimi. It’s his unbelievable speed and ability to extract the absolute maximum out of an ill-handling car which have likely phased Kimi psychologically.

      3. I think Kimi is not as good as Alonso. Period.

      4. This mind fragility is related to Massa and he’s just putting in other driver his own problem and experience being F Alonso team mate.

        I cannot imagine Kimi being mentally broken due to the strength of his team mate.

        1. I also cannot see KR being mentally hampered, and think it is more about not just this year’s Ferrari, which has FA lagging way behind his usual better standing amongst the grid too. I wonder if it is about the new generation of cars in general. The braking I think particularly has been very difficult and unpredictable for these guys. I doubt KR lacks confidence in himself or his abilities, nor does he feel like a non-rooster on the team, but I do think he is simply uncomfortable in the car and far from being at one with it.

          1. Most of us have seen videos of Kimi mentally hampered. The one where he falls off of his boat during the Monaco GP is a good one…

    8. Bernie should go away.
      And Felipe Massa should just shut up.

      1. Massa was booted from Ferrari for poor performance, I don’t think he should be the one to comment on an issue like ‘mental problems’, because, consistently, throughout last year, and even in 2012, he was beaten by Alonso, and he had the exact same car as Felipe.

        1. I think you’re missing the point. Because Massa has been in that very position, I doubt anybody else would be as well qualified to answer that question. And you can see that he genuinely believes that Alonso is the best out there.

        2. So Massa appeared to be more competitive that Kimi is right now. How can we be sure Massa wasn’t ever comfortable with the car he had to drive.

        3. Exact same car?? Kimi said that’s not true, weeks ago…

          And what about the “Stupid decision” words in the 2013?

      2. RB (@frogmankouki)
        27th October 2014, 1:11

        +1 , Couldn’t agree more.
        Bernie continues to dilute the “Formula”
        Massa has been quite talkative of all the drivers the last few weeks.

    9. I read Will Buxton’s article and something really doesn’t work there.

      He cites Super Aguri as an example of what he proposes. But he forgets that Super Aguri was effectively Honda’s B-team. I really doubt Red Bull would like Caterham to get a chassis they’ve developed, with all its secrets, which most of them surely carry on into the next season.

      And if they try to cover those secrets up, Caterham would get a B-spec Red Bull, far from the standards of a real Red Bull racer. So it’s the same thing.

      And in any case Caterham would be incredibly slow, and they’d be racing a car they know nothing about, trying to develop it (in a very short time, since Red Bull would give them their old car once the previous season its over), and failling doing so.

      Really can’t see that work… and what if Lotus had given some of the backmakers one of their cars from last season? Maldonado and Grosjean, in the official car, would be relegated behind Caterham, in their E21s…!

      1. I doubt the likes of Red Bull would want to sell their chassis from last year to a new team. In a particular rule cycle, a lot of the design elements would be carried over from year to another, so I doubt that the front runners would want something relatively current ending up in the hands of a new comer. F1 teams are highly secretive, the teams are hardly a bunch of friends sitting round a campfire holding hands. If it does happen, as you say @Fer-no65, it will be a b-spec chassis, but I feel that would still cost too much. Even though its a b-spec, the engineering costs associated would still be high, and for such a low volume sale, it might not be even worth it.

        Following on from Buxton’s idea, perhaps a better idea would be for the FIA to sell newcomers a standard chassis, built by, lets say Dallara, for the first 2 years. In year 3, they need have their own design. If they are unable to develop their own design, the can then continue to buy the standard FIA chassis, but they incur a penalty of some sort for example.

        Having said all this, in the context of 2010 new comers, perhaps the teams themselves need to share some of the blame? As Colin Kolles put it, Caterham’s setup was not suitable for team of their size. Their operating overhead was way too high. Marussia on the other hand came into the sport with view that cost caps were going to be introduced, so the probably weren’t setup to deal with the costs in the first place. HRT on the other hand, took quite a while to figure where they wanted to be and what they wanted to do. In his interview with Autosport, Colin Kolles described Jose Ramon Carrabante as someone who’s ego got the better of reason. Which is why, at this point at least, Haas appears to be much better prepared. For starters, by the time they race in 2016, the team would have had 2 years to prepare, whereas the 2010 newcomers were rushed to the grid. Secondly, Haas is well aware and appears to be well prepared for the expensive nature of F1.

        If F1 is a grave yard for new startups, why does it keep attracting new teams then?

        1. Can’t say I know the answers but I’m sure the answers are within the general thinking expressed by many posters as well as some inside F1.

          Horner has in fact spoken this year of selling cars to the lesser teams as a viable answer or at least contributor to solving some problems. So he must have in mind a way of doing that that isn’t giving away secrets as you @fer-no65 and @jaymenon10 suggest would be the roadblock to such a concept. Aren’t Torros Rosso running Ferrari PUs as we speak? Mac and Williams running Mercs?

          Selling basic cars and PU’s would save lesser teams millions upon millions from having to build from scratch, and that could then free up money for them to keep a viable staff running and developing the car on their own, having purchased the ‘infrastructure’ shall we say, of a solid car. If it is last year’s car then the purchasing team will be way behind the selling teams’ latest greatest secrets, so no worries there. Even if it were a current car, the lesser team would not have the resources to develop it at the same pace as the works team, nor would the works team be compelled to sell them every new upgrade they do…in fact, simply wouldn’t. The selling team or works team would also be then getting revenues for building a third and fourth car rather than incurring more costs of not just building but fielding said car if they went the route of running 3-car teams.

          Buxton’s last sentence suggests ‘giving’ the lesser teams a better chance to survive. But at some point I thought these teams had to prove, before entering F1, why and how they could and would enter and survive if accepted. After all…these entities were not hauled in off the street by BE….they put a group together with the idea in mind to go racing in F1, and of course reap the marketing benefits from that global exposure too. So I don’t pity the lesser teams too much, other than to acknowledge it is still a tough global economy which perhaps has not turned around as quickly as the likes of BE et al would have otherwise predicted two or three years ago, hindering the flow of sponsor dollars toward F1. Not saying money couldn’t be better distributed, but nor should the lesser teams expect nor be given too much of a handout or hand up. F1 is supposed to be hard after all.

          I think I’d much prefer to see top teams selling basic packages to the lesser teams, as one of several answers, at least vs. BE’s suggestion of them giving the lesser teams cars and then dictating sponsors and drivers for said cars. That sounds like a nasty slippery slope.

          Buxton makes it sound a bit like all the entities that have ever entered F1 should still be there…what a grid that would make huh? But lets be honest…many entities have come and gone from F1 of their own free will simply because after a number of years they’re no longer gleening the same marketing impact for their racing dollar once their entry into F1 is old hat. Haas will not be expecting to win races and WDCs in hs first handful of seasons…after all…F1 is hard. But what he will be expecting is to win many more contacts around the globe for his CNC machinery, and shouldn’t and likely isn’t expecting too many handouts from F1 to help him do that.

          I get that it is in the Constitution that teams are to be constructing their own cars, but that can be changed. Will they ever get concensus on that? Or on anything? Many think not, but I say that if desperate enough, they will. I’m still not sure how desperate things are. F1 is surely a viable medium, a viable entity, even of viewership is down and there is some strife. The infrastructure is there, the billions are there, and I believe when and only when they are truly in real trouble, things will change.

    10. F1 needs corporate teams like Red Bull. They are richer and better suited to today’s world of social media.

      1. Kinda agree with you…

    11. Bernie: “If Red Bull decided they would give a car to Caterham for example that could solve their problem.”

      How does that solve the problem of having no funds for the Caterham team to travel to a race even if someone just gives them a car?

      It’s obvious Bernie is trying to shuffle the problems of the have not teams onto the well off teams. In other words, somebody else’s problem, not his.

    12. This maybe should be for the forum but I find it too hard to follow a subject there:

      Reading the conjecture about Audi leaving WEC for a tilt at F1 I am beginning to see credible scenarios popping up everywhere, or more to the point the theory can provide answers to a number current mysteries, the connection today being;
      1. There does not seem to be much concern from Bernie and Todt at the loss of 2 teams, announcing a new major (#1 VAG) manufacturer entering the sport would be a PR coup.
      other possible clues.
      2. If Alonso wants to win who better to team up with against the might of MB-AMG.
      3. Luca de Montezemelo is now at Audi, only 2 sensible reasons for this that I can see, (a) vast experience in F1 and inside knowledge of Ferrari. or (b) they plan a buyout of FIAT group.
      4. Audi could test the water by buying either Sauber or TorroRosso (no MB engine) and installing Alonso to establish a benchmark before putting their own name and engine in for 16.
      5. There has been no triumphant announcement from Ferrari about signing SebV. What if you had the money to sign the dream team, how about Alonso and Vettel ?
      6. Not for nothing are the Germans known as serious, thorough and efficient, I think the above scenario would embody those qualities.

      1. I thought you were talking crazy until reaching point 5, which is a very good point. Maybe you are onto something?

        1. @formulales, well it is called the silly (crazy) season, and we expect the usual stunts and red-herrings but it is usual for new signings to be announced immediatley they have notified their current team, unless there are current drivers that don’t know they are getting the boot, In this case it would cause no upset to announce Fernandos replacement a SF and McLaren have hardly given their drivers any reason to believe they will be retained but still no announcement about Alonso joining, just rumours about Honda (so Ron can play along and ask each of his drivers if they will take a pay-cut). I find it strange that there is a mystery surrounding where the 2 most successful drivers on the grid are going next year, it doesn’t fit the usual pattern.

      2. ERRATA: I may have confused Montezemelo with Demonicalli, no doubt a tifosi can set this straight.

        1. Not a tifoso, but yes, you did confuse the two @hohum. Its Dominicali who now works with Audi (“in a non sporting role”).

          I don’t see it happening by the way. If Alonso is not going to trust Honda&McLaren to make a good car in their first year back together, why would he be more inclined to believe Audi to make it a success on their first try?

          1. Audi/Porsche’s track record in the WEC combined with Sauber’s wind tunnel facilities do sound like a better bet over the medium term than McLaren’s post-2008 designs and Honda’s engines the last time they were in F1.

            Not sure Alonso can wait that long though. But maybe they throw in the sweetener that he get dibs on an LMP1 prototype? Perhaps teamed with Webber.

          2. @bascb, as @hircus says if I were taking bets on which team would be most likely to challenge Mercedes for the title and Audi (VAG) had entered (starting by hiring the 2 most successful/expensive drivers) I think their record in other series and their money and engineering facilities might give them the edge over McLaren and Honda.
            Hmm, maybe Ross is getting bored with fishing, well it is the silly season.

    13. Nice caption. I do believe that Ron and Lewis are going to get back together very soon, they already know this but we keep saying that Alonso is the man.

      1. Why do people still think that Lewis would move from the best team to a worse team? He’s already driven for McLaren and won a WC with them. He is in the best place right now. You would have to be an idiot on drugs to move from Mercedes to any other team!

        1. People were asking the same thing in 2012 when rumors of HAM to Mercedes were flying. That seemed to work out alright for him.

          1. But LH didn’t leave a team where he was about to potentially get a WDC. He left a team where there was too much baggage, for a fresh start away from the nest that raised him, and I thought all along it was the best thing for him and that he HAD to leave Mac. I’m sure the last thing on his mind is leaving Mercedes. I’m sure once this season is over he will be contracted with Merc for a couple more years alongside NR, and no other team is on his mind for now and the near future.

    14. ‘We will give you a car, all that goes with it, and we want you to put this sponsor on it. You have your own sponsors but we want you to include this one as well and we want you to take this driver’

      OK, and the point of Sauber existing in this scenario would be…?

    15. Fórmula 1 is in shambles, falling apart. Very sad.

    16. ColdFly F1 (@)
      27th October 2014, 2:19

      Supplying a third car to ailing teams misses the point.
      Catherham (and maybe soon Marrussia) is in administration and cannot pay its (travel) bills or staff. Thus they will not have mechanics who can change the wheels on the borrowed cars.
      A source of income is paid drivers. Having the bigger teams define who drives the third car will take away further income from the ailing teams.

      What they need is a ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’. Bernie should award the smaller teams a fair share of the huge TV and Events income (something similar to the Premier League). And the FIA should get serious on some kind of cost control agreement with all the teams.

      Imagine that teams would get a minimum of $40M plus an extra $7.5M for each position higher in the WCC. Together with sponsorship this will provide a bare minimum to survive, plus sufficient incentive to fight for each position in the WCC. Top teams do not need a bigger $ incentive, for them it is more pride to win than the extra $.

      1. Forget the pride, the extra $$$s come with the wins in the form of sponsorship, or in the case of RBR, Mercedes and Ferrari, product sales.

    17. I don’t particularly care for the ‘teams have always gone bankrupt in F1’ argument going around at the moment. It rings a bit like ‘oh well, here comes the flu again, probably going to lose a couple of family members this winter’. Claiming that losing teams is part of F1’s DNA is sad and short sighted.

      In a sport where maximum efficiencies are sought out, I can’t believe they allow for entire teams to go under. Surely there is a greater benefit for the sport by having teams remaining constant over many years. The value of an F1 franchise for starters would be much greater if it became rare for a team to go under. From an FOM point of view, efficiencies in logistics/marketing through years and years of relationship experience with same organisations would be immense. Look at football teams that have loyal fan bases even without success for decades, rather than losing fans out of the sport, they remain because their favourite team is still competing.

      The cycle of new teams entering F1, struggling to be competitive, not getting prize money as a result, not having fans, remaining uncompetitive is vicious.

      I agree that coming last shouldn’t earn you the same for winning the WCC, but there is enough money in the sport to keep teams afloat. However, the total distortion in prize money, where Ferrari and Red Bull get hundreds of millions off the top for just showing up is a complete contradiction to the argument that teams shouldn’t get prize money for coming last.

      1. Bernie doesn’t make any money from fan loyalty to a team so he doesn’t car.
        Bernie sees F1 as bigger than almost any team and believes fans will continue to watch the show even if teams participating keep changing every year. F1 exists for his profit, everything else is secondary

    18. Why not have a cost cap of say 60 mln and give any team that sticks to the budge 30 mln in prize money! That way the bottom 5-6 teams may stick to this budget and compete on equal terms? Surely that could work? Also those 6 teams might shuffle in order year after year giving us variety!

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        27th October 2014, 8:03

        I really like the idea of a cost cap, making the tech part of F1 a question of “who can do best with this budget?” However, It will be impossible to police.

      2. There is no need for a cost cap, simply reduce the difference between the prize money for finishing between first and last place. Have the engine manufacturers supply the engines at a fixed cost to customer teams. Establish stable rules for competition and a rule change must be decided 2 years before it is implemented. And then leave them to spend more than they can earn. Eventually things will level out.
        Bernie is not the only problem, the FIA also contributes to the problem.

      3. Cost caps done in that way are impossible to police. For example, Mercedes could buy an off the shelf radiator for £50. Sure, the company they buy it from (Mercedes Benz) spent £200 million developing it, and make a lost of £100k for every one they sell, but the F1 team has only spent £50…

        As much as we all hate overly complex regulations, technical restrictions are the best way of keeping costs down.

        1. This is the problem with a cost cap. It is also the reason they use other methods, like testing bans and working time limits, to try to control costs.

          The only method I could see to make a cost cap work is to completely separate suppliers from teams and make sure it is a free market, with no preferential deals being offered.

          For instance, Merc design and build an engine. They then supply it to any team who wants it at a set cost. Any bought in part, not developed in house, must be freely available at that cost to any team, whether an engine, a brake disc, or a rear wing.

          All other parts must be developed in-house by the team, and all R&D costs etc. must be declared.

          Even this would not be sure fire, and teams would try to find ways around it.

      4. Budget caps are great in theory but almost impossible in practice.
        Personally I have no problem with the big teams spending huge amounts of money as it is no guarantee of success, Toyota had one of the biggest budgets and failed miserably, Ferrari had the biggest budget in the 80’s and 90’s but still went years without wining the championship.
        As long as the smaller teams have an income that allows them to survive in the long term the bigger teams should be allowed to spend as much as they want. It all comes down to the distribution of profits, the biggest sports series all have a mechanism to distribute a significant amount of revenue to all of the competitors equally with the rest distributed according to performance – a similar system in F1 would ensure that all of the teams could survive.

    19. Shut up Felipe baby and stop acting like an insecure child trying to project his own problems onto other people.
      Totally transparent how Alonso outpsyched HIM.
      KR says what he thinks. No BS. If you were perceptive enough you would know he solely prefers driving an F1 car and rest of it is pretty much “whatever” for him. He can’t even do that this year and is busy chasing the game. Relevant senior Ferrari member have come out and said that the car is fundamentally ill suited to his style.
      But I guess there is no point to understanding and logic when you get a cheap shot at them.

    20. Alex McFarlane
      27th October 2014, 8:05

      It is sad to note how many people seem to have forgotten that the first golden era of the sport was where the garagistes came in and beat the big boys, on a shoestring budget. Two of the lasting innovations, mid-mounted engines and combining the engine and chassis, came from Cooper and Lotus respectively. Lest we forget, some quotes from Enzo Ferrari “aerodynamics are for those who don’t know how to make engines” and “the horse should pull the cart”. For all the money the factory teams had by comparison, it was the so-called “garagistes” that dominated the sport from the late 50’s to the early 70’s, taking 12 championships in that time, demonstrating that what you lacked in finances and resources could be compensated for though hard work and innovation.

      Nowadays, you can’t even get a car on the grid without having large sums of money to throw at it, and that’s just to keep it trundling around at the back of the grid.

      There are many people who seem to favour teams with money being able to spend as much of it as they want however they want, but the biggest innovations are borne from necessity not excess. All we’ve seen in F1 over the past few decades are huge sums of money thrown away on marginal gains, enough to keep the rich boys at the front so they can continue to reap the rewards while smaller teams have fallen by the wayside.

      We don’t need equality, just fairness and balance to keep racing interesting and healthy throughout the grid, and to offer a chance, even albeit a small one, of one of the lesser teams becoming triumphant (Brawn in 2009 a possible example, granted left a large budget for the year by Honda, but it still had to be used wisely).

      1. The rules are so complicated, and result in very expensive cars because you need more and more people to interpret and build to the rules than in the past.

      2. Well said Alex, you very nicely illustrate how restricting the design options to save costs can (did) result in exactly the opposite happening.

    21. The old gnome has lost him mind. Again. As if it weren’t long gone already. But he always seems to be upping his game. No one beats him when it comes to talking absolute rubbish. Give a third car… This looks like the premium motorsport league is barely scrapping together some field. Bernie and Max, who gave him F1, screwed our sport royally and there’s no going back. Hundred long years. I’d rather see F1 burn to the ground as soon as possible and see something new develop, than watching it dying slowly.

      1. Amen, here’s to Fphoenix.

    22. So both Caterham and Marussia in administration. If only bernie and his crew would wake up and smell the coffee.
      He needs to recognise that the lower teams need more financial help than the upper echelons of F1 and this ridiculous weighted sharing of F1 profits is causing more problems.
      As in the NFL, at the end of the year ALL profits form F1 should be evenly distributed among the teams. Caterham and Marussia would not be in such financial problems if it had been the case.

    23. “They would supply a third car to someone else so if, for example, Sauber disappeared, a team could do a deal with Sauber. Ferrari could say, ‘we will give you a car, all that goes with it, and we want you to put this sponsor on it. You have your own sponsors but we want you to include this one as well and we want you to take this driver’. The team wouldn’t have to go under then would they? If Red Bull decided they would give a car to Caterham for example that could solve their problem.”

      I read this quote before reading the headline and I thought to myself ‘well that’s moronic’. Then I read the headline and of course it had to be Ecclestone who said that. :/

    24. Yes!!! Thanks Keith!!

    25. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th October 2014, 19:36

      I can imagine the meetings with the top 5 teams discussing cost limit for backmarkers:

      Horner: Sorry I gotta take this call – keep talking about it.
      Wolff: Oh yeah, it’s horrible – let me check with Niki and get his opinion. I’ll be right back.
      Ron: What Marco, I assure you I brought those designs with me! Stay the hell from me:-)
      Mattiacci: Ma que e un backmarker? :-)
      Moderator: Ok, I think we hit all the points we want to talk about. Great meeting, guys!!!

    26. Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt, the FIA, and the big four teams have surely lost the plot entirely. F1 is on the brink of total collapse and all they can think of is their own profit.

      This idea of a major team, “giving” a car to a backmarker is beyond absurd. Would that be a Red Bull car or a Caterham car? Would it even matter if the car can score no points? And if it *can* score points, presumably the donor team would hobble it a bit. But would anyone be bothered to watch such a farce? (not at current F1 prices!)

      A friend of mine who is close to one of the big teams’ bosses tells me that the problems are well known, have been for a while, but no one will dare to say anything because that would be tantamount to saying that the Emperor has no clothes. Look what happened to Adam Parr. Not even any journalists will say much because press passes suddenly stop appearing.

      F1 certainly isn’t worth 9 billion today. Perhaps that is the point?

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