Marussia, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Rescue deal for Marussia “very close”

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Marussia, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: A potential buyer for Marussia says they are “very close” to a deal to rescue the team.

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Marussia ‘close to £55m rescue deal’ (The Telegraph)

“‘We are very close to a deal,’ [Baljinder] Sohi claimed. ‘But it has to be the right price. We have put in a serious offer and we will see what happens.'”

‘Serious’ interest in Marussia (Sky)

“Were they to retain ninth place, Marussia would reap a prize-money windfall in the region of £35m, a prospect which has already attracted interest from brothers Baljinder Sohi and Sonny Kaushal, who made their fortunes in the steel industry.”

F1 may lose more teams – Mosley (BBC)

“From a sporting point of view, the sport should split the money equally and then let the teams get as much sponsorship as they can.”

US sounds warning to Formula One, a sport teetering on the brink of crisis (The Guardian)

“Pressure is mounting on Ecclestone, the sport’s chief executive and commercial rights holder, to take note, with the message from Mario Andretti, the official ambassador for the race in Austin, and Bobby Epstein, the co-founder of the Circuit of the Americas, that F1 needs to ‘loosen up a bit’ and ‘make the sport about personalities’.”

Behind the he-said, she-said (Crash)

“[Stefan] Gyseler is currently listed as working for 83 companies in addition to CF1, has co-founded 47 companies, filed bankruptcy for one company, and liquidated 16. His movements between boards are prolific, and on 2 May of this year he became the only administrative member of the board at two separate companies, a position he holds with a number of his 84 firms.”

PRA traces a narrative ark towards higher flood defences (FT, registration required)

“New investors may yet revive Marussia and Caterham under new liveries. If they don’t, F1 may find itself experimenting with how few teams – there are just nine at present – add up to compelling entertainment.”

Parry completes McLaren prize test (Autosport)

“Matt Parry described his prize McLaren Formula One test as a ‘phenomenal’ experience after completing his running at Silverstone on Monday.”

The demise of Caterham and Marussia explained (MotorSport)

“Greed has ensured that the sport is now beginning to eat itself.”

Why customer cars and third cars are wrong (Joe Saward)

“The best way to strengthen the F1 grid is to find a way to restrict ridiculous spending on irrelevant parts and at the same time try to ensure that the money that the sport generates remains in the sport, rather than going off to faceless financiers who do not know nor care about the business, as is currently the case.”

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Comment of the day

Alex McFarlane argues teams are dropping out of F1 because of a lack of appetite for cost cuts among the sport’s power brokers.

I don’t see anything in the way the sport is run at this time, economically or politically to suggest that it can provide the kind of environment where a new team can develop it as a core interest, or take a long term view – how long has it taken Force India, in it’s various guises to achieve respectability. They’ve been around a long time, they appear to be a reasonably well run outfit, but even they are rumoured to be struggling.

I gained a lot of respect for Marussia this year, as they seem to have the right idea, they work hard, they’re keen racers and don’t appear to spend frivolously, or have high expectations but even they are being left to fall by the wayside. I’ve often heard their top guys say they know what they can do to make their car faster but just haven’t got the resources to do it.

Whereas other series like the World Endurance Championship, Moto GP, World Superbike and British Superbikes have embraced various changes and cost-cutting measures designed to encourage interest and competition, Formula One is an archaic, exclusive club where even the traditional posh suitors are scoffing, they’ve found better, more exciting clubs to join.
Alex McFarlane

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1994 F1 seasonHaving split from Peugeot, McLaren announced a new five-year engine deal with Mercedes on this day in 1994.

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  • 80 comments on “Rescue deal for Marussia “very close””

    1. Good on Matt Parry. He is a kid with a massive future ahead of him and hopefully he doesn’t get stuck in Caterham’s mess by sticking around their academy. He deserves much better than Caterham. Hopefully McLaren take him on board alongside Ben Barnicoat, Nyck de Vyres and Stoffel Vandoorne in their Development Program

      1. @mattypf1 That would be completely on the basis of nationality then, because there are many other drivers who are better than Parry, and are much younger than him.

    2. Clearly, what needs to happen here is drastic action. All the teams except Ferrari- or at least 6 to 8 of the existing teams effectively need to give the middle finger to Ecclestone and CVC, pack their bags and form a breakaway series and contract engine, gearbox and other purchasable technology makers (ex. Cosworth, Xtrac). The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

      1. They had their chance to do this a few years ago, and I wish they did. I don’t care if it’s not called F1, call it F0 or anything. As long as it’s most of the big names racing each other in a series of racing where they can develop and the money I pay mainly goes to them, I will drop F1 faster than I can blink.

      2. Sure.. a breakaway series sounds great! I mean, how long did it take IRL to regain the popularity CART had before the split? Not yet, you say? Ah. Well, just go to youtube and watch the 1996 Walt Disney World IRL event. That was 1/3rd of the events that first year…

        Eventually the two came back together and the problems that plagued CART, the problems the IRL was meant to reduce, are resurfacing again. There are a few teams dominating the sport that dominated CART so long ago…

      3. I don’t see why people seem to think a breakaway series would be any better than what we have now, Would probably actually be far worse.
        After all its the bigger teams who have a bit of power that are partly to blame for the mess that were in by refusing to take cost cutting seriously & blocking things that would actually help.
        Put the teams in charge & all your going to get is more of the same, Teams looking out for there own self interest without a care about those there competing against.

        Additionally remember that a breakaway series would need the teams to fund it, They would have to find all there own travel expenses (FOM currently sort out & pay for that for them) & they would have to arrange & find the cash to pay for other things that are currently paid/done for for them.

        1. I agree with that @gt-racer. The rules of that series would have been made by more or less the same teams that are in the strategic group thing right now and are blocking any more equal share.
          Its not the teams that should do the rule making but the FIA that is the institution that should be taking responsibility here. Is it likely to happen? Who knows, but I doubt CVC would play along unless they have no other option.

      4. If the big teams really think that they would be better off, they would be threatening it, its the classic revolution threat to a dictatorship. But Bernie looks to have Ferrari and Red Bull well on board, even before FOTA collapsed these teams had already left this forum for any discussion.
        A new series has to find a critical number of circuits to start a credible season, and negotiate the TV rights. But the circuits and TV know that if they host this new series, they will never get CVCs F1 back again at a reasonable price if it all goes wrong.
        For me it is in the hands of Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren to decide if they want a change, and they can start by forming an association to speak with a credible voice.

        1. It wouldn’t be much of a “series” with just Red Bull and Ferrari.

          It takes more than a couple of big names to attract sponsors and fans. Remember 2005, when just 6 cars raced around Indy?

          This might be just the time for a billionaire to form a new premier racing series – one that doesn’t look like some kind of mafia outfit.

    3. The eagerness of RBR and Ferrari to provide 3rd cars as soon as possible, doesn’t make me believe in any attempts to make a budget cut. The CotD isn’t very acquainted to motorcycling racing, budget cuts on MotoGP were planned just 2 years ago and yet there’s nothing besides the F1 style engine limitation which is less severe than the f1 and almost no ecu limitations, and it as been like this for 5 years or so. For 2015 there’s going to be more budget cuts but the proper changes are set up for 2016.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        28th October 2014, 10:10

        Granted, I didn’t go into the details of the changes, as I don’t follow the political or technical aspects of Moto GP as closely as Formula 1, but I’ve been a fan of that series and Superbike racing longer than F1, and I distinctly remember being shocked by how much the grid had shrunk just a few years back.

        My point generally is that other series have experienced huge cost increases, but have recognised it as a problem and have implemented, or began to implement changes to allow teams to compete, such as the open class in Moto GP, and the very competitive satellite teams.

        British Superbike mandated standardised ECU and electronics systems a few years back, as that is where a lot of development cost goes in motorcycle racing, and that series is still as competitive as ever without people noticing the technical change, and the bigger teams haven’t lost their position near the front of the grid.

        Cost-cutting understandably has negative connotations for many, since in the real world it is associated with cutting corners or skimping, but many motorsports series have been or are starting to do it, with little noticable difference to the show.

        1. Alex, the BSB lost Samsung last season. The field is made up of kawasakis because they are the best superbikes these days and the only maker supporting BSB is suzuki, that said there’s promise in the future of BSB and Motogp. Bikes are closing in on F1 in budget cuts, that’s what 2016 is all about. The open class and the previous CRT, were catalysts of interest, successful experiments that led Suzuki and Aprillia back. Superbike is still crashing but the future may be better as Aprillia and BMW comeback are over, but there’s new models of the 1000cc versions of yamaha and suzuki coming up. I think the only reason bike racing still works is because for the manufactures winning means immediate sales and of course there’s a lot of love. @optimaximal 2016 should be the make or break year for bikes and maybe the moment they surpass F1 in sustainability, as of now there’s only 3 makers in MotoGP, in total 11 bikes the rest are CRT/Open bikes made to mask the field but promising. In Superbikes the grid has shrunk massively but nowhere near as severe as in MotoGP and BSB is commercially landlocked to the UK.

          1. Alex McFarlane
            29th October 2014, 19:29

            Thanks for the info.

            I believe Honda will be returning as a factory team next season, according to Eurosport commentary through the year. I’m not sure what the reasons were but they took a sabbatical this year. Nonetheless most of the big guys were there last year; Kawasaki, BMW, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki and there were a few Honda privateers.

            The interesting thing about Kawasaki is that when I got into BSB and WSB in 2004 when my Dad bought his ZX-10R, they were nowhere (although Scott Smart took 3 amazing wins that year), especially in WSB and Moto GP. I would argue that it’s only relatively recent rule changes that have allowed them to become more competitive. Of the big 4 Japanese bike manufacturers, they are by far the smallest in terms of revenue.

            I agree that WSB is a bit of a mess, BMW pulled their factory team this year, but I believe that like F1 it has political issues that chiefly seem to stem from Ducati, who fill the Ferrari role in WSB. This series is the one that I know least about technically, so I need to catch up regarding the discussions on rule changes. That said, most of the big manufacturers are well represented there.

            Moto GP, the only development motorcycle series is, I also agree, in rude health regards competition, and for not dissimilar reasons to F1 – it’s disproportiately expensive to enter for the likes of Suzuki and Kawasaki, but hopefully the open class will tempt them back.

            You are spot on to say that bike racing still works because it is still relevant to sales, after all, in virtually all series below Moto GP, the bikes are essentially upgraded, race-equipped production models.

            The relevance to this to Formula 1 is that in order to create a sustainable environment, perhaps what they really need to do is to open up the engine formula, so that engines could be derived or upgraded from a production model (if feasible?), which would mean different car manufacturers could provide an engine based on what it is they are looking to develop for their products. Trouble is, WEC has already been catering to this for a number of years, hence it’s rise in manufacturers wanting to join/stay in that series.

            1. Alex McFarlane
              29th October 2014, 19:51

              Oh, and of course, the other reason bike racing still works is that the riders still have character and charisma, and by nature of the exposure when riding on two wheels, it still embodies the spirit, passion and danger of years gone by, that today’s sanitised F1 lacks in comparison to it’s heydey.

              Of course, nobody wants to see participants hurt or killed (RIP Simoncelli, here’s hoping that Jules Bianchi can regain a good quality of life), but could you imagine what the Isle of Man TT would be like if it had been sanitised to the same level?

      2. @peartree I’m pretty sure MotoGP doesn’t have the same woefully unfair asymetrical commercial arrangements as Formula One. If the small privateers are still earning a fair whack, they’ve got just as much of a chance as the big boys.

    4. Read this. At least somebody say the truth.
      “At the same time Bob Fernley, Force India’s deputy team principal, told the Guardian that CVC had been “a disaster” for the sport. He said: “I think they have done an absolutely awful job. In my view they are the worst thing that has ever happened to Formula One. They have done nothing whatsoever for the sport.”

    5. It’s kind of sad how the only person that could have prevented the trouble we find ourselves in is Max Mosley. After all the years we spent complaining about his meddling with F1, now we see what it’s like to have an FIA president that does the opposite.

      I get the feeling Todt can’t get away with the things Max could as he has no control over Bernie, so instead he turns his attention to series/initiatives he can influence. Lets face it, a confrontation between the FIA and FOM is never going to end well.

      1. And yet it was Max Mosely who sold F1 into slavery.

        1. Cause slavery is Mosley’s “thing”.

      2. If you believe some of the reports that have come out, it is more the case that Todt doesn’t care about taking action.
        There was a report in The Guardian a few months ago showing that Todt is more interested in using the FIA to earn himself a role at the UN as a road safety expert, where he can satiate his desire for self glorification, than in actually running the FIA, which he has largely sold out. Getting to know the leaders of Middle Eastern nations through the use of motorsport seems to be his tactic to secure the votes of heads of state in order to become elected to the UN’s safety commission…

        It is not just F1 where there are problems – the World Rally Championship has been crying out for years for more support from the FIA, with VW openly stating that the series is ‘stagnating’ and hinting they will leave in 2016 if nothing is done. Several junior series, such as the British Formula 3 Championship collapse or are struggling to merely survive, whilst in the GT racing scene the series that seems to be doing best – such the Blancpain series – are the ones with the lowest level of involvement by the FIA (the Blancpain series is run by the Belgian motorsport federation).

      3. @george

        the only person that could have prevented the trouble we find ourselves in is Max Mosley

        I don’t agree. Ecclestone could have prevented it, but for whatever reason he doesn’t want to. And if Mosley was capable of doing something when he was FIA president, it stands to reason Todt is now.

        Some of the teams themselves could have done more to prevent it, notably those who pushed FOTA to destruction. But it should fall to those running the sport to ensure its stability and good governance, not the competitors.

        1. It has to be a double combo. Cost control and better prize distribution. Like @keithcollantine tweet says, imposing strict rules is a good measure, making engine unfreeze a no-go like Mercedes defends. But if it’s clear that teams must get a bigger slice of the pie than they’re getting now. CVC Bernie and Co. are experiencing revenues growth in the last few years but teams are struggling? What’s wrong? Certainly it’s not that simple because lack of sponsors is there for everyone to see, but current distribution structure needs improvement too.

          The problem with F1 is its nature. It’s not a spec series and teams need to improve their cars over the year to compete and it’s very expensive. It’s not football or basketball where you can impose salary caps to level down the field. In F1 salary caps would help a bit, but how much money you can cut off Red Bull Technology budget until they leave the sport “because there are too much restrictions”?

          1. @jcost

            But if it’s clear that teams must get a bigger slice of the pie than they’re getting now.

            No, the teams (as a whole) are already getting enough money – it’s the asymmetrical spread of the prize fund rewarding the already financially flush and competitive at the expense of the back-markers who cannot afford to catch up.

            1. @optimaximal indeed. I don’t think equal pay is the way to go but better distribution system would help, starting with cutting part of Ferrari’s “heritage prize”. However, it doesn’t mean “investors” couldn’t give a bit more of their slice too.

            2. $800m to run 11 teams? Even at an average of £100m budget per team, it isn’t enough prize money. And it still leaves between $700m-$1bn (depending on what report you read) going to Bernie/CVC/Other external parties. I agree that the way it is spread is not fair, but to fund 11 teams (if US F1 had made the grid, and HRT were still with us it would be 13 remember) the overall prize fund needs to be larger, in my opinion. The teams are the competitors and the reason people watch/attend. Fans are not interested in CVC and yet that is where the majority of the money we pay towards the sport goes, a combination of theirs and Bernie’s personal greed is why F1 finds itself in the state it is in. With partial help from Moseley flogging the rights to Bernie for, effectively, tuppence.

              A truly fair model would be to have a set amount of prize money for the teams. Say, between $60m-$70m each and then an additional prize which is shared out based on success, rather than the whole prize fund being based on success as it is. The favouritism shown towards the bigger teams needs to be removed as well, Ferrari can whine all they like but I don’t think they would leave F1 for any other series. WEC would not bring them as much money or brand recognition as F1 does, and they’d be going up against Audi who’ve won every Le Mans, except two, since 2000. Then it’s up to the teams to find any additional budget themselves through sponsorship (also Bernie needs to stop taking sponsors from the teams and find his own).

            3. @iamjamm The teams are only spending what they do because a) they can and b) in the case of the top teams, it’s mostly ‘free’ money that’s given them by FOM to continue to spend.

              If Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull et al were given even $50 million less, to continue to spend what they do would come off their bottom line, which as incorporated (and sometimes floated) companies just would not happen.

            4. @optimaximal There’s an article on Autosport today analysing how much it costs teams to compete in F1. Based on information just from Caterham, Marussia, Sauber and Force India, their average cost excluding driver salaries, building leases, hospitality, marketing and media is $120m. So no, the teams don’t only spend that “because they can” they spend that because they have to. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/116518 for the breakdown. Of course the big teams spend more because they have more, but I stand by my assertion that an $800m prize fund is not enough for a full grid of 13 teams.

            5. Personally I find it quite rich that Mosely is now talking of fair competition, and equal prize money distribution. And he cites these things from a ‘sporting’ point of view.

              From an unsporting point of view, MM and BE created the monster that we have on our hands today, starting ahead of ’95, imho. Senna died, and dictatorial thinkers MM and BE felt the need to meddle and create the next chapter in F1 rather than letting the teams and drivers create it naturally.

              Gone was the last icon of the previous generation, so let’s pull MS from his highly controversial wins and team, where he was winning but in a very shady way, move him and his whole entourage to Ferrari to end their WDC drought, pay him the most money any athlete in the world had ever made up to that point, contract him a subservient teammate to not compete against him thus giving the green flag to building the car strictly for the one rooster, give Ferrari an extra 100 mill annually, as well as veto power on the voting board, unlimited testing, tire maker right there at the team’s private test track, and the rest is history. And when teams complained, just tell them it is up to them to compete.

              Is it any wonder the costs escalated over the last 20 years, as teams’ hands were forced to compete against the elephant in the room MM and BE created?

              How ironic that everything seems to be hitting the fan this year, and this of all years when we finally have a rivalry that echoes that which we last had before MM took over, between Senna and Prost. Even then, Balestre tried to meddle by putting Senna on the dirty side of the track with a Saturday night decision after he earned pole. But that meddling paled in comparison to what MM and BE we’re about to do 5 years later. And even this year, BE couldn’t let the whole new F1 cars and the resultant new learning curve be the story. He has had to meddle with double points as well.

              Turns out dictators can only do so much when they are trying to control democratic ‘societies’, as in, companies and teams that live in the real world democratic economy and are subject to global economical downturns and find themselves struggling to do it the MM/BE way. Just compete.

    6. Hope the news is good for Marussia and that a deal can be worked out. My heart is with them and has been for a while and for many reasons. One of the more touching moments from 2013 was watching their whole team in the garage after they won 10th place. They were so happy. That is the spirit of racing and what F1 should be celebrating.

      When they chose Jules Bianchi to drive for them I was ecstatic. They had the foresight to pick a truly talented driver over a pay driver and he rewarded them repeatedly in 2013 and 2014. Don’t let everything Jules and Marussia worked for go for nought. #ForzaJules

      I really want Marussia to continue in F1, their team has spirit. I feel sorry for Bernie that he cannot see what I see in Marussia as a team, as people. Or, he chooses not to. It is sad that he is so jaded and that he has abandoned or forgotten his own humble beginnings in the sport of F1. The same sport that has given him the wealth of a billion king’s ransoms. The same sport that *could* fix many of these problems simply by being more fair with the very people that race in F1 and provide the fans with what they love about F1.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        28th October 2014, 10:16

        +1

        Here’s hoping that whoever is interested in Marussia can see what we can see and give that team a chance to compete.

      2. @bullmello

        When they chose Jules Bianchi to drive for them I was ecstatic. They had the foresight to pick a truly talented driver over a pay driver and he rewarded them repeatedly in 2013 and 2014.

        Just because a driver doesn’t bring money to the teams coffers, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other commercial considerations. I don’t want to sell Bianchi’s talent short (he is* clearly better than a good portion of the grid) but it’s clear to see Marussia intended to use his connections to Ferrari to secure an engine deal.

        * – …and hopefully will continue to be.

    7. Regarding Mario -‘make the sport about personalities’.

      The sport of F1 is about a cult of personality, Bernie Ecclestone.

      1. @bullmello, yes we should go NASCAR, for instance Adrian Sutils talents are being wasted, we never see him yet he could be standing in pit-lane throwing his helmet at any driver that passed him and threatening to “glass” him next time, F1 needs to connect with the lower classes.

      2. Andretti is right. Seems to me Bernie places money on top of everything when sports management schools teach students that “in sports the product is the most important thing, and the sport is the product”.

        Bernie doesn’t feel pressured to improve the sport before selling it because his magic formula is: SELL F1 AS A POLITICAL PLATFORM. And it is very attractive to dictators and rogue regimes despite all that fallacy “we came to race”.

        Why should he care about re-designing the prize money scheme in order to improve small teams finances?

        Epstein said: “F1 has got to make the sport about personalities. That’s what Nascar does very well. Formula One can learn a lot from Nascar, from Hollywood. People connect with people. They don’t connect with metal. I would encourage the teams to make a priority the accessibility that the fans have to the drivers.”

        Bernie is too old for revolutions, Bernie must go.

        1. Bernie isn’t actually selling F1 as a political platform – if he actually did so, he’d likely be violating his contract with the FIA.

          What Bernie *is* doing is being shrewd – he’s (some say blindly) following the commercial money, which happens to come from tin-pot dictators who steal or tax the money from their population or abuse their countries resource position to boost their own profile.

          He also regularly plays the ‘age’ card when it comes to presenting his narrow-minded right-wing views – it’s basically a get-out-of-jail-free these days for certain people.

          1. @optimaximal that’s what a political platform is. FIA can’t say a thing because F1 has a very different approach from American professional leagues that dare to make decisions based in ‘morals/face saving’ only . Once nothing is stated or written FIA cannot intervene.

      3. Better stop losing all the drivers with any personality to the WEC then.

      4. @bullmello was that a spelling mistake? Did you mean to write cult? ;)

    8. Breaking theory. DO NOT take this idea seriously. Burn who sponsor Lotus is having a go at Alonso @twitter, the news is not that Lotus will land Alonso but the news is that Coca-cola (Burn’s owner) recently acquired a big part of Monster one of the leaders of the rapidly rising energy drinks sector, so why not Monster F1?
      When Alonso said that his decision would look obvious in hindsight, it leads me to believe that following Domenicali is his idea, regardless of that being in LeMans or F1. In the end when you restructure a team you do it from top to bottom perhaps he felt that it was time to cut the losses.

      1. @peartree, Don’t Monster already sponsor Hamilton and Rosberg ?

        1. @hohum That contract and the burn contract were penned long before last month… Coca-Cola buying monster happened virtually yesterday, perhaps Monster’s marketing strategy for the immediate future will pass by having a team in F1. I think that Honda, Haas, Audi, Las Vegas, NJ, 3 car teams, and who knows Coca-cola these could be signs of a forth coming big bang for but fundamentally changed F1 of the new generation. The plan is hatching amid all the worries and talks of decay. The real question is, is the future for the better?

          1. @peartree, that really is the question, I can’t see real improvement happening under the current ownership.
            Now CocaCola must be wondering what hit them, while they were busy fighting Pepsi huge chunks of the market were being lost to “energy” drinks, 1st. Gatorade (remember them) with a huge marketing campaign and then along comes Red Bull with it’s hyper-mega-gigantic marketing campaign to prove that the more you spend the more sales and money you make, so, who knows ? maybe Coke will join the band, they have the money.

          2. To me this is the way the sport needs to go. F1 is falling victim to Bernie Ecclestone and his greedy little mindset. The only that Bernie understands is money, and the only way to beat him is to have powerful corporations like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, Microsoft, Apple, Google, YouTube, Bombardier, Boeing, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi, Nissan, Renault, anheuser busch, Molson-Coors, Guinness… to name a few… breathing down Bernie’s neck and saying, “Yo! Bernie, where the #$%* is our money?” Not only that but then maybe we might actually see F1 videos staying on YouTube for more than a week before being taken down due to copy-write infringement! I am not saying that we want to see big faceless corporations take over, but at least they would be holding the powers that be under their thumbs because right now Bernie is the outlaw in town, Todt is the cowardly sheriff, and we are in desperate need of a brave new deputy to put Bernie in is place.

            1. @irejag, Unfortunately it’s going to take around $10Bil. to pry CVC/Bernies grubby little claws off the prize, unless they overplay their hand and bankrupt all the F1only teams, because only the likes of MB, SF, RBR and maybe McL and FWR, could withstand the loss of income for the year (minimum) it would take to re-establish a breakaway series.

          3. Monster sponsors Mercedes for quite some time if Coca-Cola wants to be the title sponsor of a team it should be the winning team, unless they can’t outpay Petronas and are convinced by Audi to join forces for a bran new project.

      2. If Monster are gonna do something it might be Monster Energy Mercedes AMG

    9. Wow, the kind of coverage Matt Parry if getting, you’d reckon he’s another Verastappen…

      1. @wsrgo One article from the magazine that runs the award he won and three tweets? It’s hardly an out-of-control hype machine.

      2. Maybe @mattypf1 is Matt Parry?

    10. I think Marussia have won over all F1 fan’s hearts, they certainly have mine. I know it’s wrong to prioritise teams in this time, and I obviously want all of Caterham’s employees to have work, but Marussia just have so much more soul than Caterham. They’re made up of real racing people, and I’m willing them to finish in 9th place, for Jules.

      1. @jmc200 Funnily enough, it’s an amazing flip-flop from 2-3 years ago…

        Caterham were ‘the good guys’ when they ran talent (Trulli and Kovalainen) and operated fundamentally as a professional garagista. They just got on with it, aiming to improve whilst HRT imploded and Marussia (nee Virgin) pissed around with pay drivers, small fuel tanks and Nick Wirth.

        Then Fernandes got into legal tussles (when he should have, in retrospect, just backed down on the Lotus thing), decided to build an entire empire around a small car brand, promptly dispensed with the talent for the Russian/Dutch/Swedish money and ran the team into the ground when the going got tough. Meanwhile, Marussia took on a talented driver and started making smart decisions – even Max, although not particularly speedy, is a steady-enough hand where rivals are flying off the circuit.

    11. Thinking of Jules Bianchi’s family – still with him in Japan, presumably – while everyone else bangs on about money.

      1. I understand the sentiment but the world doesn’t stop for one man in hospital.

    12. Marussia and Catheram are dead as they won’t be rescued. There is no point in buying into the team so I think that tweet from Adam Parr was correct. This reminds me of last year when Quantum Motorsport wanted to buy into Lotus and have Nico Hulkenberg as a driver in the squad. Everybody is overlooking the bottom teams which I can see why. Force India may not even make to this weekends US GP and Marussia are also out of the penultimate round of the championship

      1. @william
        Could you provide the link to the source where you found that Force India also may not make it to this weekend’s GP. Just want to know if its a fact or a baseless rumour from you. Thanks.

          1. @william As far as I’m concerned ‘unbylined’ means ‘you can safely ignore this’.

        1. @1abe – they will be racing but the team may collapse and who might not be on the grid for 2015

          1. I wish you’d make your mind up. First you say they “may not even make” it to this weekend’s race and now you’re saying that they “will”.

            Which is correct?

    13. F1 appears to be stuck at the moment because a clear decision hasn’t been made. Do we want to cut costs, limit resources, freeze technology etc and allow Marussia and Caterham to compete? The alternative is to allow free spending, unfreeze technology, promote innovation etc and accept that Caterham and Marussia cannot afford to compete in the pinnicle of motorsport…

    14. I welcome 3-car teams. If you can’t afford to be in F1, stay out of it. Tight rules are the worst thing that can happen to F1. The engine freeze should’ve never happened in the first place.

      Maybe we should start blaming those who are really responsible: those who took away the virtually unlimited sponsoring budget of tobacco manufacturers. Hey, you stopped 3 kids from smoking who instead got wasted. Surely that’s worth killing the sport.

      1. The problem is that its not just Caterham/Marussia who are struggling. Force India & Sauber are also on the brink of collapse so introducing 3rs cars (Which would raise costs massively), Dropping the engine freeze (Which again would raise costs) & opening up the rules (Again costs would go up) would put those teams over that brink & into the same position Caterham/Marussia currently are.

        Lotus are also not exactly financially stable, Williams are safe as long as they retain the Martini deal & STR are been held up by Red Bull.

        3 car teams will do nothing but hurt the smaller teams, It will put them further down the grid & raise there costs which will both put them under even more financial pressure. Then what 4 car teams, 5 cars teams or maybe The top 4 teams who are the only teams financially sound running 6 cars?

        “If you can’t afford to be in F1, stay out of it.”

        Just on that point specifically. The primary part of the problem isn’t so much teams been unable to afford to run in F1, Its more that F1 doesn’t distribute its funds in a way that allows the small teams to afford F1.
        If the prize funds were distributed more fairly then Marussia/Caterham & those just above them would be in far, far less problems & would in all likelihood actually be in no danger o going under.

        Look at it this way, For 9th place in the constructors championship Marussia would get less prize money than the budget cap Max Mosley proposed would have been. Meanwhile Ferrari are getting $100m on-top of the prize money for there constructors placing simply because they have raced in F1 since the start.

      2. Myopic view.
        The rules have been changed regarding distribution of money such that a team coming in must be prepared to sink in millions every year without any hope of competing with the top 5 teams or being able to keep the books in the black. In evolutionary terms, the chicken will eat the egg and become extinct.

        1. It’s the same in every other top-class sport.

          If you don’t want to spend millions to compete at the top, race in GP2.

          Obviously the distribution of money needs to be sorted so more ends up with the teams instead of the racist, homophobic fool we have running the sport. Despite this however, restricting what teams can do so that smaller teams can compete isn’t the way forward.

          * having said that, letting teams enter with the agreement that costs will be X amount and then increasing them dramatically until the teams are forced to drop out isn’t on but I wouldn’t expect anything less from ‘him’.

      3. Saying “If you can’t afford to be in F1, stay out of it.” is pretty rich when teams like Ferrari get more money from FOM for just existing simply because Bernie likes his divide and conquer tactics.
        If Marussia was getting that money they could easily afford it so maybe we should cut all the extra money Ferrari and other big teams get and give it to the small teams and if they complain we can just tell them “If you can’t afford it, stay out of it”.

        Seriously that statement is completely f0olish. What people like you saying such thing don’t realize is that no one can afford it except maybe Ferrari because they get so much they dodn’t lose much money at all. No one wants to lose money even if his a billionaire.
        It’s just bad business. That is why even teams like Red Bull or Mercedes aren’t granted. If this teams were making profits then they could probably be there forever because even if you aren’t interested in the F1 marketing benefits anymore, if you make money out of it why would close shop? You wouldn’t.
        But if you make losses then after getting all the marketing benefit you think you could get then you say: “Well am bored losing money on this, i’ll go away”, and that is why even Red Bull or Mercedes say goodby a few years down the line.
        A healthy sport were teams are making money would never have to worry about being affordable or keeping teams, or finding teams.

    15. BMW should buy Marussia and make a return to F1!

    16. Happy Birthday, Bernie! 84 years old today.

      Question: How does Bernie party?

      1. @crammond

        Question: How does Bernie party?

        Richly.

      2. Question: How does Bernie party?

        He invites all his friends, people that really like him and those that rate what he is doing to F1….

        …He parties on his own then ;)

      3. Question: How does Bernie party?

        He buys the booze, and sells it to his guests at a large markup, while writing into the contract that all of them must buy a drink for him every time they buy one for themselves.

        He then sells the invitations to the highest bidder, regardless of who they are or what they have done. He ensures they sign contracts which require them to come to future parties for the next 10 years, at a dramatically increasing cost each year, with penalties if they do not buy enough drinks or can’t make it.

        On top of that, he gets the best DJs in the world to play. The amount set aside to pay the DJs is divided up by how much people enjoy each set, with the best few getting massive amounts and the worst not even getting enough to cover their transport to the gig. On top of this, the ones who did best last year get a bonus this year, and his mate Dave gets a large wad of cash “because he is so important to the party”, no matter how good his set was.

        1. HA! Love it.

    17. Anyone know anything about these brothers that want Marussia ?. I’ve googled their names and nothing of any significance comes up.

      Sounds like another Zoran Stefanovic to me. Only this time there’s two of them.

      Appologies if I’m wrong.

    18. Every sport has a method of ensuring the survival of the smaller market teams except F1. Only F1 seems to be structured in such a way as to punish teams for not being awash in cash. In American Football, the lowest ranked teams get first draft picks in order to help those teams get better and ensure that the same teams do not dominate the sport year after year. The FA has relegation to cycle the teams through the Premiership (I know this is not perfect so spare the comments here). DTM has a series of performance rules to ensure close racing.
      Only F1 continues to heap greater and greater rewards on the teams who need it least thus ensuring “back marker” teams never advance to infringe on the 4 team monopoly. The only way to break out is if you have a truly massive influx of cash a la Red Bull.
      True, success should be rewarded, but to continue to shovel money at the teams that need it least while withholding from those who barely scrape by ensures fiascos like this one. Successful teams will reap rewards through sponsorship while more intelligent revenue sharing would stave off the clown show that F1 often appears to be.
      As for the fans, F1 needs to take the stick out of its collective ass and allow the fans greater access to the teams. One of the great joys for petrolheads the world over is getting close to real racing machines. Standing in the paddock of the TUSC when the Corvettes fire up is just awesome because you are right there. F1 needs to stop telling itself it’s the “pinnacle of motorsport” and can do no wrong, and take a look around at what other successful series are doing. Here’s a little barometer, F1 is perilously close to losing between 2 and 4 (maybe more?) teams while WEC is GAINING teams almost every year…and Bernie, for reasons I don’t fully understand, thinks this is a good thing.

    19. Stefan Geyseler. This man is a nominee director. You will find this in many jurisdictions that specialise in offshore shell companies. He sets up companies and trusts and is there so that the real owners don’t have to be on the paperwork and don’t get googled by every idiot F1 site who do not understand due diligence and multi layered offshore structures.

    20. Four cars missing from the grid.
      Vettel starts at the back of the grid for engine penalty.
      RACE cars coasting around to save fuel.
      Welcome back to America F1 !….. we almost got over the Michelin tire fiasco at Indianapolis but,now you have reminded us why you can’t succeed here.Because we like to watch cars RACE.

      1. @wesley

        RACE cars coasting around to save fuel.

        How do you know that they will be? Most races this year have not been significantly affected by fuel. Most races this year have been really competitive, with battles up and down the field, the Mercs fighting up front and pockets of action throughout the rest.

        As for Vettel starting from the pit lane, why is that a bad thing?

        The missing cars are a disappointment, I’ll grant you.

        All I can think is that you expect the entire grid to be nose-to-tail for the whole event, which is not F1.

    21. It just irks me!We build an awesome track here in the US for real race fans and we get this pathetic 18 car grid of cars coasting around to save fuel.Last week Bernie is hanging out with Putin at a boring, processional track still raking in the bucks..Abu Dhabi gets double point with half the spectators.F1 has become the biggest joke in racing.I keep hanging in there for the improvement but………

    22. I’m glad to this.

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