Max Chilton, Marussia, Hockenheimring, 2014

Teams must be put on “equitable” footing, says FIA

2014 United States Grand Prix

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Max Chilton, Marussia, Hockenheimring, 2014The FIA says the withdrawal of Marussia and Caterham from this weekend’s race shows a need for “equitable participation” between teams in the sport.

In a statement issued on Thursday the sport’s governing body said there is “considerable uncertainty surrounding their participation in the final races of the 2014 championship”.

The FIA also called on the stewards of this weekend’s race to bear in mind the financial difficulties faced by both teams when deciding whether they should be penalised for failing to participate in every round of the championship.

“It is the responsibility of the FIA stewards to determine whether or not a team has failed to fulfil its regulatory obligation to take part in all events on the calendar and to take whatever action they deem appropriate,” it said.

“However, we have every confidence that the stewards are fully aware of the financial situation of the teams concerned and these matters are always assessed with extreme care and due regard for the circumstances involved.”

The FIA said the plight of the two teams, which have gone into administration “once again acutely raise the question of the economic balance of the FIA Formula One championship and justify the position, expressed many times by the FIA, in favour of any initiative that will help reduce costs in order to ensure the survival of the existing grid or attract potential new entrants”.

“As such, the FIA, in close cooperation with FOM and the different stakeholders in F1, will continue to work towards maintaining the attraction of the championship and the equitable participation of the teams in it in the years to come,” it added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Teams must be put on “equitable” footing, says FIA”

  1. Translation “We understand that the teams are struggling, in the future, we may share some money with them, in the mean time, we feel that it is appropriate to fine them for not having enough money”.

    1. Well now they acknowledge that there is a problem rather than just ignoring it. Maybe in ten years they’ll actually do something about it. Baby steps.

      1. @ladekoya Maybe in ten years time, they’ll have no teams in the sport? I for one think that Todt is trying to improve his image or is trying to be politically correct. There’s no credibility in those words unless there’s any concrete ‘action’ from him or the FIA.

  2. Yeah, Great! When two of the eleven teams drop out due to financial difficulties which is due to the collective failure of the Failed International Administration, For Only Money and the Big Teams, now the stewards are reminded to penalise those two poor teams for not able to show up.

  3. Bernie should be able to chip in, just a little, the man is said to be good for $4,200,000,000

  4. Well you know what do then, FIA: declare the CVC incompetent and divide the commercial rights money equally between the teams. You know equally, like n/11, not giving $100m to Ferrari just for being Ferrari or shutting out the midfield teams just because they’ve only been in the sport for 10 years.

    1. +1,000,000!!!!!!!!!

      I thought we got rid of the feudal system hundreds of years ago, why are King Bernie and his rich friends still shooting skeets and using peasants as clay pigeons???

  5. Part of the problem is the two teams in ‘administration control’ (bankruptcy UK/English speak?) is that they already know that there will be NO money coming their way based on Bernie doling out money based on points. Also in the good or bad old days there was Krillions of dollars from tobacco companies. I recall reading that Marlboro paid Schumacher $25 million in one year. This was purportedly his salary for driving, meaning that the team had 25 million more to spend on the cars…… AND yes the double points brings F1 into the wrestling ring mentality as some misguided plan to bring more fans to F1…. Thanks RnR

    1. MSC made more than that per year. Though perhaps that year it is accurate, can’t say.

      I’m not sure why Marussia (one of the two teams in administration) wouldn’t get money based on points. They scored points and they are 9th in the WCC.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        30th October 2014, 20:22

        @hobo, when a team is insolvent (bankrupt) then their contract is automatically terminated and they are no longer participating in the championship. Thus no longer 9th, and no money.
        (Sauber will be ‘happy’)

        1. @coldfly – Do you have a source for this? Because I believe both teams are going to try to make it to Abu Dhabi, which seems to me like they are participating or attempting to participate in the championship.

          I can easily see how there may be some hardline legal/contractual requirement that they would be breaching, but I also can see how meeting the spirit of the requirements should be enough.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            30th October 2014, 21:15

            @hobo – I took this from Caroline Reed’s tweet of the contract in @keithcollantine‘s round-up of 25Oct.

            Insolvent means in general “unable to pay debts when due”, but the contract may have a more detailed definition. However, calling in an administrator does not necessarily mean that the company is insolvent. And if they sell the company as a ‘going concern’ then it would not be insolvent (yet). I am sure lawyers will have a field day when they argue if/when the company was insolvent when arguing that Marussia should get their prize money.

    2. Using championship points as a means to allot money is just an excuse to give more money to the “haves” and none to the “haven’t”. As you said, Marussia won’t get a cent this year even though they have points.
      I don’t have a problem with having prize money, but it should be clearly stated what the prize money is before the start of the season or before the start of each race and how it is allocated, e.g. 1st prize = $1M, 2nd prize =$500,000 etc. None of this “And for winning the race … Oh, but you haven’t raced for two years, so we’re not giving you the prize money”. If a team won, they won! If they got points in a race then they should get the prize money associated with those points, and not at the end of the year, once the official results are announced then the checks should be handed out. Why else do you think teams fail financially? Because they had to borrow money to race, and then only receive what they are entitled to at the end of the season. Saying they won’t get that money because they are in administration is even more likely to make them fold than when they went into administration. If they are entitled to prize money then they should get the prize money. That is an something F1 should be ashamed of: Brawn GP didn’t get a cent and they won the world championship! What a joke.
      Now we have Marussia, driven nearly to the wall because of the unfair distribution of prize money, and now they won’t get any of the money they’re entitled to, meaning the banks are even more likely to demand the business fold than before. If Marussia had been given the money they had won at the end of each race then it may well be the banks believed they were still worth the risk and not put them into adminstration.

  6. “In a statement by the FIA Stewards, it has been determined that no sporting or financial punishment is to be issued to the two concerning teams, and that instead, Ferrari will have their annual $62.2m heritage bonus (which we can only assume has been turned into kindling, given the disappointing yet somehow unsurprising mediocrity of this year’s model) retracted an redistributed to Caterham and Marussia.

    Furthermore, Mr Bernie Ecclestone is to be exiled to a remote island.
    In the middle of space.”

    1. @ninjenius – You have my support should you ever run for FIA president or replacement-Bernie.

      1. He has my vote as well.

  7. FOM takes a lions share of the revenues for their share holders; track promoters are short changed in the process along with the smaller teams. Mid-field teams are barely hanging on because of pay drivers and some sponsors; big teams spend corporate money like there is no tomorrow to stay “competitive”.
    To attempt to maintain a small team in that environment without financial and regulatory support is a dynamic contradiction.
    A contradiction that cannot exist on the head of a pin. Formula One is in serious long term trouble if there is not a change in the way they do business.

  8. Marussia and Caterham have no one to blame but themselves. The teams continually sign a Concorde agreement that gives Bernie the lion’s share of the revenue and then bleat about how they have no money. The big teams can afford to do so but the mid and small teams can not, yet they always sign and then expect a cash windfall from the heavens to save them and make everything right. Perhaps this thinning of the herd is just what is needed to get some people involved who won’t settle for the crumbs Bernie is offering.

    1. @velocityboy Rubbish – both teams, along with HRT, signed under the agreement that budgets were to be capped at $40 million.

      They weren’t.

      The teams sort of survived, largely thanks to FOTA and the RRA when it existed, but that all essentially dissolved.

      The teams were then hit with charges for the newer PU, amongst other rising costs.

      1. @Optimaximal only an idiot would believe that the budgets were going to be capped at $40 million. So again, they have no one to blame but themselves.

        1. maarten.f1 (@)
          31st October 2014, 0:03

          @velocityboy it’s easy to say that on hindsight. We don’t know what they were promised, or what the FIA said they would do, there’s nothing idiotic about that. However, I do tire of the excuse. Signing a contract under the believe a budget cap would come is like spending your money before you win the lottery. Although I do believe it’s an excuse more often used by fans rather than the teams.

          As for your comments about signing the Concorde agreement; you think they have a good bargaining position? Bernie is a master of divide and conquer. The fact Ferrari gets a 5% share of the money BEFORE any money is divided over the teams is ridiculous, no matter their history in Formula 1. And there are similar deals with other big teams. So why can’t Caterham or Marussia get a deal like that? Because Bernie doesn’t really care. So before any money is divided, the small teams are already on the back foot. If nothing is going to change, then Caterham and Marussia aren’t the only teams collapsing.

  9. I know this won’t solve the major issues that F1 teams are currently facing but I can help financial matters somewhat.
    Eliminate qualifying. Have one qualifying session at the start of the year, then after that the drivers start the next race where they finished the previous. Drivers have proven that they can make their way back up the field in one race, so even if a driver has to start from the back because of a DNF at the previous race it won’t really effect them that much.
    it would also shake up the standings a bit, and it would force Drivers to have to take more chances, which we as fans would find more exciting to watch.
    the biggest bonus though is that it would prevent teams from having to spend resources on one more session.

    1. You do understand that would mean F1 events would be reduced to two (or even one) days, meaning even less money for the track promoters, meaning more tracks not backed by rich dictators going bust.

      1. You could be right. However it could be a day spent on marketing and PR. A day solely dedicated to the fans, even the ones who can’t afford to attend the race. F1 could be a lot more profitable if they showed that they actually cared about the fans at each place they race.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          31st October 2014, 7:15

          @irejag, your idea might be wrong for a 1000 reasons but I like the out-of-the-box thinking. Well done.
          What about doing a ‘virgin race’ over 150km instead of FP1! all cars have to race and just guess what set-up will work. How exciting would that be.
          Quali (or not) and the normal race both can be on Sunday and have double points (Bernie happy) vs the ‘virgin race’.

  10. They mention cost control but not fair distribution of prizes which would far and away be the easiest and most effective solution. Typical. “This has registered as a problem, but since we’re more concerned with solving problems that no one considers a problem, we see no reason to take the logical route towards improvement. Thank you and please await our next baffling decision.”

    1. The prize money is handled by FOM and (I believe) the FIA has no jurisdiction over how it’s handed out.

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