Ecclestone ‘wants to drive smaller teams out’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone is accused of planning to force Formula One’s smaller teams out.


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Ecclestone rings death knell for F1 minnows (The Telegraph)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “We’re not begging, let’s make that clear. But they are trying to drive teams out because they don’t suit them any more.”

Force India and Sauber attack F1’s move towards customer cars (The Guardian)

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley: “There is a very clear programme coming in. The goal is to move to customer- car teams and the three cars will be the interim. That would allow them to keep the numbers while the customer cars are brought in.”

Ecclestone: No CVC help or third cars (Autosport)

“Ecclestone confirmed that he would be speaking to CVC’s Donald MacKenzie next week, but denied that it would be about securing more cash for the smaller teams.”

Lewis Hamilton Hamilton takes no comfort from lead (BBC)

“There is zero comfort going into the next race.”

In conversation – Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton (F1)

“BE: I wanted [double points] for the last three races.
LH: Yep, that would have been better and fairer.”

Button not ready to stop racing (Sky)

“Not ready to stop racing no.”

Button impressed by turbo power at Interlagos (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Normally we lose about 15% of power, we’re losing very little now. So we’ve probably got the most power we’ve ever had in my era of F1, even with the V10s, because you lose 15%, around Sao Paulo.”


Comment of the day

What did the penultimate race of the season say about the two protagonists prospects for the final race?

Interesting result. Rosberg won, closed the points gap and will obviously gain confidence from Hamilton’s mistake and taking the pole position.

That said, he must also worry about Hamilton’s race pace. Rosberg had no answer when Hamilton started closing back in. Had Hamilton made the jump in the stops its likely he would have built up a four to seven second gap. Of course we’ll never know, but I think if Rosberg had an answer he wouldn’t have let the gap get smaller than two to four seconds.

It’s interesting that both drivers can take a big chunk of confidence from this one. Rosberg because he raced well, won and had a perfect weekend. Hamilton because he knows he had the race pace advantage again despite losing pole.

I also don’t think Hamilton will loose much confidence with the spin. It was an error, but burnt up tyres looked to play a part as well. In a strange way it could actually be helpful for him to just settle him down a little for the last race and know not to make the same mistake again. After all better to make it today and still bag solid points than make it in the next race and cost him a championship.
D (@F190)

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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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92 comments on “Ecclestone ‘wants to drive smaller teams out’”

  1. No double points at all would have been fairer, Lewis. However, since BERNIE insists on having them, why not allocating them to “important” races instead of the last 3? Make Monaco/Spa/Suzuka count for two or something like that.

    1. Such an idea would get messy very fast. Would Monza get it over Silverstone? Why have Monaco get it but not Singapore? Double points at a handful of races just ends up increasing the element of random chance in the Championship.

      The thing is every race should be equally important. That’s the way it has been, and that’s the way it should be again. Anything else damages the sporting credentials of F1.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        10th November 2014, 2:48

        Here’s a nice one: multiply the points of each race by the Rate the Race score from this site!
        (@reiter, @colossal-squid)

        1. James (@jamesjames123abc)
          10th November 2014, 12:22

          I like that idea. Incredibly, here’s what the standings would be (without Japan, USA and Brazil GPs):

          Hamilton – 1819.276
          Rosberg – 1818.138

          Meaning that Hamilton is ahead by 1.138 points (although it’d probably be more if you include the other 2/3 races)

      2. The entire “point” is that they want to keep viewing figures up. Having DP* in earlier races has a good chance of doing the opposite.

        *I think I will continue to refer to Double Points as DP from now on, as the alternative meaning shows what Bernie is doing to the sport.

        1. Cant help thinking Bernie and CVC are more spit roasting the sport.

    2. Double points for the last 20 races could work.

      1. +1 great call

    3. How can you know what race is the hardest to win. Are you actually going to call Monaco this year a heroic drive? What about Hungary? That DOTW poll shows that all 3 podium finishers were amazing. Unless you make one race scientifically harder like making it longer, double points are just as fitting at Abu Dhabi as any other track.

      1. I understand and agree with all the replies here, but that’s not the point. The point is that we have to use BERNIE logic and try to make the best of it until he gets tired of making so much money and retires.

    4. Double points need to go away. Not be fixed for certain races or multiple races. Just gone, gone gone. Each race is different and special in its own way. Equal points for all races is fair and makes sense. This was one aspect of F1 that didn’t need fixing. What double points was supposedly fixing was a problem that did not even exist this season.

      Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Bernie was already trying to peddle the rights to double points races to race promoters, for additional fees of course.

      1. DP wouldn’t have fixed anything last season either as Vettel would simply have won by even more points

        1. Very good point!

    5. Every race should have the same points system. In a fair system, Lewis would be WDC after Brazil result…

      1. Erm…No. I suggest you keep a calculator with you at all times.

      2. no he wouldn’t!

    6. Actually, bonus points for pole position would be a great idea.

      1. I kinda like the bonus points for “classic” races, but ultimately I agree that double points need to go.
        However I do agree there should be a pint for pole position AND one for fastest lap. Could you imagine the drama of a championship coming down to who can simply drive the fastest?!?

          1. This: “starting the race ahead of everyone else is enough reward in itself”

          2. Of course according to you @keithcollantine ;) I would welcome such rule very much as quali in my view is very often a great indicator of drivers speed.

          3. @keithcollantine Do you have any scientific proof that it actually is a bad idea? I really hope you do (don’t post your article based on your personal opinion), otherwise it is just another proof of poor journalism if it deserves to be called so.

          4. petebaldwin (@)
            10th November 2014, 18:12

            You’re, of course, aware that this is Keith’s website and most of the articles are written by him? If you think his writing is “poor journalism”, why don’t you explore the internet a bit and find another F1 site?

          5. @thorpedo

            don’t post your article based on your personal opinion

            Why am I not allowed to have an opinion?

          6. You mean just like @webtel was allowed to have his opinion?

          7. @thorpedo I didn’t say they weren’t – you’re the one telling people not to post their opinions.

            So I ask again, why do you think I am not allowed to?

            Or, more usefully, I explained why I think it’s a poor idea, what’s your opinion?

            Talking about opinions is rather more fun than telling people not to hold them, I think you’ll find.

          8. To say no it’s a dreadful idea is a pretty strong statement in my opinion.

            I think you should be more un-biased about everything since you are the editor of this site (i.e. explain this, explain that and then let users, readers have their own opinion).

            Regarding the topic (points for pole position): From my biased point of view, I would like pole positions to be rewarded this year as it would help my title favourite. However, from unbiased point I think it shouldn’t be rewarded and I don’t agree with double points either (great if it works for Nico though, again biased).

    7. Double points for the last three races? Well, the last two races would have nullified themselves.
      As Kieth has alluded to, double points were designed to ensure the championship went down to the wire, which has happened regardless.
      Double points = pointless
      Pointless = non-championship races.
      Would be nice if we had some non-championship races again. Maybe ones where all teams would get equal prize money? But I suppose these probably wouldn’t work in this day and age.

    8. I know this is irrelevant to today’s roundup, but according to SKY and Autosport (very reliable sources), Alonso has already finalized his deal with McLaren Honda (Not McLaren-Honda) and the only reason for the delay in announcement is because they’re still yet to decide who his teammate will be and they want to make the announcement together. So it looks like Alonso and Magnussen for McLaren Honda next year.

  2. “they are trying to drive teams out because they don’t suit them any more”

    That’s a very dangerous way of thinking, because just like smaller teams doesn’t suit F1 anymore, the same could happen to F1 if a manufacturer (be it Mercedes or Renault) or a company with 4 cars to its name like Red Bull decide F1 not longer suits them, and pull the plug like so many others have done before…

    Companies are cold blooded animals, just ready to do whatever they have to do in order to improve business, just like Bernie does. Bernie needs to be careful because if he loses the privateers, he’s giving even more power to the manufacturers and big companies and there’s no way he can stop them leaving if they want.

    1. I totally agree, it’s only the ‘small’ teams that are there simply to compete, no other agenda. I supported Toyota when they were around and was pretty dismayed when they left. For me the privateers are the blood of F1 and without them, F1 loses too much character. I decided earlier in the year this would most likely be my last year watching F1 and I’ve been hoping to be convinced otherwise, but I feel the current saga has convinced me that F1 is nothing but a product, a product that is becoming more and more vanilla. I miss the flavour…

    2. That’s it exactly. It’s why Sauber and Williams especially are absolutely vital to the sport. They only do F1.

      I really feel like they are ruining the sport. If they push these teams out. I’m out. I’ll find another series. And it won’t be an FIA one either.

      1. @mike
        Williams have a non-F1 division and they do an awful lot more than just F1.

        Williams advanced engineering:

    3. It’s like saying teams must shine within 3/4 years after joining the series despite it’s “challenging” prize money structure.

      I think Haas is the perfect “small team” for Bernie, a guy with will and money who can survive under the current agreement.

    4. So lets just say that F1 reinvested all its money into F1 instead of handing wads of cash for CVC to fill up their sock drawers. If the current cost model is maintained, wont we be right back here in a few years time? If there is money in the sport, does it mean that only the back of the grid guys get more money or does everyone get more money?

    5. @fer-no65 The most frustrating thing is we know the optimal model for F1, a Brundlist Red Bull-esque model of A and B teams that both ensures the security of poorer teams and promotes driver development, and furthermore we have the resources to put that Arcadia into place; we are bound solely by competitive instinct and the skewed agendas of F1’s authorities.

      With this in mind, we arrive at third cars, the only remotely considerable way to expand the grid without alienating F1’s powerhouses. But once you’ve considered podium monopoly, “ghost” cars unable to score points versus the death of the midfield, the reality that only the larger teams could field a third car, the issues of throwing rookies in at the deep end at the top end of the grid and the implications of hammering home the influence of F1’s largest power brokers by giving them a third sponsor base, third cars become less desirable.

      For me there is only one model that works with regards three cars. Once the reality that only Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull are able to field third cars is accepted, the aim of the model must be to minimise the pain to the midfield which obviously means the third car cannot be eligible for points. However to avoid an F3-style “ghost car” situation third cars should be eligible for WDC points, but not WCC points, with the WCC a total of the two cars with the largest WDC tallies, i.e. the car that does not contribute to the WCC is not predetermined.

      Now this will make the WCC virtually impossible to follow since the on-track result would not be what appears on the WCC table, and there will still be considerable pain to the midfield in that developmentally they will have one less car to gain data from and will still be dicing in much lower positions than they would otherwise be (a midfield drivers scoring WDC points would be a rarity in this system) which impairs the commercial clout of the team, but I no other third-car model that is even remotely feasible. Ultimately, third-cars are a nightmare scenario, and should be viewed as something of a last resort.

  3. Speaking about the double points race. I think that Rosberg will do well around Abu Dhabi for a few reasons.

    1. Last year, he trashed Lewis around this circuit by 46 seconds, and challenged Webber in a dominant Red Bull for second place. This is the only straight comparison we’ve had between NR and LH around Yas Marina in equal cars.

    2. Pirelli will bring the SS and S tyres. Thus far this season, whenever Pirelli brought the softest compound, Rosberg has usually gone well on pure pace (Monaco, Canada, Austria, Germany).

    3. Rosberg is extremely good in qualifying, and with extremely good, I mean properly fast. If he can take pole, he could control the race from the front. As we saw in Brazil, track position is almost everything, and he did not make a mistake all race long despite Lewis hunting him down.

    4. It likely wont rain in the desert.

    With that being said, in a problem-free weekend, I still expect Hamilton to either win the race, or cruise to a 2nd place finish (although knowing Lewis, he probably wont do that).

    1. I don’t want to sound like an excuse maker, I just want to add a counter argument.

      1) Lewis had a damaged chassis, and had improved performance after it was changed. He also would have been on Pole if his car din’t break mid lap.
      2) Rosberg has been good on the SS, but are you sure his performance on those tracks doesn’t relate to him being in good form at the time instead. Hamilton beat Rosberg despite a lockup in Singapore.
      3) Hamilton doesn’t have to beat Rosberg.
      4) Despite Hamilton being good in the rain, a standard weekend only benefits Hamilton, as changeable conditions are the most likely way of a bad finish for a Mercedes e.g Hungary.

    2. Hamilton has matured since his early years. If he is not in lead, he will just settle for 2nd.

    3. Least likely scenario:
      * Ham for pole
      * Rosberg (cleanly) overtakes
      * Ham finishes 3rd or worse
      * Ros WDC

      Senna/Prost outcome:
      * Mercs tangle in overtaking fight, both DNF, Lewis wins WDC

      Spa outcome:
      * Ros (or Ham) for pole
      * Ham pulls ahead if 2nd (or keeps lead if pole)
      * Ros attempts desperate overtake and knocks out Ham
      * Ros WDC

      Most likely scenario:
      * Ros takes pole
      * Ham challenges, but does not overtake (or does)
      * Ham develops technical fault, DNF
      * Ros WDC

      1. P.S. what are the rules if both require an engine change/start from the pitlane? Who goes first?

        1. I believe it comes down to timing: The car which anounces the change first goes first. It is similar to penalties.

          I have not read the rules on it, so someone else can confirm.

  4. TIME FOR A NEW SERIES, F1 can only continue its decline under the current managers.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      10th November 2014, 2:54

      @hohum, +1.
      I’ve been an avid F1 fan all my life, but actually consider changing my ‘hobby’ now.

      1. Like ColdFly I have been an avid F1 fan since 60s, but this sport has been self-destructing itself, with all the bickering etc. I have found another sport MotorGP, Motor2 and 3, which has incredibly exciting wheel to wheel racing and none of the political arguments. This year has been incredible Championships and I for one am now changing my allegiance. So F1 clean up your act or watch spectators disappear in droves and you will all be the losers!!!

      2. +1. I’ve been watching F1 for 20 years now, but am on the verge of giving up also. It’s not just Bernie at fault, but the management at all the top teams.

        Thank goodness we have other options (Moto GP will be my first choice from now on). Hopefully Formula E will mature enough to rival or replace F1 one day. Then again, they might make the same mistakes!.

    2. @hohum it won’t work fella. Heritage is a huge mountain. You cannot create a new World Cup or Super Bowl… as years go the more difficult it will be to replace F1 with something else. Look, despite all the buzz around WEC, it can post audience numbers close to declining F1’s viewing figures.

      Let’s just focus on improving F1 (maybe a new boss could help) instead of trying to create a brand new series.

      1. @jcost, it’s true that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was F1, a WEC 300km sprint race series would need to grow but it certainly can happen for a couple of good reasons;
        A. the cars already exist but are under-utilised
        B. ALM is already established in USA and LM class races exist in EU, not much needs to be done to organise a top-tier series in those markets and use them as a base for expansion.
        C. People are hungry for GOOD racing eg. Aussie V8 supercars.

        Improve F1 ? Unfortunately Bernie has sold the rights to bleed F1 dry to a bunch of venture capitalists whose only aim is to extract as much cash out of F1 as it can bear, they are not going to relinquish that right, at least not unless the teams can buy it back for $10 Bil.

        1. The American Le Mans Series does not exist since they merged with the Daytona Prototypes, forming the United Sports Car Championship – and the reason that was formed was because each series lacked the fan base to do much more than survive.

          On top of that, the current imbalance in performance means that it is likely a number of the teams running LMP2 cars will switch to Daytona Prototypes, effectively killing off the market for LMP cars in the US. There is also the issue that the teams there are locked into contracts with Continental, who are the series supplier, which would no doubt be an issue for Michelin, the primary sponsor of the WEC.

          1. Exactly why an overall international umbrella organisation needs to be formed to rationalise the rules and promote a F1-like championship.

    3. As much as a new / rival series could help forge a path to recovery, if there were a new series, who would actually be in it?
      Ferrari, Red Bull (therefore Toro Rosso), McLaren, Williams and Mercedes would surely be going nowhere.
      So it would be a series comprised of Force India, Sauber, Lotus and the possible remnants of Marussia and Caterham? Maybe you’d get a few GP2 / FR3.5 teams fancy a crack at it, but still there are no truly big names. Not immediately anyway. It would prove hard to compete – even with an F1 down on numbers.
      Where would the revenues come from? As bad as he is, Berny is damn good at wringing every last drop of money out of circuits and promoters. Even with a more even spread of prize money, I doubt teams like Sauber would get much more out of a new series than they get now.

      I’m not against a new / rival series, but I always remember the 1996 USAC / CART split and the implosion that’s only now starting to properly recover.
      A similar scenario would be equally tragic for F1.

    4. Once again, I look back to the mid 1990’s, and remember when Tony George tore my heart out of my young chest. Splitting IndyCar in its heyday robbed open-wheel racing of a viable alternative. That series was on the rise challenging F1 in the Americas and about to cross oceans. CART was run by the same sort of idiots now in the top teams of F1, and things quickly got out of hand. Had things not happened that way, we would see the bottom six teams looking at Bernie and saying, “You want us to starve to death because you’re too cheap? Excuse us, we’re going to spend 2/3 the money and win some races in a series that doesn’t treat us like scum.”

      Thanks to Tony George, that leverage is gone. I was at the first and last USGP’s held at Indy, and to think I added to the pockets of the two people who irritate me on a “mention and I will rant” level, and well… *sigh*

      Face it people, us F1 Fanatics are going to be the masochistic diehards who are stuck at the end when everything shuts down. Race fans take strange colors. For me, it’s the only effective advertising. From Bosch spark plugs and Valvoline motor oil courtesy of Al Unser Jr., to Marlboro from Unser and Senna, to Smirnoff from Perez, put my driver under certain brandings and I buy. Some of you out there are the same. All due respect to Keith, you sir, will be turning out the lights.

    5. Unfortunately F1 is supposed to be the premier motor racing series, if it isn’t that then it has no reason to exist.

  5. A huge opportunity exists for the LMP racers, if they were to initiate a series of 300km races as a world championship series of 20 races, including the LM24, on tracks used by F1 they could undercut F1 by 50% for tracks and TV and still make a handsome income for the teams, I can imagine many tracks and fans would welcome them. It may be that open-wheel racing as the premier motorsport category is past its sell by date.

    1. @hohum Did Ecclestone not undercut WEC 20 years ago? By making their engines cost so much more, that the manufacturers could do F1 for the same money and get more exposure….

      1. Which is also when Sauber-Mercedes moved to/back to F1 from being in World Sportscars.

        1. @fastiesty, WEC is not available on FTA TV here, so I haven’t followed it for years, following F1 has been hard enough in the past and even now the commercials hide a lot of info like Hulks final pit-stop.
          I know in the US ALM is very active but it is run more like club racing. With the big manufacturers involved in the 24hr it should be pretty easy to set up a series using F1 as the model but having it managed as a co-op.

          1. The problem is, those same manufacturers stand accused of the deliberate destruction of privateer entrants in the LMP1 field – a policy that has lead to a sharp reduction in the number of participants in the prototype category overall.

            Just two years ago, the WEC had seven different entrants in the LMP1 field and eight in the LMP2 category. This year, the number of entrants across the two LMP1 fields has fallen to five and is due to fall to four (the only Lotus P1/01 chassis was heavily damaged in Japan and is thought to be a total write off).

            The LMP2 field, meanwhile, has also shrunk to just five entrants over the same time frame, and we have also seen the number of engine suppliers in the LMP2 field drop down to the point where Nissan now has a monopoly on the LMP2 field.

    2. I’ve been a F1 fan for more years than I care to count, but I’ve been enjoying the WEC races A LOT more than the F1 races for a while now. Started with just Le Mans and have since expanded into all of them.
      If they did 300km races (which would go against the E in WEC obviously), I would be hard pressed to choose F1 over their conflicting races. And I don’t think I would be alone in that conundrum…

  6. If the points are being doubled then why not double everything else that goes along with it too? Double the race distance, double the amount of tyres available, double the bottles of champagne on the podium etc. It seems wholly unfair assigning twice the usual championship value to an event which holds just the same racing value as any other event on the calendar irrespective of whether it happens to be Abu Dhabi, Monaco or Spa.

  7. Bernie has completely abandoned and forgotten his own rather humble beginnings in Formula 1. He was once a minnow himself, obviously quite a distant memory. Granted, F1 as a sport and a business has evolved over the years. But, if the attitude was to drive small teams out when Bernie started in F1, he never would have gotten to where he is today. Not that he cares about that now.

  8. Haha Piquet! I love that guy, he just says the things that everyone dares not to say. I couldn’t lip sync live but I don’t think there was any driver ever to feel light hearted after sharing the same air with Nelson. I really do mean that I love Piquet, he’s something I can’t say but even Nelson has a point, and bless the man who had the idea of pitching Piquet, not even the brazilian love Piquet, why not Fittipaldi, well that’s good tv in my view.

  9. ColdFly F1 (@)
    10th November 2014, 2:23

    Good to see some strong women coming through in F1.
    A couple of days ago a great article with Claire Williams.
    Now Monica speaking her mind about Bernie.

    1. Yes! And it’s great for STEM promotion as well for girls. STEM is so important for our economies now and many of the smartest future engineers and scientists are being left on the sidelines for no good reason. When I was in engineering school (briefly) it was about 2/3rds men. And certainly the men were not doing better than the women. Sunday I was pointing out to my young daughter that the woman in the picture in the Willaims garage ran the team and was in charge of the two white cars on the second row of the grid. It’s great to be able to do that when you are being asked all the time by a child, can girls do this and can girls do that.

  10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – In my opinion double points should only be awarded for races that are special for their difficulty. Take IndyCar as an example, this year they awarded double points for the three 500 mile oval races (the “Triple Crown” of Indy, Pocono and Fontana). Perfectly fair in my opinion, they are the longest races of the season (on distance at least, I’m not sure if they are on time but definitely on distance) plus it helps balance out the schedule, which is road-course dominated in a series that is historically oval-based. So I see no reason why double points can’t be used here. As it turns out, one of those 500 mile races was the finale which may or may not have been a deliberate attempt at a double-points finale, but as it is the finale next year is on a road course (Sonoma) I think not.

    It’s not always the case though that series feel the need to award double points for these races. You would think Bathurst would be worth double points because it’s at least twice as long in race distance as any other weekend (other than the Gold Coast event, which is 600km of race distance across the weekend), however it’s still only worth 300 points – just like any other weekend, where those 300 points are split across the weekend’s races as V8SC sees fit (although this usually means there is essentially “double points” for the Sunday race versus the two Saturday races – usually a 75-75-150 split).

    So basically if Bernie really wants double points, we need double length races. But that’s just not going to work in F1.

    P.S. Fun fact: Double points hasn’t decided whether the championship will be decided in Abu Dhabi, after all this. It’s only going to make it easier for Rosberg – he’d still be in the fight without it.

  11. I guess the small teams don’t bring the party people to Bernie’s Paddock club. Sigh. So who will be the unfashionable small team out of the remaining 5? I’m guessing Williams.

  12. How about a break-away series?

    A top-line series outside of the FIA and Ecclestone would be awesome

    1. wud definitely be awesome..only if the money is available.

    2. You can’t have a break-away series, F1 is the premier FIA sanctioned motor racing series. If you do a break-away series then it won’t be FIA sanctioned, and if it is then it won’t be the premier motor racing series.

  13. I’m sorry, F1 is a mess. Bernie is shooting himself and the sport in the foot. F1 is beginning to look toxic to investors, it’s a money pit with severely dwindling incentives to get involved at all. Something is severely wrong when you’ve got mid field teams struggling to get by. The whole model is severely broken.

  14. Bernie, just go away already.

  15. F1 can have two tiers–on a promotion and relegation basis. (apart from driver-breeding event like GP2)
    This way, some separate revenue can be realized for the so called “minnows”.
    Although, there will be a dearth for sponsorship and viewership, this will certainly help the sport to grow. It is indeed, the responsibility of the top teams and F1 management help the sport grow.

    1. Nice. But it would have the same problem for those taking part that F1 has currently: the sheer amount of money needed to build a car that is still only a couple of seconds away from the fastest ones @webtel.

      To make it work you would have to use the same engines and tyres (meaning you already need some 30 million before you even build a car, test it , let alone fly it around the world and operate it) etc, and if you want to make it more than a local series you need to get it over the world too. Who would want to watch (or put their sponsorship on the cars) to pay for it?

      1. Nitzo what you are saying sounds like when we had Turbo/NA split fields to benefit the “minnows.” I think that was a crazy and sorry era of F1 so this “relegation” idea gives me pause. We should be aiming for a single formula, whether or not all teams are “competitive.”

        And Bas, I think the question of what it takes to win races is moving the goal posts too far. Throughout its history F1 has had teams that run for the love of the sport, as well as the chance at the income from prize money and sponsorship. And sponsors have been happy to pay for space on cars even though they are not on winning cars. Unless you are a car-performance product, you care much more about total exposure than winning. The question here is not how much money it takes for Caterham et al. to win; it’s how much it takes for them to compete as stable, going concerns, because competiting is absolutely worth the effort. And if you are able to stay in and build from year to year, there is the chance that you too can get near the front, like Jordan, Tyrell, Arrows, etc. or even have a go at a title.

  16. #doublePoints #crowdfunding
    Here’s an idea for a more useful crowdfunding for F1 fans: Does anybody know how much the flag man in Aby Dhabi would ask for waving it before half-time?
    I’d happily do it for free if you offer me the job and fly me there :-).

    1. Hehe. That would be the funniest thing ever! Imagine the race being red flagged and not restarted…

  17. The Blade Runner (@)
    10th November 2014, 8:47

    Does anybody know what Rosberg is saying in the clip and, more importantly, why?!

    I noticed him cursing as he left the podium yesterday. He then noticed the camera and slipped back into PR-aware Rosberg mode.

    1. From what i can work out which is probably wrong. Rosberg doesn’t like resting his pirelli cap on the champagne bottle his sits it on the podium, Hamilton always rests his on the bottle , after Piquet ask lewis his first question Lewis walks off with his bottle and hat ,when lewis comes back for the second question Lewis slips Nico hat on the bottle, did he think it was his hat or was it intentional i don’t know but it irritates Nico that much it’s like Lewis may have done it on purpose . Pretty funny if he did

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        10th November 2014, 16:08

        Interesting take on events, thanks.

        I wondered whether actually he was unhappy that, having just won a Grand Prix, most of the focus was on (a) Massa, and (b) Nicole Scherzinger (and therefore, by default, Lewis)…

        1. More often than not, the winner of the race gets another session with the interviewer and I guess Piquet forgot who won the race.

        2. I watch a replay a few times and Rosberg seemed happy enough when lewis was getting his second question but as soon as he notices Lewis put his cap on the bottle his demeanour changes . I’am Still probably wrong but

  18. Just let the GP2 drivers race among the F1 cars. :)

    1. They would drop off fast as their “piggybag” of money would ramp upwards of 10 million per seat and season

  19. So, yesterday and the days before we had horner saying that “holding up a begging bowl” is a disgrace for the sport and that teams talking about bagging it because of unsustainable funding model were hurting the sport.

    And now we have someone who is close enough to Bernie to see her considered his PR mouth by some tauting to the world that FI is on the brink of collapse too? What has Horner got to say about that one?

    Oh, my. What an ugly situation F1 is bringing itself into.

    No wonder most teams (from Caterham all the way up to McLaren and Williams) are struggling to get solid sponsors. Who would want to see their brand associated with a bunch of losers (the small teams) in a pit of wastage of money?
    I know that I would steer very clear of this sport if I would want to advertise my company. A real shame as all the opportunities are there, including new engines that have the potential to be faster than what we had in the V10s, while using less than half the fuel!

    1. Williams is now under very serious threat. Finishing third this year wont earn them much money compared to the manufacturer teams including the drink manufacturer. If they can’t outspend their competitors they may yet go under. Mclaren may need to subsidise their racing team from profits if any of their automotive division, they can no longer guarantee they’ll always have heavy paying title sponsors.

  20. F1 began as a sport where small teams could compete and I’m sure this is one reason why older fans were attracted to the sport. Big name brands lined up against what were disparagingly referred to as the ‘Garagista’. Well the Garagista sometimes beat the big boys fair and square. Today’s small teams are the latter day equivalent of the Garagista. The smaller teams still race with their spirit, given the relative gap in funding between the back markers and the manufacturer-backed (or fizzy drinks-backed) big fish.

    Is this important? I suppose it depends on ones reason for following F1. In other words, ymmv (awful pun). For me, the presence of smaller teams, even if they rarely garner more than a couple of points, is essential; it’s part of the soul and the spirit of F1. I have read a fair bit of F1 history. One cannot but admire the determination and the ingenuity of some of the smaller team owners, in pulling together funding packages to put their cars on the grid. Jordan and Minardi are two good examples.

    Is the loss of the smaller teams avoidable? Whew…hugely complex question and shot through will all sorts of value judgements. This is where the soul and the spirit of F1 colour my views. Given the history of F1, my humble opinion is every possible effort should be made to ensure the soul and spirit are not abandoned.

    Sadly, we are now at the point where shareholder profit and the soul of F1 are banging up against one another. F1 is now a massive, corporate entity, where silly sentimentality, soul and spirit count for nothing. The financial model that has been set up means revenue for the shareholders is the primary objective. If smaller teams become a hindrance, they’ll be ditched in pursuit of higher profits.

    The way F1 seems to be going is inevitable, given the financial model that has been adopted.

    But I won’t be paying much attention to F1 if the smaller teams are forced out in pursuit of profit for shareholders. Even modern day soccer, driven as it is by the very rich teams, allows the minnows a chance at glory. I don’t find the idea of watching a sport, comprised solely of huge, corporate entities even remotely appealing. The soul and the spirit of F1 would have been lost. And losing Williams would be a travesty, given the effort that Sir Frank has put in over a great, many years. What is his years of effort worth? Priceless if you ask me.

  21. I have no clue what Bernie is talking about – every team has a chance to be a small team eventually. The mighty Williams would have been in the same boat were it not for their resurgence this season. Red Bull was a small team that happened to grow in large part thanks to Seb and Newey. There are teams in F1 that are strictly F1 teams – they have no other interests and they can’t be treated the same way or in a lesser way than Mercedes and Red Bull for whom F1 has massive promotional benefits. If a team is a F1 dedicated team they need to receive significantly more revenues than other teams to survive and even stand a chance to get up there.

    This whole baloney about managing the finances is ridiculous because the teams receive financing based on performance and you are bound to compete in races and you have to meet the 107% rule. How on earth was

    How is Marussia supposed to stay afloat in 2014 with 10 million euros revenue which they secured with a hard-earned P10 in view of the sweeping regulation changes? They were doomed before the season started and no manager could have changed the outcome…

    When McLaren can’t secure a sponsor, how is Marussia going to secure good sponsors when their cars get almost no TV coverage except when being lapped? Answer us that, Bernie!

  22. [Ecclestone ‘wants to drive smaller teams out’]

    Please don’t Bernie, unless your heart is made of stone.
    Feel sorry for the 200 or so employees who lost their jobs at Marussia and I don’t know how many lost them too at Caterham. It’s very painful if we were one of them.

  23. At this rate I don’t blame the lack of sponsorships. Who would in the right state of mind advertise in a sport with dropped viewerships across the tv and trackside and so much bad news. Marketing directors are not fools for christ sake.

  24. One good thing amongst all the aggro is that apparently the FIA are policing the engine rules. In Max’s day there wouldn’t have been all this bickering…

  25. I just have one question. Isn’t the budget difference between the top teams and the bottom teams have always been present in Formula1? If I am not wrong during the Ferrari Schumi days the budget of Ferrari was above 300million wheres as teams like Jordon were hanging in there with 60million or so ?

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