Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

‘Mercedes wouldn’t give Red Bull engines’ – Horner

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Mercedes would never supply his team with engines.

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Christian Horner Q&A (Crash)

“We have a very long-standing relationship with Renault, we’ve won a lot of races with them. Mercedes would never give us an engine, Ferrari you can only ever be a customer there and it would be wrong to forget in a short space of time all the good we’ve achieved over the previous four or five seasons with Renault.”

F1 teams called to new costs summit (Autosport)

“Frustrations about the situation further increased after last week’s F1 Commission gathering when, despite an all-day meeting, the subject of costs did not get debated at length as other issues took precedence before time ran out.”

Max Chilton Q&A (Sky)

“I knew we were lucky to get to Australia and from then on I was treating every race like my last race. Even to the point that I didn’t think we were going to get to Barcelona. Then we somehow got through all the European rounds, and then I thought after Monza ‘that’s got to be it’.”

Caterham buyer Engavest enters arbitration proceedings with Fernandes (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Engavest is seeking compensation, and has now began a process of arbitration with Tony Fernandes and his partners with a view to coming to a resolution.”

Vijay Mallya’s exit causes gains in UB Group stocks, troubles mount (Business Today)

“Self-proclaimed ‘King of Good Times’ Mallya had to quit top posts at two group companies – Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (MCFL) and grounded Kingfisher Airlines.”

Waiting for the EU (ESPN)

“While the sport is certainly in a mess that needs fixing, EU involvement could prove to be the last thing anyone needs.”

Tweets

https://twitter.com/redbullf1spy/status/539758173197189120

Comment of the day

DaveW suggests an explanation for the smaller teams’ struggles besides high engine prices and low levels of prize money:

The difference now is the collapse of direct sponsorship dollars for teams. Look at the sidepods of Sauber, McLaren, Williams, even the tail-enders, compared to 10-12 years ago. The revival of Martini is a rule-proving exception, given the paltry sum they pay to have their iconic livery on the cars.

Ironically, though formally banned, tobacco may be the single biggest team sponsor remaining, however in the shadows (with Ferrari). That alone should show that F1 has been on borrowed time financially since the tobacco ban. (Take note, people who say F1 can recover from an alcohol ban just as it did with tobacco.)

We should be counting our lucky stars that a new manufacturer is coming in to a team that doesn’t even have a title sponsor and thus being in a position of having to prop up the team to continue the engine project. Can you imagine selling that to the board of a public company?

At the end of the day, the pie is not as big as people think, because the teams lack sponsorship money, and CVC has to service its debt and pay venture capital back.
DaveW (@Dmw)

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today it was confirmed Sauber would return to F1 as an independent team following the withdrawal of BMW. They were granted the place on the grid previously occupied by Toyota, who also left the sport at the end of 2009.

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  • 27 comments on “‘Mercedes wouldn’t give Red Bull engines’ – Horner”

    1. Oeiiiiiiiiiiii! (another davidnotcoulthard account) (@)
      3rd December 2014, 7:36

      Somthing from Horner that makes sense! The silly season has just gotten sillier!

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        3rd December 2014, 13:20

        *can

    2. I hope Marussia/Manor can make some sort of return. It would be a shame if they couldn’t get that prize money.

    3. And the engine wars go back and forth…..although its important there are more important issues that should be discussed

    4. That Red Bull tweet is so funny!

    5. ColdFly F1 (@)
      3rd December 2014, 8:10

      F1 teams called to new costs summit (Autosport)

      one suggestion is for the commercial rights income that had been due to Marussia and Caterham to be split between Lotus, Sauber and Force India.

      That is probably an idea Bernie will like – ‘dog eat dog’.

      1. I imagine Bernie will shortly put forward an argument that the money should go to him!

    6. Spot on COTD. I read it somewhere that direct sponsorship money shrinked from an annual 1.2bn in 2005 to some 350mn last year. Those figures were just wired into my memory. It’s horrifying.

      1. Yep @atticus-2, I hadn’t seen those figures but I have been staring at McLaren’s blank rear wing for too many years; and look at Lotus with Kimi in 2013 and still no new sponsors.

        It’s Pay TV. Almost nothing on new media, in fact actively fighting exposure on Youtube. So obviously there’s lots of better value advertising elsewhere.

        Octogenarian Bernie and his grasping short-termism.

        1. “Octogenarian Bernie and his grasping short-termism”

          Indeed. I’d go further; it’s a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes – no one dares tell Bernie that his ideas are killing the sport for fear of being chucked out.

          Many commentators were warning about the shift to Pay TV years ago (Keith included I think). The inevitable loss of sponsorship cash was widely predicted. The gain was all for CVC, and the teams – mostly the backmarkers – have had to soak up the shortfall.

          The woeful lack of new media delivery on the part of F1 is another solecism that reveals how out of touch F1’s rulers are. And Todt’s pathetic remarks about how he has no power to do anything about reducing costs just about sums up the parlous state F1 is in. The FIA appears to be a toothless regulator that has to go cap in hand to Bernie.

          It’s almost as if someone – can’t think who – was trying to ruin the image of F1, either to de-rail the floatation of F1 as a business, or else to reduce its value to a new investor…

      2. Lets not forgetabout the FOM poaching sponsors from williams and sauber!

      3. If you look coldly at the situation, banning alcohol sponsorship after banning tobacco makes sense. The wrong thing here, is this idea that “bad things” should not get advertised… this way of thinking taken to the extremes can lead us to banning soft drinks and energy drinks! Yes, someday, somehow, someone will show up in Brussels petitioning banning of Red Bull’s F1 sponsorship!

        Why something that is traded legally cannot be advertized?

        1. @jcost I gotta say I can see a few things that are impossible to ban – like gambling, alcohol, drugs – that still one wouldn’t want to actively promote. I think there’s a space where people should be free but not deliberately tempted.

          And although people on forums always say “it doesn’t make me do it” the research shows that sponsorship does increase overall consumption.

          Motor racing can always be the last to allow it and so attract the business when other advertising is closed off, but I don’t think it should be.

          What is should be is a cost-effective medium for mainstream products. But Bernie is taking money from circuits, TV, trackside and anything else that’s not screwed down, with no vision for the sport as a whole. It was obvious pay TV would have this effect, that’s why he was always so adamantly against it, up until Sky & co waved loadsa money under his nose. Then he realised it was a nice snide way of transferring money from teams to CVC. So now he only wants big, rich teams…

      4. Exactly – private teams if they have no brand for themselves to promote or can’t monetize the technological and engineering aspects of the sport, run under the business model of an advertising platform and if the money from ads dry up then there is nothing they can do to sustain themselves.

    7. While I’ve watched that picture of McLaren Honda, I remembered how in the end of 2008 Honda took the decision to withdraw from the sport and sold the (future to be champion) team to Ross for a dollar (correct me if I’m wrong). Now they are returning to the sport (after they spent God knows how many money) to beat that same team that they abandon some time ago. Talking about business sense and timing….

      1. They were allegedly spending up to 500 million € per season. Their timing may seem ridiculous, but in the end it saved them billions.

        1. @nase Honda spent the money without getting the return, and they were still spending in 2009 while it was all going to waste; and actually damaging their brand. In fact their competitor Mercedes picked up the benefit for a song.

          Then in turn Mercedes replaced Brawn just as his work was about to bear fruit, after starving him of funds and blaming him for the consequences.

          Boardrooms. They can be clever or completely clueless, but in either case they are equally confident.

          I just hope Honda have learned some lessons.

        2. Honda was spending, BMW was spending, Toyota was spending… but that’s the problem woth manufacturers who entered F1 with whole team not just with engine. They have different motivation regarding Ferrari, Williams, McLaren… Everybody wants instant success. If it doesn’t work than pull the plug off and enter LeMans or DTM or whatever. That is why we need private teams focused solely to F1. That is the core of F1. Mercedes was racing in F1 long ago and have the deserved success this year but even they were close to quitting. We all want more manufactures in F1 but I think that it would better to just produce engines and let go running the whole team as Luca Di M once said: we are producing cars not planes, refering to the aerodynamic efects, but maybe they have to leave the engineers like Newey to make what they are gifted to do best…

      2. @nidzovski but the difference of course is that they now return as an engine manufacturer, not as a team. The investments are smaller and they return to doing what they were really good at some 25 years ago.

        But it has always seemed so ironic that they retired from F1 after creating the (at the time, don’t know if it still holds true) most expensive car in F1 ever which was basically a world-beater that even without too much development throughout the year could clinch both titles.

        1. I’m sure it was Racecar Engineering that ran an article a while ago which showed the secret “other” 2009 car that their R&D department developed alongside the 2009 Brawn car. Honda continued to develop this other car well into the 2009 season even though they had pulled out!!!

          1. @tthwaite I didn’t knew that?! IT’s hard when you work in a big corporation like Honda or Mercedes if you are engineer. You know that your product has a potential but someone else will pull the plug off if there is a risk of not succeeding. Maybe they hoped that they could come back in F1 in the next season, who knows?
            @mattds I know that developing “only” the engine is smaller investment, although this new PU are far more expensive than the old V8, but I was referring to the irony of beating the team that was once yours. Besides, by taking the Mercedes engines, Ross begin something that would put McLaren in a situation to look for another engine supplier. So its a strange situation but it is what it is.

            1. @nidzovski You never know they may have hoped to return next season or possibly in a few seasons. To be honest it wouldn’t surprise me if their R&D department has kept on developing ideas or following the trends in F1 as everything is related. To make a really competitive engine you would have to have an understanding of the packaging and aero requirements that the customer has. So what better way to understand that than to continue doing R&D….

      3. I still find the craziest thing that Honda and Mercedes essentially swapped teams, as Mercedes decided to sell their interest in McLaren and buy the former Honda team, opening the door for Honda to come back into the sport with McLaren…

    8. Max Chilton had to go home from Abu Dhabi because his pass didn’t work? Bernie really doesn’t want Marussia around does he?

    9. I have to ask, what is the F1 Commission? How does it differ from the F1 Strategy Group, The Formula 1 Group, Formula One Administration, The FIA’s World Motorsport Council, the technical delegate, the Resource Restriction Agreement (set up by the defunct FOTA, so who governs this I have no idea), the Formula One Promoters Association? And for that matter, why is there a Grand Prix Drivers’ Association and a Drivers’ Commission?

      Obviously this is all rhetorical, my point being that how the sport is run is in no way transparent, and seems positively Kafkaesque in its ability to defer responsibility to another group (often made up of exactly the same people).

      1. @splittimes Even the responsibilities of the FIA and FOM alone are confusing enough without all these, add in Charlie Whiting and the like, all these complicated ‘concorde agreements’, etc., it makes no sense. I completely agree with you.

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