Engine prices will fall – Renault

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Renault say the price of the current V6 turbo engines, which has been blamed for teams’ financial problems, will come down in future.


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Open article Taffin: Engine costs will drop over time (Crash)

“I think the criticism is not about the regulations over the next six or seven years, it’s the current cost. Everyone is looking at a window which is not the right size, so this regulation has been set for that long and we are looking at the first year which is obviously the most expensive year.”

Boullier: Force India woke McLaren up (Autosport)

“We were perhaps the sixth fastest team at the beginning of the year and now we are the third, which means we have improved.”

Taken to cleaners: Caterham chaos revealed to court (The Times, subscription required)

“O’Connell claims that when he telephoned [former Caterham diretor Constantin] Cojocar to request meetings, he turned out to be in Germany working for Colin Kolles, the mysterious Romanian dentist turned team principal who has wafted in and out of F1.”

India’s F1 hope Jehan Daruvala to make single-seater debut in Formula Renault (Hindustan Times)

“[Force India team principal Vijay] Mallya, who has backed Daruvala ever since he became part of the Force India Academy, has already said the teenager has a good chance of being the next Indian in F1, provided he does well in the junior formula.”

Jack Brabham remembered (The Telegraph)

“When I talked to my dad about it over the past 10 years or so, after I started to think about how to use this amazing family name we have, he was always very interested in it. He was someone who always looked ahead not behind. The ultimate aim is to get the Brabham name back into Formula One, where it belongs.”


Comment of the day

How does Moto GP manage to out-sell F1 at the same venues?

It was interesting to compile some data comparing Moto GP and Formula One race day attendance for 2014 on those tracks which are shared by both these events.


Moto GP – 118,918
Formula One – 107,778


Moto GP – 163,045
Formula One – 91,480


Moto GP – 138,000
Formula One – 137,452


Moto GP – 130,925
Formula One – 84,688

Figures taken from official blogs and websites

It’s clear to see where Formula One is losing i’s charm, Moto GP or WEC or even Formula E are on an upward trajectory. You need not go far to see the difference. Simply observe how WEC or Moto GP or Formula E involves and serves its fans and you’ll see a stark difference with Formula One.
Neel Jani (@Neelv27)

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Keith Collantine
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47 comments on “Engine prices will fall – Renault”

  1. I expected from performance of McLaren more than this.

  2. Spain and Malaysia don’t surprise me but how in the world is Silverstone?

    1. Moto GP rounded up and F1 didn’t. 138,000 is the “capacity” of the Silverstone circuit (that is, the BRDC won’t sell more tickets than that for safety reasons), I don’t believe for a minute that literally everybody who had a ticket actually turned up.

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        31st December 2014, 9:41

        I’m sure that in both cases the number of sold tickets are being counted, not the actual number of people attending (that’s pretty much an impossible job). And is it really so hard to imagine?

        A weekend ticket for F1 at Silverstone starts at £175 (that’s for 2015, with 10% discount. So the full price would be around £195), and I checked what a MotoGP ticket went for in 2014, that was about £100.

        The same huge difference can be observed for Sepang. The most inexpensive tickets for the main straight for F1 are €176 (€97 with early bird discount), while the most expensive MotoGP ticket goes for €65 (not sure if that has a discount, the site doesn’t specify).

        I’m sure there are other factors coming into play with the attendance figures, but when it comes to ticket prices MotoGP definitely beats F1.

        1. Bingo. When I first heard about F1 going to Austin, I said I’d abslutely go. Then I saw the general access prices and I changed my mind and haven’t been in any of the first 3 years desite being a huge F1 fan. In that time I’ve made it to every Indy 500, 2 Daytona 24’s and an ALMS race at Mid Ohio. Why? They all win out on price and accessibility.

          1. Indeed. Madame and I live in San Diego and thought about heading off to Austin for the F1 race. The cost of the tickets were bad enough, but what really put a stop to it was the gouging of the hotels. To stay in a Motel 6 the other side of town (usually 30 or 40 bucks a night) would have cost us over a grand for the weekend. Then there is the cost of driving or flying the 1,500 miles to the circuit. An incredibly expensive proposition. No wonder the crowds are on the wane.

            In this light, pushing TV viewers onto (expensive) pay channels looks more than a little stupid. No wonder sponsors are leaving.

    2. I question price. Bike racing has very loyal fans but MotoGP has been through dark days in the past 5 years with the loss of manufacturers and the shrinking of the field to 11 motogp spec bikes. I can only think that the personality driven formula has managed to keep MotoGP afloat.

  3. On COTD..massive difference in crowds at Spain and Sepang.

    I was speaking to my neighbour recently who is a big motogp fan, and he’s been to Sepang a number of times for the race…he reckons it was the atmosphere with the fans was as close as it got to Italy. As a Malaysian, who’s been to Sepang many times, I can tell you the F1 crowd is pretty dire. Apart from pockets of fans, most people have no incling as to how a F1 race works.
    Year in year out, Motogp draws a significantly higher crowd at Sepang. Its worth noting that most of the crowd only show up for the Sunday, which is why most of the grandstands are full, unlike F1. Valentino Rossi is demi-god in Malaysia..cant say that any F1 driver is regarded in the same way.

  4. COTD you say so about Formula E… but the prices here in Argentina for the upcoming event are just crazy…! For a series that’s hardly known outside the racing world (it’s not F1 that gathers people that know how many tyres are used per weekend and people that know F1 is a big thing and “it’s worth to check it at least once”), it’s just way too much.

    It’s in the middle of the street, so the grandstands are not proper ones. And it’s for just 1 day of action. Yet, the general admission ticket costs the equivalent 60 dollars… Don’t even ask for the expensive tickets (up to 550 USD! FOR FORMULA E?! NO WAY!)

    As comparision, for the WTCC race, at a proper racetrack, with a very popular Argentine touring car series racing as support, the prices were 17 USD general admission, 33 USD for a place at the pits !

    And that’s the problem with F1 aswell. It’s not about the interest or lost of charm, it’s about the price ! People… just… don’t… like… being… ripped… off!

    1. to add something to the equation: how many people watched the moto gp on tv and how many the F1? how much does the ticket cost for each series? in f1 the ONLY income for the organizer is the ticket, is it the same in the other series? how high is the fee for each series? look, as thrilling as the motogp can be, and as technological the WEC can be, they will never get the kind of exposure as F1 in global terms. On the other hand, Mercedes invested heavely in F1, and this year between tv, prices, and brand exposure, they have made A BIGGER PROFIT from F1 than Audi has from the WEC, in money terms, of course. i don’t think f1 is losing his charm by any means. And, Fer, with one hand in your heart: if F1 ever return to Argentina (and if it does, please be at Potrero de los funes and not in Buenos Aires i hate that leech-city) won’t you sell a kidney to go, at least once? because i know i would.

      1. @matiascasali of course I would. I would, others surely won’t, but places like Austria, Mexico, Argentina… F1 is a rarity there, so it’s obvious people will fill the grandstands.

        But at places like Barcelona… they get the winter testing, and a GP (for a while, even 2) a year… after a while, it’s not the same hype. And with prices raising, they won’t going to fill the grandstands. Specially if there’s something else in offer, like MotoGP which is huge in Spain (3 GPs every year and they fill them all, even with the spanish crisis).

        That’s why I said it. It’s not a decrease in popularity, or appeal. It’s a matter of prices, and that’s all. I bet none of those MotoGP races listed there even get close to the prices F1 demand.

        1. Before Fernando Alonso, the Spanish F1 GP would struggle to sell tickets – they were just not interested in 4 wheel racing, yet the Spanish passion for motorbikes was (and still is) amongst the strongest in the world. Fernando pretty much single handededly put Spain on the F1 spectators map. A similar passion for two wheeled racing also exists in most of Asia, whereas in Britain, put an engine in a baby’s pram and you’ll draw a crowd. I don’t think the COTD is comparing apples with apples here.

          1. Quite right. I was in a bar in northern Spain the day Alonso won the 2003 Hungarian GP. I had to ask the barman to swap to the GP and then tell him it was a Spaniard winning the race. At least he shrugged his shoulders, the rest of the bar was completely oblivious

            I on the other hand wanted JPM to win..

      2. I remember reading an interview with the CEO of the Sepang track. He was saying how difficult it is to conduct business with FOM, because of all the restrictions they have on things like trackside events, merchandise and advertising…whereas Motogp (DORNA I believe?) is a lot more flexible.

        1. i want to know how many is to be paid for an F1 gp, against a WEC and the MotoGP, and see if they get or don’t some money for the static advertising, and so on

    1. Might be possible. I didn’t think that there was much to choose between Vergne and Ricciardo, yet Ricciardo surprised all of us by taking Seb to school.

      I thought Kvyat, although being a rookie, was still quicker than Vergne. I expect Kvyat to match Ricciardo pretty often once he gets to grips with his new machine and team

    2. Will be difficult. I was checking the tyre usage of drivers in 2014 (https://www.racefans.net/statistics/2014-f1-statistics/strategy-pit-stops/). Vettel and Kvyat were the only two drivers to spend more time on medium tyres while everyone else preferred softs. They clearly were unable to make tyres work. Given that Pirelli aren’t changing tyres, this trend may continue.

      1. Not ruling out Kvyat challanging Ricciardo next year, or at least the 2nd halve of the year. Never underestimate a talented, highly motivated, newly promoted rookie. That’s what Vettel learned this year, Alonso learned in 2007, and surely many experienced drivers will experience in the future. Personally I really like Kvyat. He is a no-nonsense driver off track, and massivelly aggressive on track. A bit like Valterri Bottas, but with more decisiveness and ruthless. I definitly think he can be a star of the future. I wouldn’t rule out a race win for him already in 2015.

      2. @sumedh But even if the tires are unchanged, their cars will be different and they will likely have addressed the issue of ‘struggling’ on softs, if that is the appropriate word to use. Assuming a car that works better than 2014’s, or is better balanced, or what have you, and depending on the venue, they may be more in tune with the softs more often, if indeed that will be a desirable/necessary goal for them to achieve with the new car.

  5. Saying that engine costs will fall in future years is a bit like saying that the medicine will start working after the patient has died.

    We have lost two teams already, and others are imperilled in the immediate future. None of this had to happen, but sadly the manufacturers’ desire to sell a (marketing) message was put ahead of the teams’ survival.

    Hopefully some of the teams will be left by the time engine prices reduce to an affordable level.

    1. @tdog well, it’s always like that tho. Investment costs are huge but after a while, they go down as production stabilizes and the costs amortize. Also, the development will be smaller and smaller as years go by, so it’s the way it is.

      It just happens at the wrong time. But the engine costs have nothing to do with the fall of the teams, that’s the way the money is distributed and how the main teams decided for a huge change while not taking take of the ones in needs.

      I put it like trying to add a turbo and supercharger without doing nothing to the cooling system. It’ll run fine but it’ll fail soon…

    2. @tdog, good point.
      However also medicines tend to cost more when first released to recoup R&D costs, and reduce over time.

      And (agreeing with @fer-no65) I do not think that the cost of the engine was the main driver for Marussia/Catherham to fold.
      As per yesterday’s round-up Marussia ran out of cash even before paying Ferrari (owing them £16.6m which is roughly a year’s supply).

      The fact that Bernie keeps almost half the F1 revenue for himself/shareholders, and the skewed distribution of price money probably plays a bigger role.
      Also, having to wait a year on the prize money will not have helped Marussia’s cash flow plans either.

  6. The attendance numbers are surprising. But I’d also love to see the price of tickets next to those numbers.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. The numbers for Austin surprised me a bit, although having a couple of Texans on the grid surely helped to boost the Moto GP attendance. Anyway, I just did a bit of looking around, and I found that for next year, Sunday general admission for Moto GP will be approx. $60. Sunday general admission for the USGP approx. $170. If I lived nearby, I would probably attend the motorcycle race day. F1 race day … probably not.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        31st December 2014, 7:50

        Thanks @schooner, thus roughly triple the price.
        That puts the above statistic in a whole new light; F1 clearly makes a lot more money than MotoGP.

        I wonder what the numbers would look like if prices were similar.

        1. The price discrepancy is telling. Not just with how much money they are making, but how difficult it is to get to a race.
          I scheduled a vacation to England to coincide with the British Grand Prix two years ago. I was planning and prepared to go, and an uncle had said he’d love to go too. But once he saw the price of tickets, parking, etc, he couldn’t justify the price anymore. I’m insane enough to be willing to pay the price their asking, but I doubt I’ll ever bring my wife with to a race because then I have to pay twice. I’d rather go with friends who are F1 fans and who pay their own way.

  7. Nice to see Renault backing the new regs.

    Their cost isn’t the reason teams are failing, anyway. If all the teams got a decent slice of the revenue pie, none of them would struggle to afford power units even at the current prices.

  8. The attendance numbers are surprising. But I’d also love to see the price of tickets next to those numbers.

  9. COTD is false! Posted by anon:

    @neelv27, you do realise that the figures that are quoted in that article for MotoGP are for the race weekend – in other words, the figures that they are quoting combines the recorded attendance for the practise sessions, qualifying and race day.

    By contrast, the figures you are quoting for the F1 events are only for the race day – so, in other words, you are comparing the attendance over three days for MotoGP (which is stated in that article) against one day for F1.

    If you compare the race weekend figures, the picture that you then get is actually quite different. For example, the race day attendance at Austin was 107,778, but the race weekend was 237,406, which is substantially higher. Equally, for the British GP, whilst the race day crowd was 137,452, the total race weekend attendance figures were over 298,000.
    The Spanish GP, meanwhile, claimed a figure of 205,000 over the F1 race weekend, so once you start comparing the events over the same time period, the situation reverses and the Grand Prix actually drew in more people over the race weekend.

    1. Thank you, was hoping someone would link this. +1

    2. thanks Mick,
      That actually changes the whole story; I think @keithcollantine should add the correct data to the COTD.

      1. @coldfly Has anyone got the correct numbers?

        1. @keithcollantine, I checked a few numbers and Mick above seems to be spot on:
          Austin: 237,406
          Barcelona: 205,680
          Silverstone: 298,000
          Sepang: 123,400 (2013, 2014 said to be less)

          Unfortunately the F1 numbers requiere a bit of internet search.
          But the motoGP numbers are all on the official site

          As you have said yourself before, referring to data like this should always be linked to the original source.

    3. Wait, who’s going to the practice and quali sessions and not the race? I don’t know any race fans that would do it backwards like that.

  10. From the above requests in regards to COTD, let’s look at the ticket prices between MotoGP and Formula 1 races.

    * Price of the main grandstand ticket


    MotoGP – $160
    Formula 1 – $768


    MotoGP – $74
    Formula 1 – $553


    MotoGP – $206*
    Formula 1 – $583


    MotoGP – $49
    Formula 1 – $569

    * 2014 ticket price as 2015 haven’t been rolled out

    That’s a true shocker! Like comments from @jaymenon10, I’ve always seen Malaysia and Spain embrace MotoGP a lot more than Formula 1. One of the reasons is the way MotoGP involves it’s fans at the track in comparison to Formula 1, a difference I saw when I attended both events this year.

    1. @neelv27, you should read the comment above.
      It seems that your comparison on attendance is incorrect (apples and oranges).

    2. @neelv27, the reason why Silverstone is not offering MotoGp tickets for 2015 is because Dorna has cancelled their agreement with Silverstone and signed a contract with the “Circuit of Wales”, a proposed new circuit that is supposed to be under construction.

      However, they have already had to shift the 2015 event to Donington Park because the “Circuit of Wales” will not be ready for 2015. At the moment, a ticket for one adult for race day for the main grandstand would be £73.50 – however, given that the event was not scheduled for Donington Park, it looks like the ticket prices have deliberately been set lower than normal in order to encourage sales, so a direct comparison isn’t quite valid.

      On another note, how exactly are you defining “main grandstand” when you are comparing prices?

    3. @neelv27 LOL… see? even if the attendance numbers are not really accurate, as someone above said, the price gap between two major international sporting events is just RIDICULOUS.

      I’m surprised F1 fills the grandstands at Spain for instance, when their true passion demands only a 15% of the price of a F1 race ticket.

      Blame it on the prices, not the interest, if some bits of the grandstands are empty (which, apparently, they are not given the numbers posted by @anon)

  11. Just head to bookf1.com for a comparison on the prices across all venues. MotoGP is far, far cheaper than F1.

    1. Oh, and of course Formula E is on an upward trajectory – it is brand new!!!

  12. Well I guess we have part of the answer why for all the whiny rhetoric Horner couldn’t get any extra engine development tokens – Renault weren’t onside at all with the silly threats about voting through a new engine formula for 2016. The cost is in the development and the quiet, fancy hybrids will get cheaper as long as the plan is adhered to. They’re just what the car makers want.

  13. The attendance figures in the COTD are mis-leading.

    The MotoGP figures are complete event attendance while the F1 figures are just for race day.

  14. Reddy was 5th behind Pietro Fittipaldi in this year’s edition, but I totally agree on Daruvala.. he was leading the WKC before being passed by Norris.. so it wouldn’t surprise me to see those two and Ahmed in F1 in 5-10 years time, maybe even Mick Jr too, in a strange echo of Bruno Senna’s story.

    Maini is doing well too, almost beating McLaren Autosport Award winner Russell in BRDC F4 (lost the title by 3 points), so we could very well have two Indians in F1 again soon, only this time, a step up from Chandhok and Karthikeyan. Maybe an All-Indian line up?!

  15. Speaking in generalities, I’d like to think that in business water finds it’s own level. In other words, if indeed ticket prices are too high and are the reason for any problematic lack of attendance, then venue promoters/F1 will have to adjust ie. if it is hurting their bottom line. Perhaps MotoGP already knows it cannot get away with higher prices, or they would indeed be higher.

    Perhaps F1 venue promoters are happy with the numbers turning out even if the grandstands aren’t full because the fewer people paying more covers everything off. I trust that they know what the numbers mean and if they needed more people, and had to charge less to attract them, they would do it, but only if the bottom line improved from doing so. As long as a certain number of people are willing to pay whatever the price, and that works in terms of satisfactory revenues, the price will be the price. And if F1 was a better product and/or had increasing popularity and was more irresistible to more people, perhaps venues would be charging even more to attend ‘because they can.’ But they’re certainly not going to halve their prices to gain the final 20% of their seat fillers. Nor even to fill a missing 50% of attendees, because that will be a wash financially but will have devalued the experience of going to see what is supposed to be the pinnacle of Motorsport.

  16. Regarding COTD. MotoGP you get a great atmosphere, sensibly priced tickets and some really interesting personalities among the riders, not to mention wheel to wheel racing pretty much guaranteed. F1’s got none of that..unless you are watching the race at interlagos which has an awesome atmosphere (Brazilian fans) and generally good racing.

  17. I would disagree with that. In 2014 I went to the Australian f1 gp and the Indianapolis motogp.
    My experience at the f1 far eclipsed the motogp experience.
    Too lazy to go into details.

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