Wolff not concerned about F1’s future if Red Bull leaves

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says F1 will continue if Red Bull pulls its two teams.


Comment of the day

Baku will join the 2016 F1 calendar
The 2016 F1 calendar will hit a record 21 races next year: the more the merrier or quantity over quality?

21 races next year – I’m afraid I just can’t get excited by that, I prefer quality over quantity.

It’s this time of year where I get a bit of F1 burnout as it feels that after Europe we are just dragging things out and going through the motions until we reach the finale and/or the championship is decided.

Interlagos and Suzuka stand out as the only real highlights in this drawn out journey. Maybe I’m just reminiscing about the nineties where F1 would leave Europe and then head to Suzuka and Adelaide for a swift crescendo. Suzuka and Adelaide brings me back to quality over quantity…
David Reid (@Unicron2002)

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won his third world championship title on this day 15 years ago at Suzuka:

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

66 comments on “Wolff not concerned about F1’s future if Red Bull leaves”

  1. Toto – “within the space of 18 months, we had Toyota, Honda and BMW leaving the sport”

    The thing is, out those 3 teams, only one effectively left the sport, the rest kept on going. And thanks to one of them, you cab have your amazing team now.
    If RedBull left, that would mean 4 cars woukd stop racing and that would be a big blow.(unless somebody buys them)

    On the other hand. RebBull had achieved what they wanted. So there may not be as much motivation($$) now.
    And maybe for them, this is a good time to quit and keep the nice records they hold.
    Their business after all, is energy drinks.

    1. …and that’s why I’m not so worried. If Red Bull leave and deliberately don’t sell their two teams, that’s spiteful to the very bitter end. However, if they leave and sell, it won’t go the way of Caterham. There’s no rack of debt to be paid. RBR has been the most dominant constructor of this decade thus far and Toro Rosso provides willing investor with a way into F1 without starting from scratch.

      1. Even if they do want to sell the team, who will they sell it too? There is no way anyone will want to pay the price of the team plus the cost of running it without an engine.

        1. Easy to get an engine. Red Bull has hard time finding a top late spec engine offer, not an engine.
          Also quite possibly, many engine provides could become a lot more open in what they can provide to a different management. People like to say that Merc and Ferrari are playing hardball because they are scared of getting beaten but although that has some merit that is half the truth.
          The other half is that Red Bull are bad customers that put you into a non win situation and that also is a very big factor. If Ferrari give Red Bull the latest spec and everything and they get beaten then not only will they have criticism for giving them the tools to beat them but Red Bull won’t give any credit to the good engine they got provided with and they will just talk themselves up of being so much better that the Ferrari team causing more damage to the image of Ferrari. On the other hand if Ferrari still win over them despite giving them everything they wanted, you can be certain they will be throwing innuendos etc of their engine not being as good and Ferrari lying to them and that is why they are not winning.
          Merc thought of all this things before it decided that Red Bull wasn’t worth the trouble.
          Very simple, you just can’t win with having this people as clients.

          Both teams have good infrastructure and no debts. So yeah i can’t see why there wouldn’t be interested parties in buying them unless they demand big amounts for the sale. But if they want to get out of F1 they should sell at a low price like all people trying to get out usually do.

  2. It never rains but it pours, a quick glance at the TV guide for Sunday shows, V8 S’cars at Mt. Panorama all day as well as MotoGp and WSBike in the afternoon and F1 at night.

    1. WEC too!!!😁😁😁

  3. I don’t know whether I should be excited or depressed at the prospect of 3 car teams next year. On one hand, it could mean 6 potential drivers who have the car to win, which in itself is an incredible prospect. Imagine Alonso/Hamilton/Rosberg at Mercedes and Vettel/Ricciardo/Verstappen at Ferrari (yes I know Kimi has a contract).

    On the other hand, I would miss the Red Bull driver academy (the only thing I’d miss about RBR) and F1 would lack variety on the grid.

    Side note – incredible to think that Suzuka 2000 was already 15 years ago! Oh how time flies.

    1. Alonso/Hamilton/Rosberg at Mercedes and Vettel/Ricciardo/Verstappen at Ferrari

      I know people like to put together 3 car dream team’s like that but in reality the chances of a team running 3 established top drivers like that is highly unlikely to happen.

      All the top teams have young driver programs & for them the 3rd car would almost certainly be used for there own drivers much as Red Bull uses STR for its young drivers.
      And for whatever mid-field teams survive who may have to run a 3rd car rather than looking for drivers like Grosjean, Hulkenberg etc.. for the 3rd car they are going to look for a driver with big backing behind them because if they can’t afford to run the existing 2 cars how does anyone expect them to be able to afford to run a 3rd?

      The additional problem for those mid-field teams is that big teams running 3rd cars is going to push them further down the order, Make it harder for them to score points & take exposure off them which will do nothing but put them in larger financial difficulties.
      And a side issue from that is that it will discourage new teams from entering. If your a team like Haas looking at entering an F1 in a situation where the top 3-4 teams each have 3 cars & are locking out the top 9-10 spots each weekend with the current mid-field teams like Force India that are currently usually fighting for positions 8th-10th fighting over positions closer to 20th, Why would you consider looking at coming into that?

      3 car teams is something that would be a quick fix if the grid drops below 18 cars, But it would be something that would cause far more problems than it would solve & would be hard to undo as it would almost certainly lead to more teams going under & with it been less likely to see new entry’s you would eventually end up having to run 4-5 car teams to fill the grid with no way out of it.

      The priority & preference must be a healthy grid of at least 10 teams running 2 cars & if that cannot be achieved then F1 is pretty much screwed over the longer term because 3 car teams are not a good longer term solution.

      1. pretty much.

        It staggers the mind to see how it is acceptable for the manufacturers to run F1 (the competition) in to the ground, and run the competition off with the rule book.

        Real competition in F1 is evaporating, and a lot of people seem to want to hold on to fantasies in order to keep the snowball tumbling down the side of a cliff that is sharp a drop off as the tires that Pirelli is asked to produce.

        At the end of the day, it is clear that money drives F1, not the spirit of competition.

        1. @pcxmerc
          The manufactures don’t “run” F1 and neither do they “run the competition off with the rule book”. The teams have a third of the votes in the strategy group. They can decide NOTHING even if they all could agree. Each of those teams separately has only 1 vote out of 18.

          The only time when all teams (not just the manufacturers) do have a veto is on rule changes for the current season. That’s perfectly normal because you don’t want people to change the goal posts mid competition unless everybody agrees.

          1. @patrickl So believe you, and ignore FI and Sauber’s gripe which they’ve actually taken to the competition bureau of the EU about the top 5 teams having too much influence, as pure invention? I believe I’ve even read that smaller teams are not even invited to the Strategy Group meetings. I’m not saying I know exactly how it works, and who among us really knows the true inner workings as we are not flies on the wall, but you sound naive to suggest the likes of FI and Sauber have the exact same say and influence as Ferrari and Mercedes, when you say ‘all’ teams as you have a couple of times in your comment. If it was truly as equivalent as you are trying to make it sound FI and Sauber wouldn’t have even entertained taking this issue outside of F1. Methinks there are way more shades of grey than you think.

          2. Yeah I do. It’s quite obviously only to get the EU on their case so they can get the money.

            But feel free to go ahead and give a list of examples of Strategy Group proposals where the top teams used the Strategy Group to get their desires pushed through and which would/could have been ended up differently if all teams had a vote or if none did.

            You’d expect FI (or Sauber) to do so if they actually had a problem with it, but the whole FI propaganda piece solely talks about money. So money money money money money oh and governance too … of course.

          3. @patrickl As I said and is why I said we are not flies on the wall so of course I have no such list, nor do you, and yes of course it is about money and governance of the way the money is allocated which affects their ability to compete and garner further outside sponsorship. Yes F1 is very much about money money money. Always has been. And the governance is just as important as it controls how the whole thing works. And surely you don’t expect that Sauber would list all their grievances, their ‘evidence’, to the public at this stage, right? Just because you haven’t been made privy it is all propaganda? It’s not like this became an issue just in the last week since hearing about what FI and Sauber feel they have been brought to have to do. We’ve been talking about small team survival and big team weight for as long as I can remember. Only now in this phase of F1 with all it’s current issues does it truly seem to have approached a tipping point. Or maybe little will change. One change is this issue being taken outside F1 to the EU, and that takes it beyond propaganda.

          4. What do flies on the wall have anything to do with this? Stop trying to dig up some untold mysteries as justification for nonsensical positions.

            They have no problem exposing their examples on the money issues but somehow they are keeping their “governance” examples close to their chest. Sure. I’ll keep you in mind if I have some bridges to sell. You can govern them all yourself. Just pay me.

            The ARTICLE is propaganda. Not a word is put in to highlight the opposite position.

      2. @gt-racer I think I’ll try to be optimist with 3 car team. While I agree the “major” team will run their own young driver, I think its not a bad thing. On that note, paying 3rd “AAA” driver salary also probably too much even for top team. People asked for Magnussen, Vandoorne, Werhlein, etc. and this means better chance for them to join F1 with a good car. Seeing something like Alonso vs rookie Hamilton is never bad thing for me.

        Middle team positions is also interesting. Teams who pick pay driver for the 3rd seat may get the money early on, but team who pick “leftover” driver have better chance to finish higher at WDC at all the F1 prize structure rumors shows that it’s also quite a lot of extra money. Also higher WDC positions means they got more fame and bargaining power for sponsorship. What I’m trying to say is that there’s a choice between short term and long term risk there for middle team and it could turn out to be quite interesting.

        The biggest fear of all podium filled by top team probably also exaggerated. Unless we keep having Mercedes like dominant car, the podium still should be filled with few teams. Consider 3rd young driver probably cant defeat 2nd best team main drivers (well except they’re like Hamilton, and I doubt even Verstappen is currently having better rookie year than Hamilton). The most important thing to adjust I think is to extend the points up to 15th position, so middle teams still have they own close fight for WDC positions.

      3. @gt-racer I think you are right. In theory, 3-car teams would give drivers like Grosjean or Bottas a chance to prove themselves in a winning car but I doubt if the reality would look as good. Mercedes have already had enough headache from managing the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg, why would they want another “rooster”? And if Ferrari preferred Massa to better drivers for many years (now they could also probably get someone better than Raikkonen), then why would they suddenly look for the best available third driver? I agree with your other points, too.

    2. I don’t like the idea of 3 cars teams. I’m starting to dislike Toto too.

    3. If some teams are struggling to field two cars, how is introducing a third car going to solve things?

      The argument for three cars is a poor one. It’s purely a symptomatic solution to a drop in entrants. Once teams field three cars, it’ll be a very difficult thing to step back from. Then how difficult will it be to find new teams? Action needs to be taken to find a solution that keeps the teams we already have healthy and safe from the wolf at the door.

      The problems that the smaller teams face, and the problems in general that F1 faces, cannot be fixed by making it more expensive to turn up and race.

      I used to like Toto, but this seems too much like a cynical and selfish stall to set out from a massive, corporate car manufacturer. A company that cares not for anyone else in the sport. Everything it does in F1 brings a net benefit for the Mercedes works team, not F1 itself. Never forget that.

      All Toto wants is to see three Mercedes on the podium after every race. That’s all.

    4. Non issue. There won’t be three car teams and the grid isn’t in danger. Just the media going crazy.

  4. Yeah I’m sure F1 would survive too, but yeah it would not be good. Times were a little better when Honda left (and Mercedes took the team over leaving no void there) and BMW and Toyota. And now we could theoretically have two teams leave with Haas coming in. But with all the escalated talk of poor show on the track, poor PU development, poor smaller teams, and poor viewership, this seems a lot different than 08/09 of stable engines and tires, I’ll assume more audience (was Sky’s deal in place yet?) and which was proceeded by the RBR run and which now we will be lucky if we don’t just have a continuation of the Merc run that many seem already tired of, with contestable PU’s and limiting tires to boot. Unless Ferrari can gain on them some more next year. But Wolff isn’t about to point those things out.

    I know the talk is RBR is insisting on PU parity, but they also said a few weeks back that they would understand if what they got was say 10 or 15 HP down from the works product. I’m confident for now that the parties involved will come to their senses and Ferrari will indeed supply RBR with something acceptable for the good of the sport (I know that can sound naive) at least for next year, and then we can all look forward to a different product for 2017.

    1. @robbie, Maybe it’ll be RB-Maserati next year!?

      1. Maybe a team name change to RED FERRARI B. They would have to have the Ferrari badge draped over the engine cover with a huge horse either side, and FIAT group products taking 75% of livery coverage? They will have to take what they can get.

      2. Really i think and wish that Red Bull would go out and build their own enginesn

        1. Duncan Snowden
          8th October 2015, 14:39

          The thing is, until recently they probably could have. You could go into partership with someone like Judd, Hart, or Cosworth, providing the cash to fund their technical expertise, and… well, at least go racing. Arrows did it, with Hart, in ’98 and ’99, with little success. To, frankly, nobody’s great surprise. But it was feasible. While that project’s considered a failure, it did last for two seasons, and scored the team a few points – which, in those days, meant a top-six finish. A lot of DNFs, too, but points nonetheless. A better-funded team might have made something of it, in time.

          But today, when we have the mighty Honda Motor Company, one of the world leaders in hybrid road cars, struggling to make these complex power units work, or to score points even when they do last the distance, what hope does a small independent, with no hybrid experience at all, bankrolled by a soft drink company have? Honestly, I can’t help thinking that if Red Bull felt it was remotely possible, they’d have done it long ago.

          1. The issue is widespread across multiple racing series though – the independent engine manufacturers have either been legislated out of existence or otherwise driven out of the competition by manufacturer entries.

            Just look at the examples you have cited – Judd has been almost completely driven out of sportscar racing by Nissan (who have pinched virtually all of their customers in the LMP2 class), Hart ceased to exist years ago and Cosworth is in major financial difficulties.

            That said, there have been areas where certain specialist mechanical engineering companies have had a notable impact within F1 and might be able to act as an independent supplier if they had the financial support of a major team.

            One example would be Zytek (now known as Gibson Technology), who provided, and I believe continue to provide, Mercedes with technical support and components for their hybrid drive systems.

            Another example would be AVL – they are an Austrian mechanical engineering firm, and they were effectively responsible for redesigning Ferrari’s powertrain for 2015 (and, as it happens, Red Bull did actually engage AVL in a feasibility study to develop an F1 spec powertrain, although Red Bull decided against it in the end).

      3. Really i think and wish that Red Bull would go out and build their own engines

        1. Lol

    2. Plus, neither BMW or Toyota achieved what Red Bull achieved and Honda’s great days were as an engine supplier. The sport will survive but it will suffer in the short term.

      1. How does that matter. BMW, Toyota and Honda performed on the same level that RBR is performing now.

        1. If Honda had won 4 championships and a huge amount of race wins, they might not have been so quick to sell up.

          You haven’t mentioned the financial crisis that Japan found itself in in 2008. That was a huge factor in their decision.

          Honda were, I suppose, quite woeful. They took over a promising outfit that was beginning to make some progress and made it a tail ender team.

          So. .. not the same as the RBR situation at all.

          1. or if Honda had stuck around for one season more they would have probably won the title

          2. That is completely besides the point.

            I replied to a claim that it is a greater loss to lose RBR rather than Toyota, BMW and Honda.

  5. I think there could be a big difference between losing BMW, Toyota & Honda back then and losing the Red Bull teams now.
    Back then two of those teams simply changed name and ownership, but kept on competing, only the Toyota team actually stopped racing.
    I can’t think of many companies that would be willing to buy either of Red Bull’s teams given the dire state of the global economy and various other factors, and we could lose both of them.
    It may still result in the same net loss with the new HAAS team joining, but it would still result in the loss of two established European teams and leave Italy with a single team.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      8th October 2015, 8:01

      Anybody (including me) would take a BMW-Sauber or Honda-Brawn deal. The 2nd one is a great candidate for buy-out/take-over with a deal somewhat like ‘1GBP plus all expenses paid’. @beneboy
      Especially TR would be a great target, as the overhead of RBR is a bit daunting.

      1. @coldfly
        But who has the money to buy and run either of the Red Bull teams ?
        The FIA didn’t get any offers when they opened up the tender process, and none of the major manufacturers not already in F1 appear to be interested in a return.
        The big middle east wealth funds aren’t really interested in having a team as it provides very little media attention for their countries the way that hosting a GP does, and owning a team doesn’t often generate much of a return for their investment. There’s no chance the UK or Italian governments would be willing to provide any sort of state funding.
        A lot of the independent specialist racing companies have either gone bust or been bought out since the early 2000’s, and few of those that remain have the sort of money it would take to operate a team.
        So unless we can find a billionaire that wants to throw a load of money at either of them because they’re an F1 fan, or the staff and/or management can get together enough money to fund a buyout, I just don’t see many potential buyers coming in to save the day.
        This is one of those times I genuinely hope I’m wrong though, if Red Bull do decide to quit I really do hope someone takes them over.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          8th October 2015, 22:44

          I used Honda-Brawn as an example how a team can live on and make money for the investor. Honda (not wanting to leave F1 with a bad reputation) paid for all staff for 2009; Brawn bought the team for GBP1; and then sold it to Mercedes for many millions.
          This could happen with TR as well.

          PS – I thought there were various (wannabe) teams interested in joining F1 when FIA opened up the EoI campaign earlier this year. But none of them were deemed serious enough by FIA (and probably FOM).

        2. Well someone was found to buy Manor after the Russians dropped them. That is why they are still there.
          Someone was even interested in buying Caterham and would have still here if they didn’t end up getting in fight with Fernandes.
          So why wouldn’t someone be interested in buying at least one of the Red Bull teams when they have a lot better facilities, quality staff, good structure and no debt?
          Also you can’t compare that to the FIA tender process. If i was a very rich individual interesting in using my money to compete in F1 i wouldn’t throw any application in the tender process even though i would love having an F1 team. And that is because you have to build a new team and that is hell of a tall order to do and manage to put something competitive on track.
          Buying a team with great facilities and experience staff changes things a lot though. This means i can buy the team and be competitive immediately. I would jump on that.

  6. As to 21 races, I say the more the merrier, knowing they will never likely go much beyond 21 no doubt. Sure the quality needs to be better but I don’t see how that is harmed by quantity. I just can’t wait for F1 to start every year, even in these times, and hate the length of the off-season, especially after Christmas and New Years.

    1. The people I feel sorry for are the people you don’t hear much about & thats the crews.

      The drivers arrive at the circuits on Wednesday/Thursday & leave on Sunday night/Monday. They get to spend time with there family’s & doing whatever it is they like doing.

      The crews spend there time between races in the factory prepping the cars for the next race, They travel out to races to be there on Tuesdays/Wednesdays to set up the garages/motor-homes & build the cars. There at the tracks early to check the cars for the days action & there there later checking over the cars after the days running. After the race they have to take down & pack everything up & don’t leave the circuits until Tuesdays & they then don’t get to go straight home to spend time with family’s because they have to go to the factory to work on the cars for the next one.

      There’s no longer 2-3 teams of staff to give the guys time off, Teams now only 1 crew that go to every race & who are spending far more time away from home than they used to & who would much rather there be a few less races so they actually get time to be at home.

      1. That’s a fair point. I know it can be tough being away as well as living out of a suitcase. That said they know what the job entails and I’m sure throughout the year, even if not until August amd the off-season, they get their share of time off, so I guess it becomes up to the individual, as with all jobs, to weigh the pluses and minuses and decide based on that if it is for them.

  7. F1 started to show signs of decay by the time honda toyota and bmw left. F1 is still aching as a result of the 08 crisis and the changes in f1. Haas budget is low that explains the low confidence shown by Haas. 3 car teams in the past meant the 3rd car was halfway private and run either by someone inexperienced or a pay driver or both. Anyway it’s not a good model for modern day f1 as it would unlike the past lead to total domination. By the time kvyat made that interview rbr was still interested in f1, as daniil like horner preach that high speed aero corners are good for racing.

    1. Actually Haas is apparently starting out with a budget comparable to FI, Sauber en STR. Double from what most new entrants seem to have available.

      Combined with the fact that they are able to use many prove parts from other teams, I do have some hope that they will able to compete for points instead of simply trying to stay inside the 107% rule like Manor is doing.

  8. @unicron2002

    It’s this time of year where I get a bit of F1 burnout as it feels that after Europe we are just dragging things out and going through the motions until we reach the finale

    This passage had me nodding furiously. While the time of the night and the amount of coffe I had to ingest in order to be able to keep working productively at such a time may have been contributing factors, I think this bodily reaction mostly stems from my heart. You’ve found words for something that I’ve been feeling for quite a few years now, and I couldn’t agree more with you.

    Also, Toto Wolff’s comment roughly corresponds to my view. I even went a step further and declared the departure of Red Bull a potentially beneficial development for the sport as a whole, but that comment was censored due to my using the word “absolutely” with an inserted expletive shortened to the single letter f and the present participle ending. I wasn’t aware that the crackdown on profanity was so strict on this site. :(

  9. 100% agree with COTD: Quality over quantity. Less is more.

  10. I don’t think F1 needs a calender as big as NASCAR but 21 should be achievable.

  11. Of course, F1 can survive without Red Bull. Anything else would mean that Red Bull Racing is greater than F1 and F1 would then lose its raison d’être anyway. The authorities should start acting to attract new independent teams to the sport in 2017 or 2018. Unfortunately, three-car teams or B-teams like Haas seem to be the preferred solutions.

    It is hard to see how this will end. Red Bull drivers do not seem to be concerned so it is possible that a solution is already close. But what does that solution look like? As I have said, it makes absolutely no sense for Ferrari or Mercedes to work hard for years and spend a zillion dollars to create a competitive advantage over Red Bull and then hand this advantage to Red Bull on a silver platter.

    I would not be too surprised if both teams were sold but they would still need engines. Ferrari or Mercedes would probably agree to supply the “new Toro Rosso” with latest-spec engines but what about the “new Red Bull”?

    Anyway, I hope that all four drivers stay in F1 or return to the sport soon if they are forced to leave.

    1. “It is hard to see how this will end. ”

      Just look at MotoGP, start about 3-4 years back. Manufacturers have way too much control over the competition in MotoGP, there are only two teams that have been able to win since the control tire came in to effect back in 2009. Ferrari and Merc are posed to completely control F1 for the foreseeable future, and guess what, the TV heads don’t mind because it’s Seb vs Hamilton, classic epic, bla bla bla, and the manufacturers don’t care because only Merc and Ferrari count, and the guys living on crumbs (not the manufacturers) can leave, fire all their staff, and lose their easy money. It’s that simple. It won’t be long before F1 is on the same level as MotoGP, and at that point, only celebrities, and poor commentary will be left.

  12. I can see the points system changing with 3 car teams. With the potential of Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams taking to top 9 spots every race I can see F1 following NASCARs system and offering points from first to last place as this would offer incentive to the mid and backfield teams, but time will tell.

    As for Red Bull and Torro Rosso leaving, historically speaking teams come and go … but right now with so few teams in the sport and noone knocking down the doors to get in, losing 2 quality teams will hurt, potentially a lot. But again, time will tell.

  13. I think Wolff is giving a bit of a revisionist version of history here talking about Toyota, Honda and BMW leaving. Only Toyota actually lost the team a sport. Honda became the team he is running now and only by the grace of McLaren-Mercedes, the then works team helping them get an engine deal which subsequently then saw them beaten in the championship (they would have lost anyway I guess). And when BMW pulled out Sauber secured Ferrari engines keeping a team in the sport.

    In both cases teams were rescued by engine deals which gave them parity with the works team. So that’s really 1 big team that went and 2 teams that had manufacturer backing pull out be kept in with engine deals that saw them running the same spec as the works teams.

    F1 may survive if Red Bull pulls out and takes Torro Rosso with it, but not because it doesn’t need them or because it’s in good health. It will only survive if it’s a wakeup call that the current way it’s being managed is running it into the ground and they turn things around in time.

  14. That is very exciting getting my first COTD. Bit of a controversial thing saying this time of year I get F1 burnout on a site called F1 Fanatic, but I guess it has struck a cord with some people.

    For the record, unlike lots of people on year I’m actually really looking forward to the Baku race!

  15. @keithcollantine just a small remark: the F1F homepage shows “Haas budget £110m for 2016 season”. Which would be a lot better than the $110 it really is…

  16. Light-bulb moment ! Absent mindedly scrolling through the comments a thought slowly formed in my mind;
    part 1; Yes if RB pull out F1 could have reached a tipping point.
    part 2; Can’t imagine anyone paying much to buy CVC out if that happens.
    part 3; But what if Dieter M is thinking about a new product to market other than an energy drink, like maybe F1 ?

    What do you think ? It has synergy.

    1. I suppose stranger things have happened but it sounds like CVC is interested in sustaining the billions they glean from F1 and would simply work to adapt to RB’s absence.

  17. If Redbull leaves, it would be a great loss. I for one like their drivers and their wonderful racing attitude. Yes, they’ve been talking bad about Renault, but Renault should’ve done a better job.
    Every great story needs a super villian, and Redbull play that role well.

  18. With regard to the schedule, I don’t think it’s a choice between quality or quantity. Quality is opposed by money and spectacle.

    I think most of us could come up with 21 tracks that we’d like to see F1 races at, but races aren’t awarded by quality of circuit, but rather by the amount of money each is willing to send to Bernie Ecclestone. If Bernie had to come up with a 16 race schedule, I’d imagine Bahrain and Abu Dhabi would be more likely to appear than Italy and Germany.

    Once these places buy their races, they then build tracks where spectacle is more important than racing. Valencia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Sochi, and Baku all spring to mind, and while some of them are better than others, none of them are really proper racing circuits. (That said, pancake flat street circuit with lots of 90 degree corners, built around old Olympic facilities describes Montreal just as well as Sochi.)

    I also think a hard fought championship battle over 21 races would be less draining to watch than Mercedes crushing everyone for 16.

  19. That video of Michael Schumacher winning his 3rd world championship really left me emotional. That was a team in complete harmony and total cohesion. After watching that, it seems there is something missing in F1 today.

    1. Lovely isn’t it? He’s boiling over with so much emotion but as a gentleman does, he thanks the time to thank his friend Brawn and his wife. It all means so much to him.

      Hamilton meanwhile rolls out something like…
      “I’d like to take the opportunity to thank team Petronas Mercedes for all the money they’re paying me and for giving me a car that even Pedro Diniz could dominate in. I’d also like to thank all the people that have liked my instragram photos over the past few years, without you my life would feel worthless. Thanks should also go to Ayrton Senna because without you, I’d have nobody to constantly compare myself to in the media…”

      1. Back in the day Schumacher was ridiculed by the press outside of his own country just as much if more so than Hamilton receives now. In 15 years time someone will be posting a comment on the dignity of Hamilton and him being a gentlemen (which I am not arguing with). Rose tinted glasses always help when looking at the past.

  20. Ugh again beating the drum on how the money needs to be distributed more equal to fix the “crisis”

    Seriously people, Lotus is in this mess because of their own mismanagement. They borrowed money to improve the team beyond their own means and failed. They admitted so and were trying to fix their mistake.

    Kaltenborn is also completely responsible for her own utter financial mess. How she is still leading that team is beyond me really.

    FI is always after money from other teams. Be it the prize money that Caterham or Marussia were supposed to get or whatever. If they sniff money they are after it.

    That whole “crisis” article is pure propaganda for FI. The only money under discussion really is the money that Ferrari and Red Bull get. Each around 100 million per year.

    Suppose that money was distributed “fairly” then each team would get 10 million extra on top of the 43 million they get already. Plus the extra 10 million per team being distributed on points. So probably 5 million extra for tams like FI and Sauber. Changes like that are not going to amount to anything really. F1 won’t suddenly be the financially sound dream that people seem to imagine and it wouldn’t close the performance gap at all.

    Besides, that is money that if it had not gone to Ferrari and Red Bull, it would have gone to the financiers who bought the F1 rights. It would not go to F1 teams at all.

    1. No I don’t think so. It is not about taking from what Ferrari and Red Bull get, like that is the only money available. It is that they get so much from F1 which helps them stay on top, while the smaller teams can no longer seem to survive on what they get from F1 while struggling to get outside money in this globally tough economy. There’s lots and lots of money in F1 without touching what Ferrari and Red Bull and the other top teams get.

      But I do agree the smaller teams need to be doing everything in their power to own their situation, and I do wonder how much more money would be enough and what the level of deserving is. For sure an extra 5 mill would be pointless.

      Horner referred earlier in the season, or maybe it was last year, not that the idea hasn’t been floated before, to the top teams being able to sell customer cars to the smaller teams so that they don’t have to manufacture everything, thus saving millions, and can be more competitive and contribute to a closer field. I know that has it’s contentious aspects that would have to be hammered out, but I think the idea has merit and is worth debate. A basic setup that can then be tweaked by the customer but doesn’t require them starting from scratch from the drawing board.

      1. @robbie, Yeah, that really is the only “unfair” money available from FOM. Well McLaren, Mercedes and Williams get some too, but much less and I doubt the EU can do away with all the “attendance bonus” payouts since these are quite normal in sports. Just the exorbitant payments going to Ferrari and Red Bull are over the top and unwarranted.

        The money going to CVC is gone. No way the EU can get that back. That’s simply a business deal brought on by the EU previously forcing FIA to sell the commercial rights to a private party.

        Team should not have to survive on what they get from F1. They should have sponsors. That’s how motors port works. If they can’t get sponsors they will never improve and then they might as well leave.

        1. So you say. But I doubt you know the half of what is reality and what can and can’t be done. Your last paragraph I don’t entirely disagree with.

  21. Maybe it’s just me, but it really looks like DC photo-bombed Nico’s pic :).

  22. Disagree 100% with COTD. Another generic “things were better in the olden days” . Except everyone and his personal olden days. For @unicron2002 it’s a time when there was only a couple of races like Brazil and Suzuka(actually Suzuka and Adelaide) after Europe. But in the seventies there were Canada, USA(for a few years it was USA-west in the spring and USA-east in the autumn) and Japan. There were 16 races in 1977 already, only 9 of those in Europe with 4 outlying races in the beginning and 3 at the end . Then there was a short time when all the western hemisphere races were grouped together in the middle of the championship and it ended in Europe, in late October. Then there was a split again and there were 3 groups of 2 flyaways beginning, mid and ending of the season. And it’s been 3 races or more after Europe every year since 2000(excepting 2001 and 2003)

    Also, tired from the season already? We’re beginning weekend 15 of the season for God’s sake. There’s been more races than that in F1 since the aforementioned 1970’s already, with a brief return to 15 rounds in the 1980’s. The average was 16, only 3 less than the average in the 2010’s

    I agree that 21 races is one too many probably because of the strain that places on F1 personnel. But for us the fans? The more the merrier. And quality will not come from reducing the quantity. Quality will come with kicking out rubbish tracks like Barcelona, Abu Dhabi, Sochi etc. and replacing them with decent ones. But they won’t. Barcelona will never be replaced as the sad truth is there are no good tracks in Spain at all so even a replacement would be as bad or worse. Abu Dhabi and Sochi, well you know the answer to that.

    So if there is ever a reduction in quantity you just know it’ll be at the expense of the good tracks. Most likely in Europe. And that will never bring you an increase in quality

    1. @montreal95, it could also be noted that, in addition to the races which formed part of the World Drivers Championship, you would often have multiple non championship races during the season in the 1970’s.

      When you take into account the need to accommodate the non championship races, the calendars in the 1970’s were close in length to what they are now – the 1977 season you have picked, as one example, ran from January to late October and lasted as long in terms of time as the 2016 season is projected to.

  23. The worst thing about 3 car teams…. It is that the finance on 1 or 2 cars will be exageratted. Inagin Mercedes 1,2,3 in 15 of 20 races next year? No wonder Toto wants it. Imagine places 4 to 9 being filled by Ferrari an redbull.. Then the less performing teams have little chance of scorring…. F1 is a shambles, the only people enjoying this new era are Toto and hamilton

Comments are closed.