Ecclestone: Force India and Sauber ‘didn’t budget properly’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says the two team who have complained about F1 to the European Union failed to manage their finances.


Comment of the day

Vandoorne has impressed in GP2
Stoffel Vandoorne took a richly deserved GP2 championship victory yesterday:

One of the very best drivers in lower categories for a few years – he beat Kvyat to the Eurocup title in 2012, then finished runner-up as a rookie to the more experienced Magnussen and Palmer in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 respectively. This year he’s been untouchable.

He was arguably worthy of a chance in F1 in 2014, he should have raced this year and he absolutely must race in 2016. It would be a big shame if he doesn’t get the opportunity he’s continously proven he deserves.

Hopefully McLaren-Honda is a front-runner when Alonso and Button retire a year or three from now, and Vandoorne gets the chance to fight for grand prix victories.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to F1Abw and Reh1V2.0!

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On this day in F1

The first Russian Grand Prix was held on this day last year and received the fourth-lowest ever score in Rate the Race at the time:

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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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46 comments on “Ecclestone: Force India and Sauber ‘didn’t budget properly’”

  1. I don’t think FIA and Sainz did the correct thing allowing him to race. Feeling dizzy in a Formula 1 car is no good news to anyone involved, Carlos himself, the others and even marshalls and public.

    As Vettel said the other day, he should’ve rested this weekend. Perez also felt ready to race after Monaco 2011 and thought better of it at Canada, a week or two later, after also feeling a bit dizzy in the car.

    As a precaution, they should’ve left him at home.

    1. I’d say if he passed the necessary tests, the FIA can escape blame. As for Sainz… my rational mind says that if you feel dizzy inside a 200mph missile, you should park the damn thing and go home for the weekend. But in his position, I think I’d have done exactly what he did.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        12th October 2015, 9:19

        Don’t forget that he said it only happened when zig-zagging behind the SC, and not even sure if it was real dizziness.

        Being fully honest, in the first 10 laps, behind the safety car, doing so many ‘esses’ [weaving to warm the tyres] I was feeling a bit dizzy.
        I don’t know if it was just mental because I was thinking about the accident, or if I was just feeling dizzy.

        I can only guess, but assume he would have stopped if that feeling happened at speed!

        PS – great race by Sainz until his brakes played up.

    2. I understand the desire to keep people safe, but in this instance, I think it was OK to let him race. Think about it: if there was even the slightest doubt from the FIA medical team he’d be OK, they’d have stopped him racing; those guys take their jobs extremely seriously. And as Sainz himself said, the dizziness went away completely when he opened his visor, which to me signifies he wasn’t quite getting enough airflow through the helmet; opening the visor fixed it.

  2. And as a reply to DC, sure low degradation helped, but last year we saw a lot of complains about fuel consumption and this year might’ve been the same if it wasn’t for the safety car showing up twice on track.

    It’s not just tyres that are the issue here…

    1. The tyres are a much bigger problem & have been since these crappy cheese tyres were introduced in 2011.

      With fuel saving it is only really necessary for a short time, When the tyres are acting like the cheese tyres they are you have to manage them all weekend. Also the tyres have a much larger affect on the racing. Not defending the fuel saving, Just don’t see it as a bigger problem or even as big a problem than the cheese tyres are.

      The teams don’t like the tyres, the drivers don’t like the tyres & the fans clearly don’t like the tyres. Michelin should have been given the contract as what they wanted to do was a lot better, Pirelli only get another 3 years because they pay greedy bernie more & put on the cheese tyre show that he seems to love but that just about everyone else doesn’t.

      1. Please tell me how these “cheese” tires lasted 77% race distance for Perez and 75% race distance for Alonso on Softs and Super-Softs, respectively.

        1. Easy. The Tarmac in Sochi is not abrasive. Not all tracks share this feature. In fact most don’t.

          1. @julianwins @tromoly Indeed. I see Pirelli are already saying Sochi will be a candidate for their ‘super-super-soft’ tyre next year.

          2. I wonder what Pirelli has to say, I though the prime couldn’t last more than 50% of the distance.

  3. Nick (@theawesomefish)
    12th October 2015, 2:07

    Perhaps Bernie’s right, maybe Sauber and Force India are spending too much money that they don’t have, because it’s all being sent to the teams at the very top.

    1. sounds about right, yeah @theawesomefish!

    2. Exactly. I was fuming when I was watching that interview yesterday. They haven’t got a budget Bernie, because you’re not giving them one!

      1. Turning up at the first race with last year’s car painted blue and not introducing your full 2015 spec car until half the season has elapsed isn’t really a sign of two teams spending money they don’t have.

        1. @andybantam

          Turning up at the first race with last year’s car painted blue and not introducing your full 2015 spec car until half the season has elapsed isn’t really a sign of two teams spending money they don’t have.


    3. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th October 2015, 9:42

      exactly. @theawesomefish
      And perhaps they’re not involved in strategic rule changes which would stop them from spending more than their budget.

    4. No it’s not. The prize money is quite evenly divided. Too evenly even.

      They just don’t get the FOM money and why would they.

  4. Kimi, your move might not have been completely stupid, but it was at least 75% stupid.

  5. Re: the Alan Baldwin tweet: Has Putin threatened Bernie lately?

    1. Don’t think Putin has threatened Bernie.
      What worries me is that Putin has a history of supporting corrupt and illegal regimes with military actions.

      1. @w-k
        Unlike the UK, who support and sell weapons to Yemen, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Libya, and any other cortupt regime we can find with deep enough pockets. And when it comes to illegal military activities, we’re hardly blameless either.
        You may want to read Matthew 7:3, and apply it to your comment.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          12th October 2015, 11:02

          @beneboy @w-k – This is a pointless conversation.

          I think it has now been fairly well established that _____ will bend any rules, step on anybody and lie about everything to get what they want.

          Now you can fill the gap with Russia, USA, UK, FIFA, FOM, FIA, Bernie, VW or in reality, most of large scale organisation but the truth is that you won’t be far wrong with any of them!

        2. Politics and religion?…..Come on guys, this is a racing website.

    2. I think the two are a perfect fit. A handshake is a deal made, money is flowing as Bernie wants it and Putin gets things done as well as any dictator Bernie has mentioned he prefers in the past, on top there are no complaints from people about noise limits, or anything else that obscure the lovely view of a defunct olympics site.

      In return Bernie brings glory, nice PR TV moments and I think fast cars is something Putin might really like personally too. And no bothering questions about freedom of speech, minority rights, Ukraine or Syria and certainly no questions asked about corruption.

      Seems like a natural partnership then @bullmello, @w-k

      1. @bascb , @w-k – Well, I just wondered because of this; “We’ll be here for as long as I’m alive,” said Mr E

        Guess it behooves Putin to help make sure Bernie is not demised?

        Anyways, glad there was less Putin this GP than last. At least there was not a breakaway during race coverage to show schmoozing.

    3. I still can’t find any reason for Putin’s presence in that room reserved for drivers on their way to the podium. On top of that he “parked” on the podium for some airtime which is pretty odd for the president of powerful nation, at least by Putin’s own definition.

      On another note, I liked the idea of the hats. Americans started with that trend and I’m expecting to see sombreros in Mexico.

      1. One reason Putin was in that room: publicity. Think about it: the more people talk about him being in the cooldown room, the less time there is to criticise his politics.

  6. Of course, Force India and Sauber could spend less. That would lead to a classic downward spiral. They would score less points (“They don’t seem to be able to build a car properly”), lose prize money and sponsors. Then they would need to reduce their budgets even more and ultimately they would fall behind Marussia and could not comply with the 107% rule. So we can only judge their effectiveness, that is, how many points Force India and Sauber score per every million they spend. Both have outscored McLaren this year so you cannot say that they are terribly ineffective.

    Some of the other quotes are interesting though.

    They’re all going to make new cars anyway for 2017 and we need to decide what we’re going to do about the engines.

    I wonder if that is something that could make Renault and Red Bull change their minds about their partnership. If the 2017 engine rules are going to be more attractive for Renault and their “historic value” is also going to be increased in return for continuing to supply RBR with engines, then it is no wonder that Ecclestone expects to see a 22-car grid next year.

    1. @girts – I guess the next thing to wonder is whether any engine changes for 2017 will cause Mercedes to want to stay or go. Since they already threatened leaving if F1 did not adapt a formula like the current one. Seems like a real big change in the PU package might be undesirable for them and maybe other teams as well. Can’t they all just get along? ;-)

      I’m still bewildered by how far away any final regulations seem to be. If half the speculated new regs are to be in place for 2017 there is a long way to go and a relatively short time to get there. Even with some of the things they have reportedly agreed upon, it seems like the PU is the biggest possible point of contention and where is that discussion now? How can any real planning and design start until the regs are completely decided?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        12th October 2015, 10:01

        Actually, I don’t think the PU per se is that contentious.
        Mercedes, Renault, Honda are big fans of the PU, and Ferrari is sufficiently supportive. It fits hand in glove with their corporate strategies.
        The contentious point is the development time and opportunities. If there were more (often) tokens to be used then they could all be happy after all.
        And it would not be the first time for FIA to allow lagging engine manufacturers to catch-up.
        Bernie certainly has the power to orchestrate something like that.

        1. He has helped for 2016. In that he/top 5 teams/FIA have agreed to ‘increase’ the noise by changing the wastegate to an external port. So this means that all the PU manufacturers have a free turbo redesign using zero tokens!

    2. @girts Team Enstone though……..

  7. I think Esteban Ocon is a comparable talent to Vandoorne. He may not have the raw speed of Luca Ghiotto this year, but is fighting for the title regardless through, grit, determination, consistency (nine consecutive second places!) and b-r-r-r-illiant moves like his DRS-less pass on Mardenborough yesterday.

    Hopefully Ocon can partner Wehrlein at a Manor-Mercedes junior superteam!

  8. Nice touch that Manor and McLaren are trying to “repair” their relationship, but I can tell from that twitter pic that something still stands between them…. ;)

    1. I must have missed something; when did their relationship become fractious?

      1. When asked about whether McLaren were worried about having to compete with Manor next year once they get a Mercedes engine, Alonso quipped that they’d still be no competition if they had a airplane engine. Manor’s response was to remind them that they’ll be pit neighbours in 2016, right down at the bottom of the pit lane. Some light-hearted desperately-trying-not-to-be-corporate Twitter banter ensued.

  9. The 2017 rules package is going from bad to worse – purposefully decreasing the weight of mechanical grip by decreasing tyre width is suicide in my opinion in a world where the aero departments will always overperform and thus will always be more influental than the mechanical side. The wider tyres may mean higher drag, but the narrower (or less wider) ones will decrease mechanical grip just when drivers need it the most: in the turbulent air of the car they wish to overtake where aerodynamic downforce will diminish.

    Also, why we are worrying about drag when the whole concept is supposedly based around ground effect which is known to produce next to no drag itself.

    Or is it that the primary objective is not really increasing the probability of a car being able to follow another car closely in the corners, but that strange mission to deliver 5-6s better laptimes?

    I am very much convinced that despite all the rose-tinted glasses people put on when judging the early 2000s, the product’s success will depend a lot more on maintaining and improving the current direction of close-quarters racing – if it should take place at the front as well, not just in the midfield as in the last few years, it will be a guaranteed success in the eye of the fanbase. Don’t overemphasise the importance of 5-6s quicker laps – if moves like less wider tyres will be made to ensure this, drivers following another car closely in a bid to overtake by sheer force will surely remain only a wish.

    1. And yes, this is meant to be a CotD candidate, @keithcollantine. :P

    2. Also, why we are worrying about drag when the whole concept is supposedly based around ground effect which is known to produce next to no drag itself.

      While the initial murmourings were that the 2017 regs were supposed to be more ground effect-ey, from the last round of images we saw the 2017 cars are hardly shaping up to be 22 Lotus 79’s or Williams FW07’s.

      1. I like the idea behind the bodywork changes; a swept-back front wing will definitely make the cars look more aggressive. But there are two things I don’t like: making the tyres narrower, and the fact that when I pause the player to get a better look at the pictures, I can’t, because Sky in their infinite wisdom cover half the image with a stupid popup that I can’t get rid of.

    3. @atticus-2, if you read what the article says, the overall width of the tyres is being substantially increased – being out of context, that quote provides a rather misleading picture of the situation.

      Under the 2017 regulations, the rear tyres would still be increased from 325mm to 400mm, whilst the front tyres are going from 245mm to 300mm – an increase of around 23% at both ends of the car.
      To put that in perspective the proposed tyres are around 50mm wider at the rear and 20mm wider at the front than they were in the 1990’s, and 20mm wider at the rear and 50mm wider at the front than in the 1980’s – in fact, they are the widest tyres to be fitted to an F1 car since the 1970’s.

      Proportionally, the increase in the tyre contact patch is around twice the relative increase in the dimensions of the wings (which are increasing by around 12%) – if anything, the new regulations would seem to be targeting the exact thing you want them to do, which is to proportionally increase the importance of mechanical grip, not reduce it.

      Also, with regards to your remark about ground effects producing “next to no drag itself” – that is not correct, because parasitic drag is still quite considerable with ground effects (in fact, the increased surface area of the tunnels actually increases parasitic drag). What you can do is mitigate against the effects of induced drag to improve the lift to drag ratio, but ground effects will still have a moderate amount of drag associated with it.

      1. I did phrase it as ‘less wider’ so as to refer to me understanding that they’re still going to be wider. Have to be honest though, I wasn’t aware that the initial plan was so drastic – but I still don’t like cutting back down on it for the overachieving character of the aero I mentioned.

        You are right in the case of the drag when it comes to ground effect, in that case I wasn’t punctual enough – I should have focused on the fact that ground effect downforce suffers less from turbulent air than downforce from wings. In fact, a car in the wake of another will get less of that drag coming from the wider tyres than the car in front which also only helps.

  10. I sort of agree with Bernie, of course companies shouldn’t spend more than they bring in, but he isn’t seeing the bigger picture here. The independents are doing all they can to survive. To survive they need better results, to get better results they need to spend more cash.

    The independents are operating in an environment where large manufacturers come in, spend zillions of dollars on R&D and the best drivers, walk away with all of the titles, prestige and prize money, all the while operating under the premise that when it no longer suits their marketing strategy they can walk away. In order to compete, the independents need to find more cash to pump into R&D and in this financial climate there just isn’t the liquidity out there in the market for them. The larger manufacturers and CVC are milking the sport dry and something needs to change.

    I think it is easy for us to forget that the independent teams are still incredibly successful companies, operating in a state of the art business out of amazing facilities with highly skilled employees with massive turnover. They aren’t plucky mechanics operating out of a shed in the English countryside, they are large multinational companies and they need to be treated with the respect they deserve. Giving them a fairer slice of the pie is a good way to start showing them that respect. I can’t help but support the independents in this bid with the EU, it is necessary for the good of the sport.

  11. I agree with Kimi about the move, Bottas had lot of room on the outside had he left some room for Kimi to turn in, Kimi would have had better traction coming out of the corner & would have sealed 3rd place. Bottas closed the door deliberately to avoid this… but it turned out ugly for him. Bottas should have covered the inside line long before Kimi had a look… he is acting innocent… he clearly saw Kimi make that move… he knew what would happen & he reacted by slamming in the hard.

  12. That press conference was hilarious. They must show those regularly, and they must make Vettel sit in every one of them, preferably with another champion because that’s when things get positively awkward. :D

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