Nick Heidfeld, BMW, Monaco, 2009

German teams ‘wrong to leave F1’ in 2009 – Marchionne

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne believes BMW and the Germany-based Toyota F1 teams made a mistake by leaving the sport when they did.

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While Red Bull continue to protest about the current engine rules, another team responded differently to their win-less 2015 campaign:

This is why I still respect McLaren and Ron Dennis. They don’t spent time moaning about how other team advantage is an injustice.

F1 is always about pushing all the boundaries of technologies, and currently software and fuel blends just becoming more prominent and it’s something that customer team will hard to get. McLaren realises this before Red Bull does and what they do is making partnership with Honda so they can become factory works again. Whether it works or not, its the proof that they’re better competitors than Red Bull.
Sonics (@Sonicslv)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 51 comments on “German teams ‘wrong to leave F1’ in 2009 – Marchionne”

    1. wouldn’t it be better the Ford with less red and more white and blue?

      1. It screams France and USA, that’s what they wanted, so they’ve nailed it.

        1. in any case, they look a lot better than all of the F1 field!

    2. It’s getting kinda old, this “what will F1 do without Ferrari”. Simply, one of the two things: keep existing, or stop existing. Either one is really not that big a deal when you think about it. Unless you work in F1, your life really won’t change one bit and the world will keep turning.

      1. Imagine F1 without Ferrari! F1 would take a massive hit and would never be as popular if they weren’t there. They will never leave mind you

        1. I disagree. If Ferrari just chose on a whim to no longer race in F1, then I believe there would be a loss in popularity, but not a significant loss. People watch F1 because it is the premier open wheel racing series. However, if the reason why Ferrari left is because they believed F1 wasn’t worthy of them appearing, but another racing series was worthy of their attendance, then F1 would have already lost a lot of popularity, and the departure of Ferrari would just be another nail in the coffin.

          1. I love motorsport, but i never saw a GP2 race. Just because i don’t care about GP2.
            Ferrari needs to be in F1 as F1 needs Ferrari. But if they leave, they will continue to sell cars, to compete in others categories. Can F1 afford to loose the oldest, and most popular team?

          2. not so sure about that. What if Real Madrid or Barcelona walked away from La Liga? you think that spanish football would be the same?

            1. Yes. Yes it would.

            2. That’s not a good comparison anyway, football teams are bought and sold all the time – they represent a town or city, not a brand. Liverpool FC have had three owners in the 19 years I’ve been alive, but it’s still Liverpool FC. Stewart was formed a year after I was born, and it has also had three owners – Stewart, Jaguar then Red Bull – and has changed beyond recognition now. The difference is that a football team is an entity in it’s own right, while any factory motorsport team is an advertising tool, either for a manufacturer or a company. If Real Madrid and Barcelona walked away from La Liga, it’d definitely affect Spanish football, but where would they go and play? There isn’t anywhere else. If Ferrari walk away from F1, they can enter a multitude of other championships.

            3. Spanish football would not be the same… The only reason people outside Spain watch la liga is really for those two teams. Yes Athletico, Sevilla or Valencia frequently have good teams but they do not have a lot of drawing power internationally. Those two teams gone would reduce the income of the whole league and thus it would become less relevant, probably more of a league like France before the new PSG.

    3. So, average F1 race ratings shows all the years that made it to TOP-3 were DRS-years. Maybe this silly claim that ‘DRS is kiling F1’ could be forgotten already?

      1. It also shows the highest rated part is the part the Pirelli tyres were as soft and degrading as announced, from the get go in 2011 till the post-Silverstone reaction 2013. And of course it highlights the importance of the refueling-ban, which probably was far more important than introducing or banning DRS could ever be.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          6th January 2016, 6:15

          So, average F1 race ratings shows all the years that made it to TOP-3 were DRS-years.

          And also 75% of the bottom half (worst seasons) were DRS-years!
          All Vettel WDC are in the top-5!
          And F1 must be improving as all seasons this decade are rated higher than during the previous decade!

          Tough to pick meaningful correlations from a sample size of 8 (with a binary variable)! @huhhii

      2. @huhhii

        Maybe this silly claim that ‘DRS is kiling F1’ could be forgotten already?

        No because DRS is killing the racing & regardless of what the race rating say the fact still remains that since DRS was introduced F1’s overall popularity has been in decline.

        I would also argue that going back & re-watching some of the races from 2011-2012 would bring very different opinions now because the absurdity of the tyre management & ease of many DRS highway passes are now been seen for what they are, Boring!

        In 2012 in particular many were “oh my god 7 winners in 7 races, 80 passes a race… awesome” but then when it became obvious how far off the pace drivers were having to drive to manage the tyres & how dull most of the passes were fans started to turn against the gimmicks & calling for better tyres & no DRS, As seen by the recent fan surveys where the majority of fans voted for DRS to be banned & for more durable tyres which allowed the drivers to drive harder. Let us not also ignore than the conclusions within the fan survey was that the majority of fans want less gimmicks & that includes DRS/Pirelli’s rubbish tyres to be removed from F1!

        1. I’m not a supporter of DRS. I think the idea behind it is decent but the execution has been horrible most of the time. There have been some occasions where DRS has worked flawlessly (Hungarian GPs and some British, Japanese and German GPs for example) but then there are races that were ruined by it (especially Canadian and Belgian GPs have suffered from the introduction of DRS). But overall DRS definitely isn’t killing my passion for F1.

          I think big negativity that showed up on official F1 Fan Survey mostly occurred because the survey took place during god-awful 2015 campaign. If you would’ve asked the same questions in 2012 people wouldn’t have been that negative regarding gimmicks.

          1. If you would’ve asked the same questions in 2012 people wouldn’t have been that negative regarding gimmicks.

            There was plenty of negativity surrounding the gimmicks in 2012 & there was a poll done on here around that time as well as some I saw on other websites which suggested that even back then most fans were not fond of the gimmicks, DRS especially.

            1. In fact fan criticism regarding the tyres that year was such that paul hembrey felt the need to use James Allen’s website as a way to respond to a poll that James had conducted where a significant majority had voted against the way the tyres were –


            2. I understand your frustrastions but what you are talking about the tyres is not entirely true. Look at a poll here on this site and vast majority were in favour of them. Also tyre conservation is not always a bad thing. Everyone have had the same tyres. It is from 2013 the tyres are too fragile and I would say it has more to do from changes rather than sudden eureka moment amongst the fans.

              Agree about DRS though. Rather than calibrate the zones like they planned they doubled the number. Absurd. And again this happened in 2013. So it makes me wonder there are rather post-2012 rule changes to blame rather than apparent fans’ eureka moments.

            3. @michal2009b

              It is from 2013 the tyres are too fragile

              In 2013 they were no different to the year before in terms of how fragile they were & how slow drivers were having to drive to manage them & lets not forget that it was the drivers who started pointing this out in 2012.

              I remember Martin Brundle saying during commentary very early in 2012 that he had been told by several drivers privately that they were having to drive at 70% of what they were capable of to manage the tyres that year & he went on to say that all of the drivers he had spoken to (And he clarified that he’d asked most of them) felt that driving an F1 car was been made far less satisfying because of the tyre management that year because they were not been pushed as they were having to drive to a delta all race as pushing anything above that for even a few corners started the thermal degredation process that once started couldn’t be stopped.

              Of all the years i’ve been an F1 fan 2012 was the 1 year that I just didn’t enjoy & the tyres with there extreme degredation, stupid cliff drop-off & tiny operating windows were the primary reason why.
              Watching drivers cruising around at 70-80% off there true pace all managing tyres just isn’t fun & never will be & it says something that the most enjoyable (From start to finish) fully dry race of last year was the 1 race (Sochi) where tyres were a complete non-issue & drivers were able to push them hard all race long just like the Pre-Pirelli days.

            4. Read about changes made to the tyres before start of 2013. I would like you to explain to me how Alonso ended up running a slower race in 2013 at Catalunya despite cars being nearly 2s faster than the year previously. But even what is wrong in driving at 90% if we see exciting racing? Was 2013 GP2 season bad because the drivers have had to conserve their tyres? No. Also the drivers pushed at India 2012 or US 2013 and I fail to get excited by these ‘classics’.

        2. +1 these artificial gimmicks have done far more to turn off my enjoyment of races than any other thing over the 30 years i have been a fan.

          some may find push of a button highway passes fun but i certainly dont and the same is true of the tyres, watching drivers cruising around running to a lap delta to keep the tyres from getting hot & thermal degrading is not what i consider a fun or exciting thing to watch and i am glad we have heard the drivers speak out about it a bit more recently.

          1. I disagree. Wholeheartedly. DRS has allowed the ‘Trulli train’ problem of a slower car holding up a large number of faster cars to disappear everywhere except Monaco.

            To me the problem is not DRS but the stupid tyres. How would f1 look now if we were still using 2010-spec Bridgestone tyres? A lot better I think. The problem is that both Pirelli and DRS were introduced at the same time, so both get tatted with the same brush. But go back through comments about the racing pre DRS. What did everyone want? More overtaking. Cars not being stuck behind others. DRS delivered.

            How can passing be possible without DRS?

            DRS will always be needed unless the fundamental problem of front downforce disappearing when following another car closely. Sort it out for 2017 FIA!!!

            Having just watched the 2012 season with my 3 year old son (who loves watching the Spa pile up over and over and over…) I can say that to me it was the best season in the last 10. Easily. I even don’t mind the step noses that much, especially after the 2014 ugliness.

            1. DRS will always be needed unless the fundamental problem of front downforce disappearing when following another car closely. Sort it out for 2017 FIA!!!

              The thing is that as has become clear with the 2017 rules for as long as DRS is around there is no incentive to do anything about cars not been able to follow one another closer. As we see with 2017 were going to get higher downforce cars with more powerful DRS which will make racing worse & not better.

              The problem is that what DRS generates isn’t overtaking, Its just boringly easy & completely devoid of all excitement/interest highway passing.

              When was the last time a DRS pass was actually fun to watch?
              When was a DRS pass ever considered for overtake of the year?

              Never & never & that is the problem, DRS is quantity rather than quality & i’d rather have fewer but higher quality & genuinely exciting real overtakes than the endlessly dull highway passes we get since 2011 & all you need to do is look at F1’s declining popularity & the many poll’s/surveys to see that the vast majority of F1 fans seem to feel the same way after suffering through 5 years of this DRS nonsence!

            2. How can passing be possible without DRS?

              Are you insinuating that overtaking was impossible before DRS was introduced?

        3. since DRS was introduced F1’s overall popularity has been in decline

          The decline in popularity has little to do with DRS and a lot to do with F1’s belief that people should pay lots to watch it. The decline started before DRS and will continue in the years to come regardless of whether they keep DRS or not. I don’t see any reason to believe the decline would have slowed down or stopped if DRS hadn’t been implemented. If, on the other hand, F1 management insisted in their TV rights contracts that F1 races be on Free to Air TV, then I believe the decline in popularity would slow down, stop, and then popularity would slowly increase.
          DRS is actually a “band aid” for the difficulty a faster car has in overtaking a slower car due to the air turbulence. Yes, it does add a slight air of “contrived” to F1, but in almost all cases where there is a DRS assisted pass, the car that did the pass has driven off. The real problem isn’t DRS, it is the air turbulence.
          One could equally argue F1 is degrading its racing due to the requirement to run two types of tyre, or the way it hands out money, or limiting the number of engines a team can use in a year.
          As I understand it, the plan is to have more downforce on cars in 2017, which simply means expect more DRS.

      3. The poll is being held since 2008. 2008 season was the season the cars became like spaceships look alike and plain ugly, so was the racing. 2009 was a giant change, again cars became even stranger and the era of strange penalties became to surface. 2010 was a decent season. And then we have only seasons with DRS. Out of 8 seasons, only 3 are without DRS. If u would take a poll in 1990 – 2001 the average score would be higher than 9. This fake DRS overtaking is a shame for the sport. Fundimental rule of the sport since begining is no moving aerodinamical parts which help the car going faster…Maybe you watch F1 only few years and u dont know how was it watching 15+ years ago. The decline of sport began with season 04, in 2015 it reached rock bottom. I wonder if they manage to destroy it even more. If they want to get sport more interesting again, DRS needs to be banned. Pure racing is interesting, not button pressing to overtake. With this DRS nonsense poor teams have even smaller chances to score points, because they are defenseless agaist faster rivals…

      4. F1 has lost a lot of viewers over the past few years, and many more have become more detached from F1, consuming less of it. Logically, those would mostly be the ones least happy with DRS and weak tyres. Given that F1 Fanatic has become more popular over the years (FOM could learn a thing or two from how this site approaches Formula 1), it is to be expected that the average would rise, because the people staying would be happier than those leaving.

        Figuring out exactly what effect each of the confounding factors has, and thus what the most helpful response from the powers-that-be would look like, is quite difficult.

        1. @alianora-la-canta, I would say that is challenging given that we have seen different trends in viewing figures across different markets.

          In markets like Germany, viewing figures have been in decline since the mid 2000’s, with strong evidence to suggest that the decline was strongly influenced by Schumacher’s departure from the sport (backed up by evidence that viewing figures partially recovered when he returned, only to continue falling when he left again). Similarly, in Italy the indication is that viewing figures have been in decline for even longer, with evidence of declining viewing figures since the year 2000, pre-dating a number of measures that people tend to cite as reasons for declining viewing figures.

          On the other hand, there are different markets where the trend is quite different – in the US, for example, viewing figures have generally shown an upward trend in the past few years. Factors which may be attractive in one market are not necessarily of interest in others, so to try and ascribe a single set of factors is unlikely to be easy.

          As others have said, Keith’s survey is hardly exhaustive either – it covers a very limited time frame and, although this site is reasonably popular, the number of people voting in such a poll is also unlikely to be large enough for it to be truly representative of the wider fan base.

      5. Only 3 of the years covered were pre-DRS, and 2 were blighted by still having re-fuelling. So it’s hardly surprising or indicative of anything that the top 3 doesn’t include a pre-DRS year. However, it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that 2 of the bottom 3 are the only re-fuelling years featured.

    4. I’m not sure if it’s the media, lack of F1 news or what, but I’m getting a bit tired of hearing Sergio Marchionne’s opinions. He’s obviously a pro at heading a car manufacturing company, and likes driving supercars, but that doesn’t make him an expert on F1. I value the opinions of people like Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and James Allen much more (even if I don’t always agree with them) because they’ve dealt with all the ins and outs of the sport. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but Marchionne’s isn’t worth reading about anymore.

      1. Haha, I’ve noticed the same. :)

      2. I believe he has an apetite for Bernies seat, or atleast to put there someone from the red team backround. I think they are a bit frustrated that every season a team emerges which is superior (has a superior understanding of rules and diplomacy). They want themself at the top again, and since they cant do it with the car, they are trying to get there naother way. Jean is one of the right people for them on the right spot and he is just confirming everything they say… Governing body of F1 should be led by totaly unatached people.

        1. Ironically Jean Todt has a “red team background”… …one of his biggest achievements was being a key leader in Ferrari’s resurgence from 1992 also-ran to five-time consecutive constructor’s champion.

    5. Is Ryan Hunter Reay really calling Haas “USF1”? Does he think this is 2009 or was there a misprint in his quotes somehow?

    6. Maybe it’s better for F1 if Ferrari actually leave. The historical payment and “Ferrari payment because we are Ferrari” can be redistributed to other teams, and as a bonus we won’t hear more whining from Maranello. Ferrari fans may quit F1, but we still have F1 fans, racing fans, and other team fans so it won’t make the grandstands and cable subscription suddenly empty.

      F1 success is because its the pinnacle of motorsport than happens to have Ferrari competing in it, not because F1 is where Ferrari competes. If Ferrari quits F1, F1 will still be the pinnacle of motorsports. Ferrari however, is saying they not able to compete with the best anymore.

      1. F1 success is because its the pinnacle of motorsport than happens to have Ferrari competing in it, not because F1 is where Ferrari competes. If Ferrari quits F1, F1 will still be the pinnacle of motorsports.

        I don´t think so. If Ferrari goes WEC, WEC might soon be considered “pinnacle of motorsport”, albeit a less telly-friendly pinnacle. Also, kids typically have a lot of red die-cast models with prancing horses on them before they even know how to spell “formula one”, so losing Ferrari might lose F1 access to future fanbases. However, Ferrari can´t win anything by quitting either, which means they probably never will, so the redundant talk about it is a bit unneccessary. But since the media has found it can make repeating headlines work by repeatingly asking the same “if xy happens, would you quit?”, we´ll get this thing repeated as long as we pay attention to it. And what is a head of Ferrari supposed to say? “Yeah, no, go ahead, destroy the sport however you please, we´ll go under with it”?

        1. @crammond WEC is nowhere near the pinnacle of the motorsport. LMP1 might come close to F1 and in some area arguably better, but the GT3 class where Ferrari actually has entrant is not. The definition of pinnacle of motorsport is because it has the best competition including technologies, drivers, and teams. Having a Ferrari doesn’t add anything to pinnacle of motorsport aspect.

          Also the top dog in GT3 now is… Audi and Mercedes, and only Audi which practically is a works team which is why they so dominating. Even if Ferrari makes come back in LMP1, I doubt they suddenly behaving themselves and stop using politics to gain advantage.

          1. In the WEC, it’s GTE, not GT3. It’s a nitpick, I know, but I believe it’s a nit worth picking, as Audi and Mercedes (GT3 top dogs) don’t have any GTE-class cars.

          2. Oh, almost forgot: Ferrari don’t actually run a full works team in GTE; the team is actually run by AF Corse with factory support. If Ferrari decided to go full-works, they’d compete in LMP1, and keep AF Corse on for the GTE entrants.

            1. @raceprouk Thanks for the correction :D. As I usually only watch the Blancpain GT series, they are in GT3 class and I recall most of them also participate in the endurance race so I thought it’s the same class. And yes, the Ferrari is ran by AF Corse which as close as Ferrari factory team for supercars. They still perform awfully worse than the other teams though, but to be fair the cars are artificially equalized which leads to silly stuff as consumer MP4-12C have better engine than the GT3 version.

            2. Actually I stand corrected, WEC and Blancpain Endurance Series is different thing. Ferrari won in WEC GTE but AF Corse perform badly in Blancpain’s.

        2. But since the media has found it can make repeating headlines work by repeatingly asking the same “if xy happens, would you quit?”, we´ll get this thing repeated as long as we pay attention to it. And what is a head of Ferrari supposed to say? “Yeah, no, go ahead, destroy the sport however you please, we´ll go under with it”?

          This +10000000

        3. Ferrari has “gone WEC”. This is the first year it hasn’t won the manufacturers’ GTE-Pro class in that series. It’s even managing to get merchandise out based on its involvement in that class, showing that it is not necessary to be in LMP1 (or, as RaceProUK points out, even to run an entire team!) to get marketing benefit. That has to have an effect on the pressure Ferrari believes it can exert.

          That, and having FOM directly involved in governance through alleged “mandate” is about as blatant a breach of the 2000 Nice Agreement as it is possible for F1 to do. FOM, having been ordered by the EU to stick to strictly commercial matters back in 2000, isn’t even authorised to help the FIA make decisions, let alone to be 50% of the deciding power. It would not be difficult for Ferrari to join the EU complaint if the FIA doesn’t do as it wishes, and that would pretty much end any power Jean Todt thinks he has.

    7. USA have had enough time to embrace F1. Move on

      1. I just started watching in 2010. During that time, we (in the US) only recently got a US race. I agree with Hunter-Reay.

    8. So F1 is still a bit quicker.

      That’s a candidate for understatement of the year.

    9. “Personally, I encourage all constructors to enter the sport. I have already told [F1 commercial rights chief Bernie] Ecclestone.”

      Did Sergio tell Bernie this before or after he told him Ferrari would quit if the engine rules don’t make sense?

      Ferrari have always been in a unique position with regard to their F1 side. Even during the late 80s and early 90s, no shareholders or suits were calling for the team to quit, no consumers felt that they were in F1 unjustly. For car manufacturers like Toyota, BMW, Renault and many others active in multiple and lower segments, the brand stands to lose a lot from A: not being competitive in F1 and B: firing a ton of people worldwide but maintaining a team in the most expensive motorsport.

      I’ve never been a fan of manufacturer owned teams beyond the way Ferrari is; built by the manufacturer from the ground up and free to act without too much meddling from the manufacturer. We saw last decade what damage poor management decisions can do with Jaguar, Super Aguri, Honda, Toyota and BMW. For the sake of F1, I do hope more manufacturers get involved, but much rather in the way Honda is involved with McLaren than buying teams and disposing of them when no longer considered an asset.

      1. Why can their not be a customer chassis for manufacturers who only want to showcase their engine technology. Seems very one sided that teams can share engines but not chassis, I am not saying both you either enter with your own engine and use a customer chassis or vice versa. F1 became to aero centric for me engines are more fascinating. The little teams make their own chassis and use a customer engine so why not the opposite, BMW or Ford enter just an engine using a standard chassis? Good to take some power away from teams like Red Bull with Newey. Of course proper teams like Ferrari and Merc do both.

        1. Why can their not be a customer chassis for manufacturers who only want to showcase their engine technology

          I think you just described McLaren Honda

    10. That Ford GT’s some eye candy.

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