Renault leading race to reveal 2017 car first

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In the round-up: Renault has announced the earliest launch date so far for a 2017 F1 car.

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While there may be many factors behind Manor’s problems, one obvious solution seems apparent:

Manor’s budget from FOM this year was $47m. Sharing out the money equally could get teams up to about $90m. That’s enough to keep teams on the grid surely.

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On this day in F1

On this day 20 years ago Ferrari revealed its 1997 challenger, the F310B. It was the team’s last car which designer John Barnard had been involved in creating.

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Keith Collantine
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57 comments on “Renault leading race to reveal 2017 car first”

  1. Andre Furtado
    7th January 2017, 0:31

    I personally don’t think manor adds anything to formula 1. To have smaller teams for the sake of having it makes no sense. They need to find a way to have big teams that can afford to race.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      7th January 2017, 10:11

      Manor have a lot of fans and were a good proving ground for young drivers. Minardi, Arrows and Tyrell (in later days) didn’t ‘add’ anything but I really miss all those teams. F1 isn’t just about the big teams it’s about those privateers whose racing is in their blood that dream of reaching the pinnacle of motorsport. Also a healthy grid equals a healthy sport.

    2. Manor and other small teams bring a lot to the sport, not least for the up-and-coming drivers to learn their trade out of the spotlight.
      Without Manor Wehrlein and Ocon probably wouldn’t have raced last year and their chances of getting a drive this year would’ve been smaller.

    3. The joy I get every time Manor beats Renault or Sauber in qualifying, I’m gonna miss that.

      1. Those are exactly the things these smaller teams can add. Suddenly having a Perez in a Sauber leading the Malaysian GP, a Manor suddenly looking like it might get into Q3 etc @paeschli

        I agree, there is a lot they all give to us to enjoy.

        1. @bascb, that said, Perez was only in the lead for four laps in the 2012 Malaysian GP – he spent more time in the lead in the Italian GP (five laps) in 2012, and in fact the 2014 Austrian GP was the race where he spent the most time leading the race (11 laps).

    4. You’re in the vast minority both here and from F1 fans in general. Not everyone can be a big team. But the smaller teams bring their own values such as developing young drivers and occasional giant-killing surprise that adds to the spectacle. There were teams far far worse than Manor in the history of F1 and they have(or had) a devoted fan following for a reason. Just look at Minardi! Lastly, following your(illogical) logic we don’t need the relegation-fighting teams in football or any player outside the top 100 in tennis. Really, it’s just a fundamental misunderstanding of the whole concept of “sport” on your part

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        7th January 2017, 19:34

        @montreal95 😂 I’ve often thought that Usain Bolt’s competitors ‘add’ nothing to sprinting and should therefore all give up.

        1. @rdotquestionmark hh yep! Also I thought, now that we’re in the athletics field Haile Gebrselassie should just do the long distance running on his own since no one can compete with him anyway. Same with Sergey Bubka in pole vault and Javier Sotomayor in high jump etc. etc.

    5. I suspect one reason you think this is because Manor get hardly any TV air time. It wasn’t uncommon to go an entire race and, apart from being in the background, not see them at all. About the only time they were given any attention is when they didn’t shift out of the way as soon as a Blue Flag was waved at them. Maybe they’d have been more obliging if they were given decent TV air time.
      According to one media source Manor were paid a paltry $10M for their 2015 efforts, which was less than 1% of the TV rights money earned that year. They weren’t even paid the minimum amount paid to all other F1 teams.
      So Manor had the most difficult time of all the teams in getting sponsorship, and they had the least amount of money of TV rights money given to any team to compete with. Getting onto the racing grid would have been far more difficult for them than any other team, yet they competed at every single round of the season. I’m not sure why F1 thinks this doesn’t affect their credibility.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        7th January 2017, 19:45

        Wow that’s so infuriating @drycrust. That almost stinks of an agenda to try and crush them. I cannot stand that kind of injustice and makes me appreciate their efforts even more! I hope they get the break they deserve.

      2. @drycrust, if they are working out income for 2015 based on the finishing position of the teams in 2014 – and I can only assume that is what they are doing, since their calculations feature Caterham (which went defunct at the end of 2014) – then they seem to have made a mistake in their calculations.

        Marussia, as the team was known then, finished in 9th place in 2014 ahead of Caterham and Sauber, not in 11th place (which seems to be how they’ve worked out Marussia’s share of the prize funds). In fact, if I recall correctly, in late 2014 Sauber claimed that they should have been awarded 9th place in the WCC, and the equivalent share of the prize money, when Marussia went into administration for the first time, arguing that Marussia had technically voided their entry rights (and the associated prize money) when they went into administration – so that would support the idea that Marussia was eligible for “Column 2” payments.

        On top of that, the way that they have worked out the “Column 2” payments seems to conflict with the main text of their article – if the “Column 2” payments are supposed to be made in terms of finishing order in the WCC, why do they then have Williams being paid less than Toro Rosso, Lotus and Sauber when Williams finished ahead of all of those teams (both in 2014 and 2015, so the argument applies whether it was worked out on 2014 or 2015 finishing positions)?

  2. Come on Audi / VW Group.

    Buy Manor …

    You know you want to …

    1. VW is scaling back, the americans keep drying up vw’s money for sport with the emission gate. They’re hopeless.
      On this day in f1, we all know by now that Barnard only penned the designs he wasn’t making f1 cars for some time by then.
      I really can’t comprehend how people can point the finger at prize money equalization. I’m saddened by the loss of any f1 team, that said are social justice warriors? Honestly, I earn x money, am I going live above my means, am I going to spend 2x money to play a game? You reward the best, the teams should complain if there’s a big slice of the cake going away from the teams regardless I’m sure you should reward the best. Look at SFI, they have been an honourable team, little money, great operation, now they’re getting more prize money, they’ve earned it. Are SFI still far from having the money to race against the big 3? Yes but that’s not on prize equalization that’s because Ferrari Mercedes RBR and many more do know you are not in f1 for a profit, and so should the tracks know, they can’t be in f1 for the profit. Everyone is on f1 for love, I don’t get paid to watch f1. F1 is a game for racers and vessel for companies, entities and countries even. F1 is like tagging along a beautiful woman.

      1. Harsh but I get the feeling that with equal money the same issue will occur it always has. 90 million they will spend 120 million. Currently 45 million they spent more and went bust. Still from a sense of fairness all the money should be equal the big teams would still have a huge money advantage so no need to compound their advantage by giving more money. It can’t do any harm.

        F1 is about to loose 2 seats that big teams could try out young drivers in.

      2. The issue is partly with the dumb development rules and the ludicrous design restrictions. It used to be that small F1 teams could think their way around issues and come up with ingenious designs that were cheap but effective. However you can barely design one car to look different to another these days due to all the rules and even if you do find a loophole and make use of it to further your performance it is likely it will get banned down the line. So Manor and the other small teams have no choice but to follow the big teams and that is to spend large amounts of money on complex front wings. I mean if the rules were relaxed then teams could devise front wings that could follow closer behind other cars in corners etc and we would not need the farce that is DRS.

        Also the prize money is purely unfair. Ferrari get money just for being Ferrari, they get a lot of money even if they come last. The smaller teams have constantly complained about this but there has been nothing done about it. It is another example of how unsustainable F1 is as a Model. The circuits have to pay massive amounts of money to simply be host F1 and even Silverstone which has by far the largest spectator crowds of the lot is loosing money from hosting the F1 races. So pretty much everyone in F1 is living on the financial edge, apart from the big teams and Bernie. It is like one huge pyramid scheme where Bernie has been raking in the money while all those at below are crumbling. At some point (if nothing is done) then F1 will collapse entirely as all the money has finally made its way to the top of the pyramid.

  3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    7th January 2017, 1:01

    With Malaysia, Singapore and Britain all not being interested in keeping their gps going, I wonder how many more will pull out? US seems likely. Brazil has a question mark as well. At this rate the tracks will pull out of the sport rather than f1 choosing not to go to those places.

    1. You forgot Germany.

  4. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    7th January 2017, 1:27

    F1 will soon become an Arab / Oil fully dependent sport, with 15 tracks around those places, and 6 teams with 3 cars.
    Pathetic. Let’s see if the new F1 bosses can make a good difference.

  5. I do not want to see the Government stumping up cash to keep Silverstone…as much as I’d like it to stay. Especially if it means Bernie would somehow get his fingers in the pie.

    Is Silverstone one of the only venues not to have any state backing? COTA may be another but I am unsure if that gets some state backing (unlikely I know).

    I cannot think of many other venues that are completely privately owned/run.

    I saw it as a badge of honour that Silverstone was the only/one of the few venues that could achieve this.

    1. By COTA state backing, I meant state in the American sense as in local state backing (Texas), rather that State meaning central government.

      1. COTA does get some backing from Texas, but they cut the payment significantly after the state decided that the economic impact (read: increased tax revenue) of the race had been over-estimated.

        I agree that government shouldn’t put up the money to pay the FOM’s sanctioning fees. It’s effectively a wealth-redistribution program that transfers money from everyone else to the already-wealthy Bernie Ecclestone.

        One of the big problems facing F1 is that the petro-states and kleptocracies, who can spend other people’s money with little accountability, have basically priced private actors and democracies out of the market for Grand Prix hosting rights. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if Russia, Abu Dhabi, et al built excellent race tracks, but they mostly don’t, because track sites and layouts are selected based on political criteria instead of being aimed at creating a great track.

    2. @mach1, you can be pretty well assured that, when the current UK Government doesn’t even want to invest in critical infrastructure, it certainly won’t be putting money into the British GP…

  6. The problem with sharing FOM money *equally* is that if every team gets, say, $90m, and it’s possible to run a team for, say, $80m, you’ll get team owners who are content to run at the back of the pack and pocket the $10m difference every year. Yes, the payouts to the teams should have been raised, starting in 2014, by an amount sufficient to offset the increased cost of the V6 turbo power units. But completely equalizing FOM payments would simply bring on a different set of unintended consequences. Keep the payouts on a performance-based curve, and just flatten the curve a little bit, and, if possible, dispense with the special payments to certain politically influential teams.

    1. But if you had say 45 million for every team and then the rest with some relation to the results of a previous season (NOT the previous decade or half a century!) that would make it quite workable @flatdarkmars

  7. $47m (plus sponsorship) should be enough to run a team IMHO…

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      7th January 2017, 8:39

      I was just thinking the other day ‘what has got better in F1 since I started watching religiously in 1996?’ Apart from safety and the standard of drivers, I honestly can’t think of one thing, it’s all been down hill.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        7th January 2017, 8:40

        Sorry wasn’t meant to be a reply ha

  8. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    7th January 2017, 8:41

    I was just thinking the other day ‘what has got better in F1 since I started watching religiously in 1996?’ Apart from safety and the standard of drivers, I honestly can’t think of one thing, it’s all been down hill.

    1. At least the f1 cars are more relevant to road cars now. Putting hybrid f1 engines in road cars sounds fun and is better than deceiving everyone with ‘environmentally friendly’ electric cars powered directly from the grid.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        7th January 2017, 11:40

        When I attended my first grand prix in 1997, Damon Hill screamed past in his Arrows and the Yamaha V10 made an 11 year old me look at my Dad in disbelief with both of our jaws on the floor, the sound and speed made my hairs stand on end. I don’t if I was 11 trackside now that moment would have happened. But I appreciate that’s a personal experience.

        1. @rdotquestionmark

          I can really relate to that. I feel very sorry for a kid getting his or her first experience of live F1 with the current hybrids because they might just as well have stayed home and watched on TV. They are less viscerally impressive than some current road cars and that is something I never could have imagined.

          1. I find it hard to believe that the only reason to go to a GP is for the sound. There’s far more to a race than that. At least there was for me. But I do respect people have different reactions and thank goodness or wouldn’t life be boring. For every person who rues the quieter cars, which I understand are getting louder next year anyway, there is someone grateful their eardrums aren’t rattling and they can bring smaller children with less concern.

          2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            7th January 2017, 16:37

            @robbie I’ve booked my tickets for next year so there’s obviously a lot more to it than the sound but I was just saying that from a personal point of view that was the experience that hooked me for life. There are only a few senses in life and sight sound and smell are the only ones that relate to being trackside, one of those has been removed. That being said I don’t want F1 to go backwards because progression is important in all walks of life. Same as at an airshow, if a harrier jump jet hovered over you but was quiet it wouldn’t have the same effect. I personally like a sensory overload lol. That being said I can’t wait to be trackside.

    2. Good reflexion, but if it was ‘only’ safety and driver quality it would already be a big part of the sport.

      Comparing 1996 with 2016 (I started watching in 1991), I think the qualifying format got much better and the performance gap between the best and the worst teams shrinked (even during the over-dominant Mercedes era).

      That said, I see your point, because many aspects seem less attractive: many classic tracks in traditional motorsport countries were lost (but in 1996 we had no US or Argentine Grand Prix either) the engines are ultra-complex and not loud enough.

      That said, I think the best years were 1993 (Senna outperforming his McLaren in a way similar to Alonso in 2012’s Ferrari) and 2006-2008, 2010 and 2012.

      1. There was Argentine GP in 1996, I remember it as it was my first race watching F1. I miss F1 from that period as it was way simpler back then.

  9. Seriously though how much money do those who run F1 need to make. Bernie, etc must already have more than they could ever possibly spend. Surely it’s better for tracks to be able to afford to hold events and for there to be 11 or 12 teams taking part rather than 10. All of the smaller teams are in some degree of financial strain which must be 5 out of 11. The costs are just not sustainable.

  10. This is probably a bit controversial but while I would like to see the bonus payments evened out I’m all for more prize money going to the top teams.

    Yes, F1 is expensive but in most motorsports the teams pay to enter and there wouldn’t be any thought of giving large sums of money to last place. Top teams only employ a 1000 people and spend hundreds of millions because they know there’s a big prize.

    Having more teams obviously helps sell TV rights and advertising so all teams should get a share of that but after that the prize money should step up towards first place massively and be just that – a reward.

    None of this means I want Manor to fail but I think it’s lack of sponsorship, for all teams, that’s the bigger issue.

    1. So the rich get richer and the poor poorer until they are broke or unable to continue.
      Couldn’t disagree with you more….

    2. What close Manor wasn’t their lack of ability to run. It was their lack of ability to run in 2017 and be at least only a few seconds slower than the big teams.
      To achieve that they needed more millions than they had. So yes the problem isn’t how much money the teams get but how much money difference there is. If the big teams had a few millions less and Manor a few million more than that means that the first will be a little slower and the last a little faster.
      That means it will be easier for a smaller team to keep pace and make do inside their budget without fearing that they will need to overspend to keep even a half decent pace like they do now.

  11. Renault leading race

    Three words you won’t see anywhere near to each other for a good few years still, sadly… :|

    1. Yes, my first thought as well: Its probably Renaults only chance of leading anything in this season, so why not grab it:-)

  12. Wait..
    This day is Hamilton birthday right?

  13. I know the Australian GP gets funded with public money. That race has affordable tickets, exceptional transport, is in one of the best cities on Earth, and from my own experience of attending, a huge amount of foreign fans pumping their money back into the Australian economy.

    But Silverstone should not be subsidised by our government. I don’t care how much I love F1, how important the British GP is, public money shouldn’t go anywhere near it. It’s already the best attended GP, the ticket prices are ludicrous so unless that public money is going to cut those prices to 1/3 I won’t be going, transport is a joke, and I doubt it does much for tourism.

    There are enough fans attending at the already stupidly high prices that the British GP should be a profitable affair. It doesn’t need support from the government to encourage tourism it needs a realistic business model from the people running F1 rather than billionaires going cap in hand scrounging public money.

    I would honestly rather see F1 die than public money be pumped into rich people’s pockets at a time when hospitals don’t even have enough beds for sick children.

    1. Also, does Hill even pay UK taxes at the moment?

      1. I think Hill is one of those who do live in the UK @philipgb, not sure though.

        I do think that the government could do something alike what CotA get – some “return” based on how much tourist money flows in. Then again, it seems that there are not that many tourists from abroad that go the Silverstone race, as there are enough “locals” so it would have to be the local authorities participating. Honestly, if they would invest in the infrastructure around it, help access, parking and maybe some beds/lodging, that would possibly enable the track to get even higher crowds, and that would help lower the prices, or at least help keep them from rising even more.

      2. @philipgb, since you ask, I believe that Damon Hill officially resides in Dublin, whilst the current President of the BRDC (Derek Warwick) is officially resident in Jersey. Meanwhile, Hill’s predecessor, Jackie Stewart, has resided in Switzerland for most of his adult life (he moved there in 1969).

        1. Right, so we’ll keep paying our 45 p per £1 of income so that Stewart, Hill, Warwick, Ecclestone, Hamilton, et al can earn millions racing and/or pontificating at Silverstone. Get lost.

  14. I refuse to go to the British GP because of the extortionate ticket prices that have come about due to FOM’s profiteering, so Damon can bugger off if he thinks we should give some of our taxes to help fund the outrageous hosting fees FOM demand.
    Let the deal end, give the place on the calendar to some other country, maybe Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan or Pakistan might fancy building another boring Tilke track that no one likes, the fans don’t go to, but provides a great experience for the VIP’s in the Paddock Club who won’t even notice that the racing is crap because they’re not watching it, and are only there to be seen.

    1. @beneboy
      It’s a sad state of affairs but I have to agree. I can hardly believe Silverstone still manages to sell out every year.

      Soon there won’t be any races in Europe, and nobody will be watching on TV either because they’re priced out of that too. And Bernie will be laughing in his golden pyramid tomb.

    2. Beneboy, that comment is so spot on. Makes me sad given that I was involved in the 1970s

  15. Michael Brown (@)
    7th January 2017, 15:53

    How many more tracks need to threaten to leave before Ecclestone discovers his business model is awful?

    1. Formula One’s golden years are over. We just have to admit it and move on.

    2. Ecclestone will never realize – time for F1 to move on and make room for modern times, i.e. people to be able to buy access to follow F1 on various media platforms, both visually and data, without having to buy the “Gold-plated” TV package, with all sorts of irrelevant old school TV, including Amish sports (all the sports, where they compete to see who is best using technology which is basically older than 1870 or so:-) )

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