Teams offered new chance to influence F1

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Teams could get the chance to nominate directors to the board of F1’s parent company if they buy enough shares in the sport.

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It seems Jean Todt is taking the same approach to driving as he is to F1.

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On this day in F1

On this day 20 years ago Giancarlo Fisichella landed a deal to drive for Jordan while Michael Schumacher had his first test in the Ferrari F310B.

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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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36 comments on “Teams offered new chance to influence F1”

  1. I’d say it’s Massa that’s delaying Bottas announcement. I’m sure Massa wants the Merc seat rather than the Williams.

    1. @peartree I’m sorry, but I forgot there’s also JB delaying the decision.

      1. These guys are like sixth and seventh on the list of drivers Mercedes wants.. They’re not delaying anything.

      2. FlyingLobster27
        10th January 2017, 5:59

        Autosport Japan (via Endurance-Info) believes that Button is going to be Team Kunimitsu Honda’s third driver for the Suzuka 1000 km. I doubt he could do that if he’s linked to any F1 team other than McLaren.

    2. I hope it’s Massa delaying it. Don’t think he should come back, and still have a little bit of hope that he won’t.

      1. The delay is a bit odd. I don’t think JB is involved though unfortunately. What with story above and the fact that he has taken delivery of a new McLaren road car (photo on Twitter), I think this rules him out. He’s staying with McLaren.

    3. @peartree
      Is that your honest assessment of the situation?
      Personally, I see zero reasons to doubt the more-or-less-official version according to which Mercedes are interested in hiring Bottas, whom Williams are willing to release, provided that Massa comes back to drive for them to assure a smooth transition. That’s a version that makes *sense*.

      One thing that doesn’t make sense is the allegation that Massa might be delaying Bottas’s announcement because he wants that Mercedes seat for himself. There is no way he’s going to get into that seat, everyone – including Massa – knows that. Much less by trying to blackmail them.

      If this delay is really caused by Massa, it doesn’t have anything to do with him being the sort of bête noire you seem to think he is. Plausible reasons for the delay might be:
      – the fact that Massa had retired and needed to be convinced to revert that decision
      – contractual obligations he had to get out of (as stated by that Marca article)
      – contractual negotiations between Bottas and Mercedes (he knows they want him, so that’s a good opportunity to negotiate for a decent salary)
      – the fact that Massa is Williams’s plan B if Bottas does go to Mercedes, so even they’re negotiating a preliminary agreement with Massa right now, they’re not going to announce anything before Mercedes announce Bottas

      1. I suspect it’s a combination of these. Especially Bottas’ contract with Merc. I wonder if there is a discussion over how long it should be. Basically they’re a bit stumped without him so I expect there’s some hard bargaining going on.

      2. What if Merc are giving Rosberg a chance to change his mind, they could say see how you feel about retirement at the end of January.

  2. FYI – the Red Bull video (in the tweets) is well worth a watch

    1. i hope you’re being sarcastic. watched it. shows how bored the drivers are. just like me.

    2. it’s nice IMO, but well worth overstates it. I’d rather say its a bit of fun to spend a few minutes when you are bored :-)

    3. @fletchuk Thanks! Almost skipped it. I think especially for someone like Verstappen, this is quite true. I mean: Ricciardo is a regular guy, that happens to be a tremendously fast racer. Verstappen on the other hand was born a racer and does almost nothing else. I know he’s quite active (and very competitive) in sim racing and obviously has his own Playseat/Thrustmaster racing set-up at home, so that should keep him busy for some weeks.

      1. Both those guys live in Monaco. Between 3-5 hours of training everyday, jet-skying, driving supercars and trips to familiy and sponsor events abroard I don’t think they are really ever bored at all, unless it’s waiting at the airport.

        I recon they were at the factory in the UK for a seat fitting/simulator work/briefings and did some promo shoots like this one while they were there.

    4. did anyone spot the book DR was reading? rosberg’s biog?

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        10th January 2017, 8:25

        It was DC’s autobiography 😂

        1. You would be able to see the jawline on the front of the book from the moon. Has anyone here read it?

  3. Instead of giving the teams influence, having them buy shares (at a discount) rather a) ties them in to F1 long term and is b) an elegant way to start to get into a more equal distribution of the payout to teams, as those earning shares would be able to get their “on top” payments from the revenue at the end instead of having to get it from the pool, taking away barriers to change to a less stacked against the small guys format for TV money and race fees.

    Sure, there will be some influence (in an institutionalised manner) but I am pretty sure that we will also see the demise of the strategy group (as the teams in that will surely be the ones wanting to buy shares) so overall they will have less direct influence (the board members will probably be not voting for matters directly of influence on the teams) but a more direct line to be part of overall strategy.

    1. @bascb if you look at the short term problems typically faced by teams such as Manor and Sauber then this might not be much of a solution. Do they have the capital available to buy shares, even at a discount. If they do buy the shares then the income generated will be spread over future years meaning they have less money to spend in the meantime. They are already stretched to breaking point. Meanwhile the richer teams can buy a bigger stake, use their larger shareholding to exert greater influence both directly (through nominating directors) and indirectly.

      I do agree that it might bind the manufacturers more which could have improved the situation in the previous decade where we lost BMW, Toyota and Honda but you can’t bind a bankrupt team to keep competing.

      A system whereby there is an automatic shareholding by any competing team (in a partial co-operative arrangement) seems like a better bet, with all teams holding an equal share in the business. This could easily be achieved by scrapping the team distributions altogether in exchange for team equity so that all distributions are through equal dividends to both teams and other non-team shareholders. It would also improve the resale value for team owners (for teh smaller teams) as the F1 equity component alone could be a more valuable asset than the current value of an F1 entry plus the team assets.

      1. The idea of how this would help the smaller teams would be that if the “big” teams buy shares, then liberty can drop the crazy “up front” payments to the permanent SG members and to Ferrari. That would open up a boatload of money to equally distribute @jerseyf1.
        I do think that there is potential for the likes of Sauber and Manor (and FI, although not by either Mallya nor Sahara, but rather Diaego) to invest into F1 too – afterall that would be an investment that pays of decent dividends, quite a bit different than the money losing effort of running a team. And then it would give value to the team as well, as buying the team (which owns the shares) would immediately give access to regular income streams and value.

        But all of that would likely take effect only by 2020 anyway, as I highly doubt anyone will be willing to change the current arrangements! For Manor, unless someone suddenly comes up who thinks of a longer term commitment and has the money to survive until it starts paying off (say for another 3-4 years at least), I am afraid it will be very hard to survive, sadly.

        1. @jerseyf1, I agree that a system such as you describe would be a good thing for F1 as it is for other sports, but I think @bascb is right that it is unlikely to happen, and at the least would take longer than the likely 2020 starting term of the current offer to buy shares.

          So for now (well, within 5 years then) this deal would at least allow getting rid of the most unfair parts of the power and money distribution by taking out the strategy group and those up front payments.

          But all of that indeed seems like it will have little impact on Manors future, sadly.

      2. @bascb It worries me slightly that a wealthy team would be able to buy shares and nominate a director. In the past, we have seen the wealthier teams are manufacturers and we have also seen them decide to abandon F1 when it no longer suits their purposes; viz Toyota, BMW. If a team decides to no longer participate in F1, would they have to sell their shares? If not, we could have F1 even more tightly controlled by non-participants. And if they have to sell their shares, would they have the right to sell them on the open market to the highest bidder? If not would Liberty be required to buy the shares back themselves?

        1. On the one hand I wholly agree with you @nickwyatt, that it is unfortunate when the biggest/richest teams have more say from owning a (larger) share in the promotor.

          But on the other hand this creates a longer term incentive to stay in the sport (as the shares would be bound for a term of 10 years, that is a long commitment). Depending on whether the OWNER or the TEAM itself would buy those shares that would have different effects.
          For the owner to stay with the sport, as it creates wealth for them, or it would make the team worth more, meaning that owning it would be a bigger boon – making it more likely that one would actually want to have a team, and less likely that a team would go bust, which would make it less of an issue if an owner wants to get rid of their team, as a new buyer would buy something with a positive worth based on the shares.
          I think the more logical one would be for the shares to be owned by the team, making it a sort of a franchise model where each team would be worth owning.

          1. I remember reading (on this site, I think) that Liberty were interested in seeing if they could apply the franchise type system to F1 – which goes along with what you are suggesting. But a franchise system is not the same as owning shares in the promoter.
            A franchise system would be fine where there is an over-application for the number of franchises available.
            In the current F1 climate, we seem to be two or three teams short of the full grid which makes the idea of Liberty selling a franchise as a tangible asset rather unlikely. After all, there’s no sell-on value to a franchise if supply exceeds demand. Whereas shares in the promoter – rather than a ticket or license to participate – would have value (and earning potential) even if the number of entrants falls below the required number. It’s just that I would hate to see a dominant team or manufacturer threatening to leave the series, dispose of their shares and thereby devaluing the shares held by other, less well-healed teams or owners.
            You can imagine the situation, can’t you? Team M want a particular change in regulations and threaten to leave unless it’s agreed by other teams. Team M hold shares and if they sell them (open market or back to Liberty), it will have a detrimental effect on the value of the shares held by other teams. So, it’s a case of agreeing to the change required by team M or the possibility of the value of their investment fall. For a smaller, less secure team (one that might begin with the letter W), it would be a difficult decision and certainly not to the benefit of F1 as a whole.

          2. Again, I get what you mean. But I think the 10year hold on selling them will provide stability for another decade. It will mean that if a manufacturer will want out, they will sell the team (and the stocks) to a buyer, who buys a fully operational team that has access to prize money from past years AND a more or less guaranteed dividend from the stocks. That also means you could more easily take out a loan to buy a team if you want, because you buy something of value.

            I do agree that the selling would have to have some regulation (selling back to Liberty would actually RAISE the worth of the other stocks, but it could be like a Ltd, where the other teams would be allowed to buy these stocks up to that 5% or 20% total if they want) after the initial 10 year hold.

  4. Massa had signed a pre-contact with a FE team,but since Williams are going to release Bottas,he will help his last team in a difficult siuation.Its better to enter FE in 2018,when there are going to be more constructors,the series will have gotten more fame.

  5. That Tweet from the Haas team got me thinking about something I’ve not seen discussed anywhere yet (maybe I missed it?)

    What effect are the larger and heavier tyres going to have on pit stop times? I guess the fronts are now the equivalent of last years rears, but the new rears are about 25% heavier and considerably baulkier…will we see significantly slower times or just significantly bigger mechanics to cope :-)

    1. I think in one of the interviews with Symonds he mentioned that they are training to get close to the same benchmark @jodrell, althouhg I think he did expect times to drop a bit initially.

    2. @jodrell
      I think the pit stops will definitely become fractionally slower because of the increased inertia of the tyres, but this effect probably won’t be noticeable with the naked eye, as the normal variation between trouble-free pit stops can amount to several tenths of a second, i.e. one order of magnitude more than the delay caused by the increased weight of the tyres.
      But yes, I’d expect the mechanics to look a little more buffed from now on. ;-)

    3. I can already see Lewis fans moaning that the Mercedes kitchen feeds Lewis’s mechanics unhealthy food while giving nutritious meals to Bottas’s mechanics because of which Lewis’s pitstops are slower.

      1. When f1 cars start running beadlocks with 42″ Offroad tires, pit times will drop. Until then, they will only slightly fluctuate.

        Come on guys, this isn’t rocket science. A slightly heavier tire is just that, slightly heavier…

        I’ve seen these comments waaaaaaaaaaay too often. Almost as many times as I’ve heard pastor Maldonado might get a drive with his dried up funding.

  6. Just a small correction on Schumacher’s first test in F310B.
    Schumacher first tested F310B on the January 8th. It was basically a shakedown as he did only 12 laps on Fiorano circuit.
    He was supposed to continue testing for a couple of more days, but it was cancelled because of snow.

  7. “‘Rosberg could have quietly told me that he would quit if he won the title,’ Hulkenberg jokingly told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.”

    Now that I’ve read the original article, I know where that “quietly” comes from. Hülkenberg said in German: “Er hätte mir ruhig mal was sagen können”. The word “ruhig” can indeed be translated as “quietly” – sometimes. However, in this sentence, “ruhig” is used as a so-called modal particle (see:; “reflecting the mood or attitude of the speaker or narrator, and highlighting the sentence focus” […] effect is often vague and dependent on the overall context”).

    Like the wiki article says, its exact meaning is extremely difficult to express in another language. It serves to indicate a certain frustration, disappointment, or exasperation felt by the speaker, but it is also very often used ironically, typically in light-hearted, colloquial situations, as a way of saying: “I know there’s a reason why something didn’t go my way, but COME ON!”.

    Yes, all that meaning can be hidden in such a tiny word as “ruhig”, which isn’t as “quiet” as it seems …

    1. @nase thank you for your insight in what I can only assume is your native tongue.

      1. @xcm Yes, it is. You’re welcome. :)

  8. Re “In more breaking news online – Honda is to adopt a split turbo in 2017. (overlooking the fact it has since 2014…) – RA616H compressor pic”.
    The RA616H turns out to be the designation for the Honda F1 engine used at the start of the 2016 season.
    From my very limited understanding of F1 V6 engines, it certainly looks like Honda had their turbines in the right place, but of course they were too small and limited the absolute top speed of the McLaren car. There are RPM limitations in the F1 rules for turbines, so to get more power you have to go to a bigger turbine, you can’t just make the turbine spin faster. The sort of news I’d like to hear now is they are using bigger turbines and a bigger MGU-H, because without those the Honda engine may as well be a 1.3 litre engine.

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