Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2016

Haas ‘blocked early Force India payment’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The Haas team prevented Force India from receiving an advance prize money payment from FOM.

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A view on whether the FIA is doing the right thing by requiring circuit safety upgrades due to the faster 2017 cars:

The FIA is required to oblige necessary upgrades to circuits as part of the duties it carries as regulator. If it didn’t do this and things like it, it would be at risk of the European Commission breaking up the monopoly on motorsports in the case of an adverse investigation (remember the FIA is currently under investigation).

What I don’t like is that they’re giving such short notice, and that it’s after the calendar is fixed. The FIA knew the cars would be getting faster months ago, if not years ago. They needed to be making these demands of circuits then – with the stick of making the races provisional on the 2017 calendar until the mandatory safety upgrades were made. They would then be able to not visit tracks that failed to make the necessary upgrades to keep F1-suitable because they would have lost their Grade One status. As it stands, the 2017 cars will either have to attend some tracks that aren’t upgraded (and of the 20, some are bound not to be upgradeable in time) or engage in a stand-off that will make everyone look ridiculous and endanger the FIA.
@Alianora-La-Canta

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  • 69 comments on “Haas ‘blocked early Force India payment’”

    1. Guybrush Threepwood
      15th January 2017, 0:39

      What the circuits need to do is make the instances of crashing safer but also increase the penalty for going off track. Watching old footage, I have so much more respect for drivers back then that were only a small mistake away from a gravel trap or grass that would have cost them dearly. It also made the cars look like they were a lot more exciting.

    2. Haas! could you be more American than that?

      1. As American as Force India blocking early payment to Manor (Marussia)?

        1. As a Force India fan, I appreciate the circularity of this. Kind of difficult for FIF1 to complain about it not getting helped when it failed to help when asked earlier…

      2. Haas has already become a “worthy” member of the Piranha club, it seems @peartree

        1. I would say in Haas’ defence that it would be difficult for it to ask for special favours for a rival when it’s not asking for special favours itself and not going to get its Column 2 TV payments for another 12 months…

          1. @alianora-la-canta Well as you and Kenny pointed out, SFI is guilty of the same act. That said I wasn’t being an hypocrite as I was not referring to SFI. I’m criticizing Haas for unsportsmanlike behaviour concerning the fact that Haas is a new entry in f1, therefore what a way to show your gratitude.

            1. For what? The other teams didn’t grant special favours to Haas specifically, but to the previous batch of new teams and the FIA. That Haas also benefitted was a happy side-benefit, not the intention of the regulation, so it’s not clear Haas owes anything to the other teams.

    3. Way to go Haas… I don’t speak german, does that article mention any reason behind it? I can’t think of any… if Sauber didn’t mind (and they are in a worse position), wonder why Haas did.

      1. Nope, it just states that they received the info that it was Haas blocking the early payment. No motivation or reason.

      2. @fer-no65, the article doesn’t seem to give any explanation for why Haas have voted against it (albeit that is based on a rough translation via Google) – all it notes is that Haas chose to vote against an agreement that Bernie had come to with Force India that, in the past, the other teams were normally happy to vote through.

        If the story is correct, I would hazard a guess that Haas’s motivation might be to disrupt Force India’s development programme in an attempt to gain a competitive edge over them (disrupting their cashflow might force them to slow down development work temporarily).

      3. @fer-no65 It seems pointless because all it means is Force India will have to adjust their mortgages to carry them through until they get the payout. My guess is it will mean less money later in the year, so I guess that could benefit Williams.
        Really, this isn’t in Haas’ own interest because all the teams buy stuff on credit, and if Force India do go into administration that will mean those suppliers will simply pass the costs on to other F1 teams.

        1. I am pretty sure that anon is right here @fer-no65, @drycrust, @dennis. Haas expects themselves to be fighting FI on track and does what they can to disrupt their program. Not having cash available will probably hurt at least in some way development (less chassis being available, not getting all parts out they want etc.), so that will clearly benefit teams fighting for the same spots.

          Perfectly shows that Haas has already become a fully integrated F1 team, using the complete toolbox. It does make them look bad, because it has become quite normal for almost all teams at the backend (back half maybe even) of the grid to ask, and get, this money.

          1. Karim Eloukbani
            15th January 2017, 9:25

            I am not sure it will hurt them that much.

            We have to remember that Force India will have more money due to the departure of Hulkenberg + arrival of Ocon.

            Also Force India is less relying on suppliers than before.

            Force India just tried to have a jump.

            It might just slow them down in developpment race in fly away races.

        2. Well, they did not run it, but they researched it and tested it. In WEC actually Toyota is the only, who uses the rear axle to recover kinetic energy. All the rest (ex Audi & Porsche ) are not using KERS like in F1, they all using the front axle and other methods for energy recovery

      4. Guybrush Threepwood
        15th January 2017, 4:55

        It makes sense that a team in competition with another (possibly) would want to take away any advantage they could. Early payments might mean they can resource the R&D more and produce a better car to start the season or develop more quickly during it.

        We also don’t know if HAAS were denied a similar type of payment.

        1. Maybe haas wanna win the championship one day, an apt team for the current situation that F1 is in.

      5. Good on Haas, if you ask me. They have been taking advantage of everything that is legal since they arrive, why should they help a potential competitor on the track? If they thought there was a chance to disrupt their program, why not take it?

        They have been working like this since they decided to enter, that is how the Ferrari partnership came about.

        I do admire what FI has been doing, with the resources they have. But the situation is quite funny to be honest. They did exactly the same thing, and worse to a team that wasn’t trying to be competitive, it was only trying to survive

        1. The real question here is: why is a unanimous competitor vote nescesarry to descide on these kind of sporting issues? Teams will vote with their own short term competative interest in mind, blocking anything that helps the sport or another team in the long haul. That’s a recipe for disaster for F1 as a whole if you ask me.

          1. Because it’s a variation of the Concorde complex of contracts, so all signatories have to agree (as is typical of business contracts). It’s not as simple as a strict bilateral contract (which could sensibly be done without any sort of vote, even in cases like this where no formal right exists) but potentially knock-on effects could occur elsewhere in the complex. As such, it becomes necessary to do the vote or a similar mechanism to avoid a contractuial breach.

    4. Toyota have just launched a new Lexus gt coupé, claiming the engine is all new and makes use of their F1 programs technology. At least they can use their F1 program in advertising if not in reality, but who is to say that some of their KERS work has not been used in the road going car.

      1. @hohum why would they use the very limited and outdated KERS system from F1 in 2009 (which Toyota heavily critiziced at the time) when they had so much sucess with hybrid technology at Le Mans?

        It’s just plain marketing if something from their F1 programme made it to a road car… Toyota didn’t even run KERS during 2009 at all anyway, like BMW and Renault they tested it and decided against it, although those two actually ran it at some races. Only McLaren and Ferrari fitted it in all the races…

        1. @fer-no65, as far as I am aware, the Lexus doesn’t feature any sort of hybrid technology at all – it just has a conventional petrol engine.

          There are some elements which possibly have a heritage in motorsport (some of the production techniques and materials used in the intake system), but to be honest it has normally been the case that most manufacturers have used series such as F1 or the WEC for advertising reasons. Certainly in the case of Toyota, when they first fitted a hybrid system to one of their sportscars, the head of their racing division privately complained that the Prius had a more advanced hybrid system than their racecar did.

        2. Well, they did not run it, but they researched it and tested it. In WEC actually Toyota is the only, who uses the rear axle to recover kinetic energy. All the rest (ex Audi & Porsche ) are not using KERS like in F1, they all using the front axle and other methods for energy recovery

        3. @fer-no65, just reporting what they said, and there is a semi hybrid power choice.

    5. Looks like Stoffel is signing his autograph for Ron Dennis!

    6. Well if that’s true about Haas I’ve just found my new least favourite team.

      I’m for being sporting and beating your competitors on the track. These jokers hardly even build their own car and they are voting against a privateer team with rich heritage dating back to Jordans debut year, in which they fully designed and built the beautiful 7up vehicle and had to fight their way through pre qualifying.

      Haas haven’t achieved much

      1. What have Force India achieved, other than turning a very good midfield team into a basket case that’s constantly got the begging bowl out ?
        At least HAAS have invested properly and come up with a viable long term financial plan that deals with the realities of F1 economics*, which is much more than can be said for Mallya et al, who bought the team on the cheap then failed to invest in it, or develop any kind of sustainable long term plan.
        It’s one thing giving teams a one off advance payment if things aren’t going well, but if they need to keep asking for advances, year after year, it’s a sign that the team is being badly managed, and why should another team allow them to gain an advantage to cover their mismanagement ?

        *Like most others, I’d like to see the economics changed, but that’s no excuse for not managing your finances according to the situation.

        1. @beneboy, I am confused as to how you can claim that the team was “a very good midfield team” at the time that the team was turned into Force India, because that wasn’t the case.

          By the time that Eddie Jordan sold off Jordan Grand Prix to Midland in 2005, the team had been mired at the back of the grid for several seasons (they’d finished in 9th in the WCC three seasons in a row). They slipped even further off the pace as Midland in 2006, whilst as Spyker in 2007 they only technically didn’t finish last in the WCC because McLaren were disqualified from the WCC and therefore were classed as finishing last. Realistically, the last time that you could say that Jordan had been a midfield team was back in 2002, when they were 6th in the WCC – after that, the team had spent several years in decline and fallen to the back of the grid.

          As Force India, the team has been progressively becoming more competitive and systematically moved back up the field to become a midfield team again – their 4th place in the WCC in 2016 was the best result that team has recorded since 1999. It is true that the team does a lot of external development work, but so does every single team on the grid – for example, virtually every single team that can afford it has spent time at Toyota’s windtunnel facilities in Cologne (Ferrari spends a lot of time in the TMG facilities – in fact, for several years they effectively abandoned their own wind tunnel because of correlation issues following a major upgrade).

          With regards to Haas, you seem to be very confident to claim that they have “invested properly” and have come up with a viable long term plan when the team has only competed for a single season and a number of the gaps in the regulations they could exploit last year have now been closed off (for example, they are now bound by windtunnel usage restrictions which didn’t impact them last year). Their long term plans are still dependent on them striking a deal with FOM about a potential share of revenues in the future (I believe that they still haven’t sorted that out yet), so it’s a bit early to say that they have “any kind of sustainable long term plan” when they still haven’t resolved a fairly critical commercial relationship.

          1. Well done on missing the point, which is that Force India, and Force India alone are responsible for managing their finances, and shouldn’t be expecting early payments to cover their financial mismanagement, again.
            Rather than blame another team for blocking that payment, they should get their act together so that they don’t have to keep bringing out the begging bowl.

            1. That “begging bowl” should be filled with the money they rightfully earned!
              No begging involved!
              There is no financial mismanagement, ( or do you have unknown inside info?) they only do not have the means to fund in advance like the top-teams easily can do.

            2. @beneboy, actually, when it comes to missing the point, I think that you have rather missed it yourself given that my post was a critique of your misrepresentation of the competitive history of the team (I did not make any comment about the finances of Force India, only of Haas).

          2. It’s not the team being mismanaged; it’s other parts of Mallya’s empire, which has resulted in the Mallya funding being unreliable in terms of timing (though not amount). That’s been in the process of being resolved for about 6 years by this point, and there’s no particular reason why anyone can put a specific end date on its resolution. Sponsorship is unreliable for everyone who isn’t owned by their sponsor these days. There are certain minimum expenses to running a team, and these increase with infrastructure improvements.

            Besides, the exit fee if leaving F1 for any reason other than team bankruptcy is huge (I’m not sure how huge, but it is big enough that it was cheaper for Honda to fund Brawn for a year than pay it). If Mallya can’t afford to smooth Force India’s cashflow, he certainly can’t afford to remove it from F1.

            While I see no reason to object to Haas’ blocking of the Force India early payment (it doesn’t seem to have been needed this year the way it was on previous occasions), it is also a more complex situation than @beneboy is suggesting.

      2. What’s worse: Haas blocking payments to FI, or FI blocking payments to Manor (Marussia)? I know which one I choose.

        1. @pastaman very very good point.

          A taste, as they say, of their own medicine.

        2. Karma ….
          “Force India’s deputy team principal, Bob Fernley, the man who blocked Marussia’s return to Formula One, says he does not feel sorry for the team following their “totally inadequate” application to race in 2015.
          And he added that Marussia “remind me of an opportunist just trying to see what they can do to get their money.” ”

          I bet Haas was fully aware of FI blocking Marussia’s early payment to survive into 2015.

    7. Haas the only team blocking the move?

      Good…keep doing that and just kill each other off the track! That’s all our sport needs.

    8. Interesting from Ricciardo, it’ll be fun to see if it can really happen that way. It’ll indeed be great if there’s a competition for the championship where the drivers aren’t looking to under the breath disparage each other and can just enjoy the incredibly hard racing with each other. I just can’t help but think there’ll be inevitable contact where the “he’s hard but fair” line gets thrown out and replaced with “he’s a dirty piece of” well y’know…

      1. Hans Braakhuis
        15th January 2017, 6:01

        Max played with Daniel in Malaysia, he did not defend. No way this will happen again when its for a championship, and Daniel knows it.

        1. Keep telling yourself that.

        2. Considering it was for a race win, and those were rare for teams other than Mercedes, I’m pretty sure Max was fighting as hard as he could.

          1. Hans Braakhuis
            15th January 2017, 14:44

            It was team order. Did you see the last Red Bull pit stop in Malaysia?

            1. Hans Braakhuis, I get the impression that you have a desire, if not almost a need, to believe that those occasions where Max is beaten on track can’t be because Max is just as fallible as the other drivers on the grid and therefore there will be times when he can be outwitted or beaten. Instead, it must be because Max has either somehow consented to the move, that it was a team order or he was just “playing with” the opposition – anything that makes it look as if Max was somehow in control throughout, rather than accepting that another driver could beat him.

    9. ” Ultimately, Ricciardo beat Verstappen by 11 points during their 17 races as teammates last year”

      Im astounded to see that was the only margin considering max mistakes through out the season and Ricciardo finished every race in points bar Sochi, this really puts me in question that whether DR performed well compared to Hamilton through out the season. I mean yes he was consistent but against max who made mistakes and getting used to the car and still shown impressive pace through out the races also not forgetting that ric had a 3 P4’s before max arrived into RBR where as max finished P10/P6/P8 in STR which gave Ric more of a gap.
      over all i think if Max was there in RBR right from get go in Australia he would have beaten ric in standing as well. its my opinion only but i feel the current ric is his ceiling where as max has much higher. I hope im proven wrong but i doubt it. Waiting for answers in 2017 and further.

      1. Guybrush Threepwood
        15th January 2017, 8:47

        1) The comparison discounts the time before Max moved to RBR.
        2) Ricciardo got the raw end on many occasions which is why the points gap isn’t as big as it could be. Monaco, Spain, Silverstone, Suzuka, Abu Dhabi. Conversely I think Max got lucky on a number of occasions with both stewards and team calls (and other times was just plain good).

        1. How did Ricciardo get the raw end in Silverstone, Suzuka and Abu Dhabi?

          1. Virtual safety car ruined his race in Silverstone, otherwise he was on pace with Verstappen. Suzuka he got stuck behind Hamilton and had an engine down on power. Abu Dhabi he was given a terrible strategy which put him behind Verstappen (again) after being well and truly in front.

            He was also given a terrible strategy in Malaysia not putting under the first VSC like Max did, but luckily he was still still able to hold max off.

      2. I saw Ricardo pull off some amazing ‘all or nothing’ quality laps this year. Then he had 1 notable great drive in Monaco and then he picked up a win in Malaysia.

        Was surprised to see Rosberg pull of similar qualy laps this year and he did all the things Ricciardo did, plus win the championships. . Verstappen’s win was more impressive under pressure from raikonnen, plus he did some great passes throughout the year (plus some all time great passes on Rosberg). Hamilton came within 5 points of winning the championship even with his car reliability issues. It seems his perceived meltdown in Japan was the only thing keeping him from winning driver of the year. Riciardo had a similar reaction at the end of Monaco and nobody drew much attention to it.

        At the end of my high tech analysis, I don’t rate ric higher than ros vers or ham this year.

      3. According to Helmut Marko, in an interview on Austrian television, “…the ceiling of Max is not even in sight”. Niki Lauda, who sat right next to Marko, reacted: “…..and that’s the biggest fear for all the other drivers”. So, if Red Bull delivers a great car and Renault a fast and reliable engine, all the other drivers, including Ricciardo, should fear Max Verstappen. In an interview for the Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf”, the first question to Max was “How many days in your life do you not think about racing?” The answer of Max was : “Zero!”.

        1. Yeah that’s the thing. DR, for the purposes of this article, has had 6 full seasons in F1, Max 2, and last year he was moved after 4 races and didn’t have the pre-season testing in the RBR car that DR had.

          I think the fact that there is even a discussion about this rivalry shows that Max is already a threat…to everyone…not just DR. That’s nothing against DR but one can’t help feeling Max is a growing force to be reckoned with. Can’t wait to see him in a car on tires that can actually be pushed, and of course that goes for all the drivers too. I predict more than a few controversial moments.

          1. @robbie, the thing is, a lot of those comments are what you would expect somebody like Marko to say given the team is using Verstappen to garner a huge amount of media attention and to unashamedly appeal to the Dutch, a relatively wealthy market that Red Bull undoubtedly reckon they can freely tap through Verstappen. It’s always going to be in his interests to talk up about how much of a great driver Verstappen will become at this point in his career, not only given that it whips up more media attention and thereby improves their sponsorship prospects, but it also puts pressure on both of his drivers to maximise their performance.

            Equally, I really wouldn’t read anything into the comment that Verstappen made to De Telegraaf, since most racing drivers have usually given the same answer when asked that sort of question. From Max’s point of view, that response reinforces the image he wants to create for himself by making himself look committed to the sport and loyal to the team: I can’t see any benefit from him saying anything else that would make it look as if he wasn’t fully committed to the sport.

            1. @anon Fair comment. I also think it is not just what is being said about Max by, I agree, some for whom it is in their best interest to promote Max. It is also what Max himself has been doing on the track and saying off it that is exciting and makes one wonder what he will be like in the coming years. Max was touted as ‘the next Senna’ when this youngest ever hire was announced, and has, to me at least, only shown the potential to be that potent a participant in what should be a lengthy and enthralling career in F1. ie. no matter who is saying what about Max, he’s already stirred the pot and given meat to the conversation.

            2. @anon. The comment from Helmut Marko is the simple truth and has nothing to do with pleasing the Dutch fans. Remember, Niki Lauda agreed and he doesn’t work for Red Bull. The comment of Max in ‘De Telegraaf’ was also genuine, because racing is his life and nothing else. I remember him once saying in a Dutch tv-show ‘that the best moments in his life were when he sits in a racing-car’. That’s how dedicated Max is to reach his goal of becoming F1-Worldchampion and, off course, not only once! At the end of the 2016 season Daniel Ricciardo stated: ‘..that he wouldn’t think about F1 for at least one month’ . That’s a no-go area for Max!

      4. ”Ultimately, Ricciardo beat Verstappen by 11 points during their 17 races as teammates last year”

        Looks like someone isn’t good at maths. Final standings: Ricciardo 256, Verstappen 204, difference 52. Points scored before Spain: Ricciardo 36, Verstappen 13, difference 23. I don’t think 52-23 equals 11.

    10. The current money distribution is not good for health of F1 and the timing of the payments make it even worse. There should be more money available straight after the races, depending on their results.

      1. They should take both the ‘off the top payments to some teams’ plus the price money and split the entire thing by 11.

        The prise for finishing first is that you get more sponsors willing to pay big to be on your car and more merchandise sold because you are a winning team. The price money really isn’t that significant on the whole budget of tops teams as it is anyway.

      2. @bleu, that only works if you assume that the funds are immediately available after the race to begin with, which isn’t always the case.

        In the case of the circuits, they sometimes are quite late with making payments to FOM – for example, in 2015 COTA were several months late in paying FOM because of issues in the way that the local officials calculated and paid out their contribution to the race from the regional sports event fund. Equally, third party sponsors for F1, such as Heineken, may spread out their payments on an annual basis for their own cash flow benefits, so again it is not clear whether the funds really are available as quickly as you think they will be.

    11. Get well soon Sir Stirling. Total legend.

    12. I was there with Vandoorne at the Brussels Expo. He looked rather shy and uneasy with all the media attention. Either way he’ll have one of the best to learn from. Wished him all the best for 2017.

      Had a talk with one of the reporters of the major news broadcaster in Belgium too, glad they made a proper piece of Vandoorne. She agreed he has already done a lot for the sport in Belgium and even though we have Spa I hope Vandoorne can do the same for us as Verstappen has done for The Netherlands as F1 is still a bit of a unknown sport here.

      With Vanthoor as Porsche works driver, good days for Belgian motorsport.

      1. And Thierry Neuville as factory driver for Hyundai in WRC (2nd in the 2016 championship) aiming for the title this year. I agree, good times ahead for Belgian motorsport !

        1. My apologies, how dare I forget him. With the Polo finally out of the way I feel 2017 might be Neuvilles year.

    13. I can’t blame Haas for not giving away freebies to the competition. He is not in this for fun. If it was a matter of saying the team, i would disagree.

      1. One day it will come back to bite them, why? F1 is full of sharks. Manor has gone, one day only the big five will be there. What will you do then haas?

        1. I’d give Liberty and a BE-free F1 a chance before predicting a 5 team F1, which would obviously mean F1 will have already ended before then, unless they all field 4 cars each.

          1. I don’t what liberty gonna do mate, because many a times when something brews teams like Ferrari or some top team vetos it or threatens FIA and owners, ” we gonna leave”. Am tired of this.

          2. F1 needs a iron hand like my states last chief minister.

        2. As it came back to bite Force India. Haas isn’t cash strapped, I don’t see this one biting them in the future as it has Force India.

    14. Remember that Haas can’t claim prize money until the third year. They were more competitive than many teams that received a prize, so I support their decision to block FI.
      Now how about all the teams block the historical bonus Ferrari gets? (I support Vettel, but Ferrari should maybe get a shocker to start working better).

      1. I dont see why Ferrari get that bonus. I’m a Ferrari fan but I’m an F1 fan first. People sideskirt the issue, talkin bout new cars, new rules but can the prize money not be distributed fairly. Ferrari getting a bonus is like giving Arsenal a bonus coz they never got relegated but they haven’t the league in years. Liberty need to adress the prize money and find FTA tv.

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