Grid, Silverstone, 2017

Fixing F1’s finances is “essential” – Williams

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams chief executive Mike O’Driscoll warns Formula One must address the unequal distribution of income between its teams.

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Comment of the day

@Phylyp hopes to see a return for Daniil Kvyat:

One part of me says that the seeds of Kvyat’s failure were sown when he was promoted a little to early to the senior team, and its associated pressures (not to mention a top-of-his-form Ricciardo). The subsequent demotion was act II, not the causative factor.

The other part of me says that anyone in the junior team should be mentally ready to be called up to the senior team (they are the same formulae after all), and one can’t expect a convenient “warm-up” period in the junior team. Put another way, every driver in the junior team must not only be ready but aspire to the senior team, so this was something that Kvyat failed at.

Swapping seats with Verstappen who them went on to (deserved) glories would have been the final nail in the coffin of Kvyat’s mojo.

This is a reason I’m still rooting for Kvyat in the other Williams seat – let him have a shot at F1 in a team that’s not part of the Red Bull meat-grinder, and this can then be his F1 make-or-break season.
@Phylyp

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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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  • 25 comments on “Fixing F1’s finances is “essential” – Williams”

    1. Hold your horses Williams team. First, we need to resolve the pressing issues of grid girls and logos!

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        18th December 2017, 2:26

        How about getting rid of those T-wings because Martin Brundle moans about them?

        1. The most pressing issue has already been resolved, with the new logo.
          We’re fine, F1 is fine.

      2. You’ve overlooked the stampede from the stadium at Melbourne when people see Halo instead of seeing their favourite driver’s crash helmet, and the overloading of the switchboards at Pay TV companies around the world as people ring in to cancel their subscriptions.

        1. @drycrust, you know, I am going to have a hearty laugh at all the moaning about the Halo if the attendance figures for the 2018 Australian GP increase instead.

          1. @anon, Indeed, and I think you should expect that. It’s known as the Stockholm syndrome, same reason that people always re-elect politicians who they otherwise view as scoundrels.

    2. Many thanks for the COTD, Keith!

      1. a really worthy CotD @phylyp

    3. COTD: +1.

    4. From the forum:

      Massa’s kart team disqualified from race after punch-up

      Keith’s comment:

      Massa’s just been appointed head of the FIA karting commission too, so this is not exactly well-timed…

      What the actual word that starts with an f*?
      Some idiots, one of whom shared a cart with Massa, get in a fist fight, and somehow this reflects poorly on the person whose butt warmed the seat of the same cart?

      Sometimes I really don’t know what to say anymore.

      *Fahrvergnügen

      1. It’s even worse than that – Massa was warming the seat of the team’s other kart.

        The problem is a perceptual one – it was his name over the team’s door, implying that he was setting the standard. Clearly, at least one of his team-mates didn’t get the memo. Such events don’t tend to go down well in political circles because it’s assumed to be down to insufficiently inspiring leadership (as opposed to, say, failings in the driver who thought fisticuffs were a good idea).

    5. Slow news day when the round up includes an F1 competitor coming 6th at a local awards ceremony ;)

      1. UK news on a UK site you mean?

      2. It’s December, and a Monday roundup of Sundays news. So yeah, a slow news day.

      3. I must admit I only have just enough interest in the Sports Personality of the Year Award to be bothered to type the title in full. But as a perspective on the public interest in the reigning world champion in his homeland, and a reflection on the wider popularity of the sport as a whole, I think it is of interest, which is why it’s there (and not out of tedious British chauvinism, @patrickl).

    6. I don’t think a budget cap will solve the competition problem. Big teams to still have ways of spending money off their teams books in a similar manner to big corporations not paying local taxes.

      I think we’re all hoping for something that can no longer exist, where the plucky privateer teams stick it to the big teams through innovation. F1 is now too refined a sport for that kind of success. There’s no longer scope for a mind like Gordon Murray to come in and create something left of field.

      1. I fear you are correct. Some of the proposals in respect of a budget cap, both the level ($150 million) of the cap and rumours that it could possibly exclude driver and senior team member salaries) wouldn’t help. The only teams above $150 million at the moment are the big 3, McLaren and Renault. So it wouldn’t help Williams, Force India or Sauber anyway. STR don’t care because they will be around as long as Red Bull want to be involved in F1 an Haas seem to be happy to circulate and get the odd result. It is a bit of a farce.

    7. You often hear people say that if you solve the budget/spending ‘issue’ that the competition will get closer but i’m not so sure that would be the case.

      I don’t think introducing a budget cap or reducing cost’s significantly is going to end up with teams currently in the mid-field suddenly able to look at wins or regular podiums, I don’t even think it’s going to result in the gap from the top 3-4 teams to those behind getting that much smaller.

      I’m not saying that reducing cost’s is a bad idea as I do think it’s something that needs to be looked at seriously, I just don’t think doing so will do what a lot of people seem to think/want it to do.

      1. If Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari can all find value in their level of spending in F1 then I don’t really see the issues in F1 being due to large budgets.

        Attracting other big spenders to back teams would do more than futile attempts to curb the big teams spending. and making F1 a better marketing platform in general is key to that. I think Liberty are on course to improve the show by virtue of being willing to experiment.

        There isn’t going to just be a rule or a change that turns it around in one go, it’s incremental.

        1. I agree. Budget caps don’t appear to be the answer and those in power seem to be ignoring the “simple” changes that may help the smaller teams. For example, years ago Giancarlo Minari lobbied to be able to have different title sponsors for each car as he felt it would be easier for a small team to get a sponsor for each car as opposed to one for both cars. The FIA/Bernie refused in part citing that F1 fans would be confused if the cars on the same team had different liveries. This concept does seem to get continuing review and yet it would probably be very advantageous to the smaller teams.

          Another example would be to change the constructors points system to award points for components rather than the whole car. for example, if the constructors points were awarded 12.5 for engine and 12.5 for chassis, we might see the engine makers being more motivated to give a current spec engine to their customers rather than the stepped down versions they are getting now.

          I just hope that the FIA and Liberty don’t get so hung up on budget caps that they don’t look to the lower hanging fruit that could give the smaller teams a boost.

          1. Agree, @velocityboy. But @zimkazimka mentioned the key points. And speaking of points, what if F1 could combine these vital issues in a productive manner – give teams extra points each race for the best and fastest logo? The smaller teams would, of course, employ pay graphics designers, so it’s a win-win all round.

    8. Before complaining about budget caps Williams should concentrate on spending its own budget more efficiently. Force India budget isn’t twice as big.

    9. Fixing F1’s finances is “essential” – Williams
      Indeed. But the only way to do that is to get rid of Liberty Media’s $11.7 billion of invested capital, which requires after tax operating profit of at least $1.0 billion annually to cover its capital cost.
      And that $11.7 billion of capital is not invested in race tracks, race cars, wind tunnels, race car factories, race team infrastructure, race car transporters, or anything else necessary to run a car race; nope it’s simply the intangible assets that are nothing more than the legacy of the value carried away by Bernie, Slavice, Petra, Tamara, CVC, and assorted other investors. Well, OK, Liberty Media’s assetts include a few TV cameras and place settings for the Paddock Club.

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