Doubt remains over Force India’s prize money claim

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In the round-up: The question of whether the ‘new’ Force India team will receive all the prize money earned by the ‘old’ team remains unsettled, according to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

What they say

As RaceFans revealed, not all Formula 1 teams have signed the same documents agreeing Force India can receive the ‘column 1’ prize money they earned before they went into administration and re-entered the sport during the summer break:

[It’s] still not totally clear to us and I don’t think it’s clear to everyone yet how Racing Point Force India is all going to play out.

Most people signed the first document, most people signed the second document but neither cover off – especially the first document – [the team] being a new entry. So I think there’s a variety of documents that have been signed by a variety of teams with a variety of conditions put on them by certain teams, us included.

I spoke with Formula 1 [on Saturday] saying can you clarify ultimately how this is going net out. My understanding where things currently stand with there being a B team is they won’t be eligible for the column 1 money in the short-term. So I’ve looked for clarification on that and the answer I was given is let’s just give it a little bit more time and see how things net out.

Of course I think a name change is coming so I don’t think the story is yet finished on what Force India ultimately looks like and in what sense they enter the sport.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

How much of F1’s present problems are down to the absence of independent engine builders?

I guess the main problem of current formula is the lack of an “independient” power unit manufacturer.

Nowadays only works teams have a prospect of medium-long term competitiveness. Hence only Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull-Honda will be viable, with the rest of teams either flocking around them as B-teams or disappearing.

This is a trend we have been seeing since the advent of hybrid era, and I’m afraid it will speed up in the near future.
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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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  • 33 comments on “Doubt remains over Force India’s prize money claim”

    1. Agree with the CoTD. The garagiste era was over before this century even started. The romantic notion of a privateer team winning even a single race in the new hybrid era is a nice dream. Like winning the lottery. Or getting the teams & FOG to happily agree on a cap and division of profits.

      I’m almost to the place where I’d accept 3 or 4 car teams from the major spenders. As a longtime Williams & McLaren fan, not sure how many more seasons I can take of watching them trundle past Brundle.

      It’s the antithesis of the F1 ethos, but maybe it’s time to consider a two-tier F1 – since it already is. F1a and F1b classes. Each with their own class and driver’s championship.

      1. Have to agree with you. The fact that so many drivers go year after year without even sniffing a podium is becoming just plain wasteful. I was willing to put up with a few years of Mercedes dominance, but it’s pretty clear that only 3 teams now will win races in the current era. So I’ve kind of checked out a bit just like Alonso has. And I’m as much of a purist as anyone.

        3 car teams would help get more drivers chances but would stifle other teams even more.

      2. It’s the antithesis of the F1 ethos, but maybe it’s time to consider a two-tier F1 – since it already is. F1a and F1b classes. Each with their own class and driver’s championship.

        I’m not sure how to segregate F1a and F1b. The idea is sound, don’t get me wrong, but the devil is in the detail.

        The obvious segregation is to draw a line in the gap between RBR and #4’s performance today, but that is a line in the sand and not a clearly demarcated division. e.g. Renault’s driver line-up and possible car improvements might bring them ahead in 2019, while RBR might go backwards with a Honda engine and two aggressive/hot-headed drivers.

        One idea – though it might fly in the face of Liberty’s goal of having pure engine suppliers (without an associated works team) – would be separate championships for the works teams and customer teams. Of course, that means that Red Bull will be the fly in the ointment, as while they are the de facto works team for Honda, are not actually a works team. In such a scenario, RBR will end up crushing the other customer teams, and – conversely – Renault always being the #3 works team.

        If they try to separate it by budget, we’ll see supermarket pricing (e.g. RBR’s budget is 199,999,999 GBP, just ducking below the “top dog” threshold).

        1. @phylyp: Good points.

          RBR is a tricky little superfly indeed. However, they do have a Honda works deal – so qualify for F1a. Sort of. And Renault is the world’s biggest car company, so they qualify for F1a, even if their current model doesn’t.

          However, in the spirit of free and open competition, I’d be willing to open the series to a 3 crown championship.

          F1a: Horses and Pointy Stars
          F1b: Best of the Rest Battle – Fizzy Drinks vs Fizzy Motors
          F1c: Best of the Worst

          The season winner of F1c would qualify for F1b the following season. The best BoR would move to F1a the next season. And the loser over…say… 3 seasons in any of the top two divisions would be pushed down to the a lower purgatory.

          Realize this tri-tier series is much too simple for F1 sensibilities, but we could fluff up the rule book with 100,000 pages of impenetrable Vogon poetic legalese.

          1. @jimmi-cynic

            And Renault is the world’s biggest car company,

            as much as you keep repeating this, it simply is NOT true.
            the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. a total of about 10 brands.. sells a lot. (Combined, the firm says that with its 10.61 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold in 2017)
            But VW alone does the same numbers. (Volkswagen sold 10.74 million vehicles in 2017 )

            1. Let me restate. Renault (Alliance) sells several million more vehicles each year than… Red Bull. Or Ferrari. Still considered an auto manufacturer in F1 terms. And the dubious honour of qualifying for my F1 Triple Crown series.

      3. As an ‘antithesis’ of @jimmi-cynic, and preferring to see the glass half full, I still believe FIA can put sufficient constraints in place to make sure a works engine runs (almost) as good in a privateers team as in the factory team. If obliged to share all software, mappings, and even settings, lubricants and fuels then it must be possible for a customer team to be competitive as long as the car/chassis is somewhat decent.

        Williams/McLaren missed the boat(loads of boats) in car design rather than being on the backfoot with their (2018) PU’s.

        1. @coldfly: That’s some fuel for thought. Doubt that Ferrari will Shell out tho.

          It was mooted some years ago (2013?) about mandating a single fuel/lubricant supplier for all teams. Bernie lost that battle. Maybe Liberty could try again for 2021-2023, or 2033.

          Thanks for the Williams/McLaren reminder of how far their once world-beating engineering has sunk into the sea of mediocrity.

          1. ‘fuel for thought’. Doubt that Ferrari ‘will Shell out’

            still looking for a good come-back, @jimmi-cynic ;)

            re McLaren – it will take a lot longer for them as they have to reverse many decisions; staff wants Whitmarsh or Dennis back, fans want Kimi, and the fuel guy is busy with his ex on a mobile.

            1. ex on a mobile

              I got it even if no one else did.

            2. ex on a mobile

              @coldfly – my my, I didn’t see that until I saw gDog’s comment. Very slyly done, good sir!

      4. I agree and think that the solution may be to find a way to motivate the big teams to become suppliers of components rather than racers of cars. For example, break the constructors title into engine and chassis, and award the manufacturer of the component the points. So if Mercedes get a 1-2 finish and Force India finish 4th, Mercedes will get 55 engine points and 43 chassis points.
        They could even go further and mandate the size and fitment of the engines and chassis so that a team can buy an engine from one manufacturer a chassis from another and go racing.

      5. Dont Rebull prove you don’t need to a works team to fight for victories and podiums – arguably if Renault had a stronger engine championships too…. The onus is surely on teams like Williams, Haas, FI and Mac to be matching Redbull and joining the fight….

    2. I think you have to llow three and four car teams. That way the smaller teams will have additional income with much increase in sunk costs. Sorry to say, this also means more paid drivers, but the sport will probably die if left in the hands of the purest.

      1. *without much increase.

    3. I guess the main problem of current formula is the lack of an “independient” power unit manufacturer.

      Except there never really was one, at least any who were competitive. Cosworth had Ford backing for years. The car manufacturers had internal teams and the few truly independent engine manufacturers were either outclassed by the major car manufacturers or were completely hopeless.

      Let’s see Judd scratched for points in the turbo era when the turbo engines blew, although I can remember more than a few failures that caused Mansell to leave Williams for Ferrari. Speaking of Ferrari, there was the ex-Ferrari engine guy who developed the Life W12 which was the biggest POS ever fielded on an F1 car! Overweight and at least 200hp short of their next nearest competitor. (In fact wasn’t the Life W12 so slow that car wouldn’t have qualified for an F3000 race?)

      All the other “indie” manufacturers ended up using modified engines from the majors. They didn’t have the engineering resources to throw at making them competitive.

      The issue is more one of costs rather than variety. The costs have to come down if you want a greater choice in the F1 paddock because currently only the multi-nationals can afford the R&D necessary.

      1. That’s the thing I like about people like you who’ve been watching F1 for decades, @franton . Every once in a while, some interesting nugget like this is offered up, and that makes for interesting reading (and marvelling at how different the F1 scene was ‘back then’).

        1. @phylyp Well let me throw something else that’ll bake your noodle. It’s reasonably well known that in the middle 80’s BMW had by far the most powerful turbo engine: it was well known for producing 1300 bhp in qualifying trim! (down to 1000bhp approx in race trim). However it was awful to drive: all the power arrived in one large lump and turbo lag of a couple seconds! BMW F1 Turbo Engine

          I remember one driver (think it was Berger?) who said you’d slow for a corner, stamp your foot hard on the throttle and by the corner apex the turbo lag was gone and you were off like a rocket!

          Anyway the all conquering Honda Engines of the time didn’t produce quite as much power, but what they were was drivable. Makes the difference. Speaking of which after Honda pulled out in the 90’s, it was their tuning division that ran their old engines as Mugen. They were outclassed by the continual engine development wars of the time.

          So yeah, even in the past the so called indie guys weren’t all that independent.

          1. My my, that’s some engine @franton !

            all the power arrived in one large lump and turbo lag of a couple seconds

            Hilarious to see the power/torque chart, with the power going from 420 HP at 8500 rpm all the way up to 780 HP at just 9500 rpm.

            1. And, as I recall, it was built round a bog-standard engine block as used in a road-going car of the time.

            2. johnny Five, the answer to that is that it’s not quite true that it was based off a “bog standard road car block”.

              Yes, originally the block came off the same production line as that of the road cars, but after that the blocks went through a fair bit of modification – they were usually put through multiple cycles of heat and chemical treatment to relieve stresses and temper the blocks, parts were remachined and, in later years, they usually reinforced the block quite a bit to withstand the higher operating pressures.

              @franton, I made a similar point to yourself in another thread that, with Cosworth was backed by Ford for quite a long time, and indeed from 1998 to 2004 was outright owned by Ford, it wasn’t what most would consider a truly independent organisation – you could argue that Cosworth had only really been a truly independent manufacturer from 2005 onwards.

              You could have pointed to Hart in the past, since they did produce everything entirely in house, although unfortunately when TWR collapsed in the early 2000s, they took Hart down with them.

              As an aside, going back to the wider discussion of the turbo engines of the 1980s, I would disagree with your assessment of the power output of the BMW engines in race trim – as noted on that same site, BMW usually had to turn the engines down quite a bit further than that in order to make the finish due to the fuel restrictions.

              The figures from the time that I’ve seen usually claimed a maximum of 800-850bhp on the maximum boost pressure permitted in race trim, whereas Honda’s published data on the RA167E suggested that their engine could hit a maximum of 990bhp when on full boost in race trim – though in reality the drivers would rarely ever use that due to the restrictions on fuel tank sizes at the time.

              It’s also worth noting that Patrese was rather critical of the lay down version of the M12 that was used in the later Brabham’s, which he suggested were notably down on power compared to the conventional “upright” design used by other teams.

    4. People often go on about F1 needing an independent engine supplier to make the field more competitive….. But when was the last time that a truly independent engine supplier produced an engine that was actually competitive & able to contend at the front of the grid?

      The 2006-2013 Cosworth wasn’t exactly competitive against the manufacturer’s & teams weren’t exactly that eager to run it.

    5. Interesting the Speed Week-article: I wonder which ten drivers precisely. Kvyat although he’s already driven at that team for nearly three seasons, Albon(?), Vandoorne(?), Ticktum (If he can achieve the minimum amount of super-license points or more quickly enough to be able to receive one for next season), Gelael(?), a Honda-backed driver depending on the super-license points situation, etc.

      Interesting COTD as well although that has more or less always been the case. Yes, these days it’s perhaps harder to win Championships without a full manufacturer-backing from the PU supplier than before the current hybrid era, but still, it’s more or less always been the case that the biggest teams with works engines have been and stayed on top most of the time.

    6. I believe it’s a simple solution to solving the disparity between the manufacturers and the privateers – 3 separate championships. Driver, chassis and engine. After that you’ll have the manufacturers who have to ensure that their engines get enough points so they might be inclined to help the privateers better one-another.

    7. I logged on just to see my birthday wishes :)

    8. There are reports on the Finish media that Ferrari has decided no to renew the contract with Kimi and they will sign with Leclerc for 2019.

      Has anyone heard of it in another place, is this official?

      1. @johnmilk I’m not sure whether it’s official or not. I tend to not buy into these type of reports as long as they haven’t been officially confirmed. BTW, How do you know that it’s precisely from the Finnish media even though (I assume) you don’t understand the language, LOL?

        1. you underestimate me @jerejj

          I saw it in a forum, someone post it with a dubious translation and I decided to ask around here

      2. I heard from some Italian source that Ferrari has decided to team up Vet with Lec for 2019.

    9. Government chiefs spending tax-payers money on far-flung holidays. Who’d’ve thunk it :D

    10. The way things have been going lately, Leclerc should be replacing Vettel.

    11. Charles Leclerc at Ferrari is a matter of hours. Lapo Elkann the brother of John Elkann (FCA/Ferrari chairman) has announced the news accidentally on the official Facebook account of Garage Italia post, that was later deleted :
      “Orgogliosi di aver creduto in te fin dall’esordio in @f1. Orgogliosi di averti accompagnato in pista, curva dopo curva. Felici di vederti presto al volante della Rossa @charles_leclerc”
      “Proud to have believed in you from you debut in F1, proud to have went with you in circuit,curve after curve. Happy to see you soon behind the steering wheel of the “Rossa”

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