Sauber, Hockenheimring, 2018

How Sauber joined the ranks of Formula 1’s former teams

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Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago – Pete Seeger (1955)

Excuse me while I hum this ditty as I lament the passing of Formula 1’s historic team names. Cooper, BRM, Brabham, Lotus – to name just a quartet of title-winners. And, more recently, the demises of such as Stewart, Prost, Minardi, Jordan and, now Sauber continues only as the entrant company, with the team entered as Alfa Romeo Racing competing with an “Alfa Romeo” chassis.

Such changes are unique: a cursory glance through F1’s history books reveals over 120 team names have had a shot at motor racing’s premier category. Just 10 are entered for this season and two of them will race under new team names approved last week.

Most of today’s roster have had different identities in the past. Renault has had more names than championship titles in its own right. Quadruple champions Red Bull grew out of Ford’s disillusion with Jaguar, formerly.

Toro Rosso’s roots lie in one of the most fondly-recalled F1 teams of old, Minardi. The Faenza squad was originally an F2 team bankrolled by local Fiat garage. It’s easy to forget the tiny team once led a grand prix and even bumped Ayrton Senna’s might McLaren off the front row before F1’s escalating financial pressures took their toll. After five years under the ownership of Paul Stoddard, Red Bull acquired the team and rebranded it as the driver development platform we know today.

Zsolt Baumgartner, Minardi, Indianapolis, 2004
Paul Stoddart kept the Minardi name going…
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso, Silverstone, 2006
…until Red Bull took over in 2006

Mercedes? According to the company’s registration information, the most successful team of recent times was once (champions) Brawn, (lacklustre) Honda, and (so-so) BAR before that, having started life as (1971 constructors’ champion) Tyrrell in 1968. Where the original outfit raced under its founder’s name for 30 seasons, it has since changed names thrice in 12 years.

[retrompuminardi01]Today only three teams still race under their original registrations: Ferrari (F1 entry 1950), McLaren (1966) and Williams (continuously as a constructor since 1978, though previously under other guises and as a customer).

Granted, over the past 70-odd years Ferrari underwent a number of restructures – from sole proprietorship through majority Fiat control to a listing on the New York Stock Exchange – but that fact remains that it still races largely in red and enters as Scuderia Ferrari – with the founder’s son being a shareholder.

Although McLaren moved from proprietary ownership to largely Arabian ownership via a series of transactions, but Bruce McLaren’s vision remains intact. Yes, Williams is now a listed entity (on Börse Frankfurt) – but founder Sir Frank Williams still holds a majority share, and is thus the oldest team racing in the hands of its founder. There is but one other: Haas F1 Team, founded in 2016.

Sauber was part of the select club of teams still under their original identities until last week, when the F1 Commission unanimously approved a change of team/chassis name for the Swiss team to Alfa Romeo Racing.

Peter Sauber’s maiden F1 car made its debut in 1993, and raced as BMW Sauber for four years (2006-09) after the Bavarian company (briefly) acquired a majority slice. However, the car company soon exited F1, forcing Peter to return to ownership in order to safeguard his life’s work plus all-important jobs in his hometown.

Thus Sauber continued racing as the longest surviving team still racing under its original name outside the trio above. Then in commercial matters overtook heritage when the business changed hands.

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After some fallow seasons, and desperately inept financial juggling outside of Peter Sauber’s control, the team ended up under the control of Longbow Finance, a low-profile Swiss investment fund with Swedish links. A little under a year ago the Sauber financial portfolio was moved into a separate company – Islero Investments AG, registered at Sauber’s Hinwil domicile – although Longbow management remains very much in control.

Last year the team raced in red and white as Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team through a title sponsorship deal. This was more in the vein of the former Infiniti Red Bull relationship rather than a technical supply arrangement, with Ferrari supplying powertrains and reserving the right to nominate drivers: Charles Leclerc in 2018 and Antonio Giovinazzi this season.

While Ferrari and Alfa are no longer sister companies under the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles umbrella – Ferrari’s listing moved the company out of FCA’s direct control – their joint DNAs run deep, and thus the arrangement has an element of historic authenticity to it. Indeed, Enzo Ferrari once managed Alfa’s racing division.

The record books also show that Alfa Romeo contested two previous F1 campaigns: early ’50s, when it won the 1950/1 world titles – gazumping Ferrari to the grid after the Scuderia failed to pitch for the inaugural round, and is thus the oldest name in F1 – and again in the late ’70s / early ’80s, when it achieved a highest championship placing of sixth. In addition, Alfa supplied various teams during its second campaign.

Nonetheless, last year rumours swirled about options that could see the Sauber team name dropped for 2019 and beyond – in exchange for increased fees, of course – although the company would still be a subsidiary of and be controlled by Islero.

Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018
Expect more prominent Alfa Romeo branding
Last week that came to pass. Swedish sources suggested the full-blown naming/livery switch to Alfa Romeo Racing costs the Milanese marque an additional €10m per year, bringing Alfa’s total contribution to €30m (£26m) annually – in real terms a pittance compared to Daimler’s support of Mercedes F1 Team (£80m), or Renault’s contribution to its F1 team (£90m).

Yes, Alfa Romeo Racing is unlikely to win grands prix under the current regulatory and commercial framework, but, then, which team outside the top three can? Ask Renault. Or Honda. Or Williams, for that matter. That is the crux of the Alfa Romeo deal: for the retail equivalent of 650 Guilia or Stelvio units, Alfa gets to be mentioned in the same global sporting breath as Mercedes and Ferrari.

The deal is said to be for two years – taking brand and team neatly through to the end of 2020, precisely the point at which F1 is scheduled to undergo major changes on both the technical and commercial fronts. Will Alfa stay beyond that timeframe?

It’s impossible to predict but in any event, changing team/chassis names within two years is fraught with obstacles, not least that changes largely rely on goodwill from the F1 Commission, which counts all grid peers amongst its members. So an initial two-year window makes sense.

The entire name change process is outlined here but, significantly, Sauber applied to switch from a historic name, albeit one carrying some baggage towards the end, to the vastly more marketable Alfa Romeo brand, and thus F1’s 24-strong Commission approved the request unanimously. Equally, apart from a name-change hiccup after BMW’s exit almost a decade ago (which temporarily led to an absurd ‘BMW Sauber-Ferrari’ monkier) Sauber has a clean record in this regard.

[retrompujordan01]Not so Force India, whose change to Racing Point is the fourth since Eddie Jordan sold the team. Russo-Canadian buyer Alex Shnaider relabelled it was Midland F1 ahead of the next season, but within a year he had sold it on to Dutch boutique sports car brand Spyker, which in turn moved it to Vijay Mallya’s Orange India consortium another year on.

(Little known is that Mallya had a run with then-F1 tsar Bernie Ecclestone over his chosen Force India moniker after the Indian had chosen the name in the hope to fashion the initials of the team into an F1 likeness, but the wily Bernie soon cottoned on and blocked the logo. Thus the flag-like F and dotted I was hurriedly substituted.)

In fact, through Mallya’s links with the liquor industry, a name switch to Johnnie Walker Racing was mooted three years ago. Thus the team came close to six names in a little over a decade…

Although Mallya hoped to ride out the team’s cash crunch until F1 resets in 2021, as his empire crumbled so it became inevitable that he’d be forced to sell out sooner or later. The decision was eventually taken out of his hands by an entity linked to driver Checo Perez, which sued for overdue wages. Following a convoluted asset sale process and another name change loomed – to Racing Point Force India.

The team’s management previously stated Racing Point was an ‘off-the-shelf company’ and/or ‘placeholder’ name and alluded to a change away from Racing Point once its plans firmed up – yet had officially entered for 2019 under plain Racing Point despite having raced under its (approved) name of Racing Point Force India after the team’s take-over by Lawrence Stroll and associates in August.

Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber launch, 2007
BMW retained the Sauber identity during its F1 spell
In typical F1 fashion the entry process is as clear as mud: once approved as an entrant by the FIA, a team may enter under any name it wishes provided it meets the governing body’s standards of decency; however, if it wishes to qualify for revenues it needs to fulfil certain commercial right holder conditions, which include longevity of name – or seek concessions from the Commission where a team wishes to deviate.

It seems the team ran out of time or options, for a fortnight ago it filed a formal request to drop ‘Force India’. This was approved by 22 (of 24) Commission votes. Given the unsavoury connotations of Force India following Mallya’s legal issues – his extradition to India on fraud charges was recently approved by the UK Home Office – one would have thought there existed a unanimous desire to drop the previous team name.

Yet two folks voted against it. Were they protesting against Stroll, and the controversial process by which he acquired the team? Anti Racing Point as a name? Whatever, given that e-votes are secret, the full truth is unlikely to out any time soon, but the salient issue is the team will race (excuse puns) under its approved name in 2019.

Would the e-vote have been anonymous had the team settled upon the more evocative Lola branding rather than the considerably blander Racing Point moniker, as per information provided to RaceFans by a source in the loop? It must, though, be stressed that the team refused to comment about any such negotiations.

Why have such name changes become so commonplace? Of the three new teams which entered F1 under the 2010 ‘budget teams’ initiative, Manor changed its name to Virgin, then to Marussia and finally back to Manor; Caterham started life as Lotus; and the team finally known as HRT underwent three identity changes in as many years – from Campos to Hispania Racing to HRT…

Before the turn of the millennium team name changes were comparatively rare. Yet no fewer than 15 applications have been filed over the past 10 years alone, with the main rush occurring between 2009-14. If this trend is an indication, it’s unlikely to slow any time soon.

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What lies behind the phenomenon? Brabham, Cooper, Ferrari, Jordan, McLaren, Tyrrell, Toleman, Williams, and others were, of course, named after their founders. Some were named for their significant others: Lotus is said to be team founder Colin Chapman’s pet name for the lady of his affections, while the ‘C’ in Sauber’s model type honoured Peter’s wife Christina.

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2008
The Force India name has also disappeared
Today’s F1 team names are often little more than corporate labels, liable to change whenever outfits swap owners. Hence team names such as Mercedes, Red Bull, Renault, Toro Rosso, and, indeed Alfa Romeo Racing, which may well mutate into Islero or Longbow (or Fiat?) should the Italians pull the plug in 2020.

Equally, Racing Point may well be dropped in future were some or other commercial interest to gain the upper hand. Indeed, would Haas F1 Team be around under that name had Gene selected a different name for his first machine tools?

None of this is, though, new to F1. For example, in the early sixties – and thus over a half century ago – British Racing Partnership, partially owned by Stirling Moss’s father Alfred, was renamed Yeoman Credit Racing after receiving £40,000 from the finance house to purchase cars and kit plus £20,000 per year to operate the team – in exchange for rebranding as Yeoman. Compare that to the estimated cost of Sauber’s Alfa deal…

After a number of driver deaths the team changed hands and Yeoman withdrew, but the new owner procured backing from investment company United Dominion Trust in return for renaming the outfit UDT Laystall, Laystall being an engineering company owned by UDT. Irony of ironies: the team collapsed after the then-nascent Formula One Constructors Association withdrew its membership due to commercial affiliations…

While fans may rightly lament the passing of once-hallowed names into the history books, as the record shows this phenomenon is far from new, and likely to accelerate considerably as F1 becomes increasingly corporate. Equally, recycling of old names as the two Lotus team of a decade ago is arguably a cynical recycling of history, as would be attempts to revive Brabham, Lola, March or others.

Indeed, like it or not, of the two name changes approved last week by the F1 Commission, a strong case could be made that Force India’s switch to Racing Point is the more original, and the renaming of Sauber to Alfa Romeo merely a short-lived marketing ploy…

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 49 comments on “How Sauber joined the ranks of Formula 1’s former teams”

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      6th February 2019, 12:13

      Does Alfa Romeo still own the entry that Sauber has held since 1993?

      The reason I ask is according to the Chain Bear video on YT, Racing Point didn’t buy Force India’s F1 entry hence the team that was Jordan was (sadly given that it was just before the 20th anniversary of their first win) no more and Racing Point was essentially starting from zero

      1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        6th February 2019, 13:57

        This appears to be a rather simple name change, as Force India had multiple time (Jordan, Midland, Spyker)

        Racing point is factually a different entity, as chain bear explained, but Alfa Romeo is a contiuation of an existing team, and existing entity, under a new name

        1. Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India was company number 02417588, while Racing Point is company number 11496673, Racing Point UK Limited. The Stroll consortium didn’t buy the company previously known as Jordan, they bought their assets and were granted a new entry by the FIA, hence the points reset from Spa onwards.

          Alfa Romeo Racing is the same company as Sauber as far as I am aware.

      2. No, Alfa Romeo doesn’t own anything. Sauber AG owns Alfa Romeo Racing. It’s just a name change of the team for commercial purposes, not a change of owner. So it is still the same entrant as it was in 1993.

    2. Another insightful article, thanks.

      It always seems silly that changing a teams owner and name legally makes a new team, when the factory and personnel usually remain the same. Minardi was my favourite team and I consider Toro Rosso a continuation of it (including their first ever race win!), whatever the FIA or whoever else says. Same for all the others too.

      I would like the teams to be made into franchises for this reason (and to protect the staff), with the factories being the base of the franchise. So Red Bull would have bought the ‘Minardi franchise’ and could change the racing name to Toro Rosso, but the ‘entity’ would remain the same.

    3. Good point in the end. As discussed before, I think as bland Racing Point is, at least they will do their own thing and of they are successful, it won’t be as bland…

      Alfa Romeo is just a sticker on the car and garage walls. It’s similar to reviving Lola, but with the backing of a company that ita still alive… But won’t have any input in the team for now at least.

    4. I look forward to Kimoa Huski Racing and Team Bitcoin Martini.
      But Ferrari… Ferrari never changes.

      1. It is entered as Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow under the latest FIA entry list released today.

        1. “Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow Or We’ll Make Charles Number One”

        2. I just checked and I can barely believe this is even real… I’m speechless. I’d never thought Ferrari would fall for money

          1. @alfa145 You mean all those years where they competed as Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro were a sporting statement about the benefits of smoking at high speed and not a commercial move? Who knew…

    5. I for one am not that thrilled about the Sauber change. The manufacturers should not necessarily come and go as they please, and in this case especially not even the engine will be Alfa Romeo…and as is indicated, it may all change again in a couple of years. The Racing Point makes more sense (although it is pretty awful name for a chassis) since all the owners since Eddie Jordan chose different names and Mallya went ethnic with the India thing. Worst team name ever is Toro Rosso…should have kept Minardi. Keeping original name works fine for McLaren, and until it lasted, team like Brabham worked well through several ownership changes. Bernie Ecclestone already was an entrant in late 1950s and could have gone with renaming the team…but did not and there was nothing wrong with that.

      1. I agree, I feel that the teams should have three elements to their name:

        Principal Sponsor (Optional)
        Team Name – which stays with the factory, no matter what
        Engine Manufacturer name

        with exceptions being granted for repeated names, and let them change a name only if they have been in the sport for say 3 years and commit for at least a decade. Even then, subject it to approval and make sure it’s a unique name, never used and not relating to a corporate entity.

        So for example:

        Petronas Tyrrell Mercedes-Benz Motorsport (Eligible for a name change) -> Petronas ‘Brackley’ Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
        Renault Toleman F1 (Eligible for a name change) – Renault ‘Enstone’ F1
        Red Bull Stewart Honda Racing (Eligible for a name change) Red Bull ‘Milton Keynes’ Honda Racing
        Scuderia Ferrari
        McLaren Renault Racing
        Rich Energy Haas Ferrari F1
        Racing Point Jordan Mercedes F1
        Orlen Williams Mercedes Grand Prix Engineering
        Scuderia Toro Rosso Minardi Honda (Eligible for a name change) Scuderia Toro Rosso ‘Faenza’ Honda
        Alpha Romeo Sauber Ferrari F1

        I know they are a bit of a mouthful, but we would still actually call them the same thing, but tracing a particular team’s heritage would be more transparent, year to year for the casual viewer.

        1. Something to be said for this, but why include the name of the PU in the team name? PU can be changed every year and is already included in the official car name (chassis & PU). And teams can (ab)use the PU name as an additional sponsor spot (unless people think that TAG-Heuer actually propelled that car).

          I prefer the entry name to be simply the team (chassis) name plus a title sponsor (maybe add ‘Scuderia’ ‘F1’/’GP’ team).

          PS Toro Rosso’s main Sponsor is Red Bull AFAIK.

          1. why include the name of the PU in the team name?

            I think mostly just because this has been historically done and the power unit is an important part that many teams do not make for themselves.

            And teams can (ab)use the PU name as an additional sponsor spot (unless people think that TAG-Heuer actually propelled that car).

            Completely agree, but just ensure it uses the parent company name, and be done with. No engine model names, just what the manufacturer calls themselves.

            PS Toro Rosso’s main Sponsor is Red Bull AFAIK.

            Lol, I know, Toro means Bull and Rosso means Red in Italian, so pretty much acceptable in my opinion. In an alternate universe, I would allow the Snickers F1 team to have a junior Marathon team, if it were based in the UK and they hadn’t changed the name.

            1. I think mostly just because this has been historically done

              Actually, the PU is never part of the team name (unless the team makes its own PU).

              The current naming convention is:
              – Company Name – the official name of the company (e.g. ABC LLC);
              – Team Name – the official name they use for their F1 entry
              – Chassis Name – should be part of the team name (every team has its own unique chassis)
              – Engine Name – currently four, even though you seem to be able to rebadge an engine (e.g. TAG Heuer)
              – Car Name – conjunction of Chassis & Engine names

              PS – As Aston Martin is Red Bull’s title sponsor I guess their new name will be Aston Martin Stewart Honda Racing.
              Thus Kvyat will be back in a Red Bull ;)

            2. Actually, the PU is never part of the team name

              Now that -is- news to me!! I guess growing up I got so used to the tv graphics stating team and engine name that I just assumed!

              Thus Kvyat will be back in a Red Bull ;)

              Nice :D

        2. I don’t disagree with your idea, but the “casual viewer” likely would never get to this level of detail and wouldn’t care.

          This seems more the historical fan or dedicated fan aid.

          1. You’re probably right! I do wonder how dedicated you have to be to follow the sport properly, there’s got to be a bunch of fans out there who liked Force India because of the colour, or the word “India” and are engaged enough to keep watching next year, how will they choose who to support I wonder.

        3. I like the Alpha spelling =)

          1. :D I would blame the lack of an edit function… but it would be a lie ;)

        4. Nobody commits to F1 for a decade. Even Liberty and the FIA, technically speaking, are only required to provide F1 until the end of a given contractual period (though FIA cannot choose anyone other than Liberty to be its commercial provider until 2110).

      2. I just think that Alfa Romeo name would be better served in marketing if they entered WEC in their own right, instead of being a small presence in F1 dependent on Ferrari.

    6. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      6th February 2019, 14:11

      To my mind F1 has ceased to be a sport and has become a business (well maybe 95% business) and the is just another example of that.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        6th February 2019, 14:13

        *this* is just another example.

        Comments posted in the last 5 mins should be editable!!!

        1. or give yourself 5min to read your draft before submitting ;)

        2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk Wasn’t it Frank Williams who said F1 was a business during the week and a sport at the weekends?

          1. @geemac – wow, I love that quote!

          2. His words were, ‘It’s a sport for 2 hours on [then] 16 Sundays; the rest of the year it’s business, big global business.’

      2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk
        You aren’t wrong, but all–ALL–professional sports are business. And many non professional sports as well (see: collegiate sports in the US). If they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t be televising it, and you wouldn’t be watching it. You might be watching some locals race their own cars on a plucky circuit nearby, but that’s it.

        I’m not saying that I particularly like that it is now money over everything, but that is how it is.

        1. True @hobo however the difference is that money in F1 directly relates to significant performance advantage.

          It would be like a football team being able to pay to make players noticably and measurably faster, stronger, bigger. Or even to simply put more of them on the field.

          Mercedes competes with more than four times the personnel of some other teams. Imaging if the rules of football allowed the same scenario, 22 players vs 5. Who would really cheer for the winning team..? Or even watch..?

          F1 is a competition mostly in business and money-making. And as Frank Williams says, the part we all love and that gets (most of) the headlines only happens for 2 hours every second Sunday.

          1. @aussierod – I agree that money often buys wins/championships in F1, and am not happy about it either. Though I didn’t read Sean’s comments as relating to leveling prize money or spending cap or anything of that nature. Perhaps I misunderstood?

            To your point, football (soccer) may be well-controlled in terms of prize money sharing but there are many sports where that is not the case and the rich buy victories just as they do in F1.

            And given the opportunity (i.e. unequal prize money distribution, no caps, etc.) the football teams could attempt to buy wins just as easily. Sign contracts with better players who are faster, stronger, better. Have better trainers and training facilities.

            To repeat, I agree with Sean’s comment that F1 is basically all business now. My point was simply that, it has been that way for a long, long time. What do you think all of the decals and patches and signs and painted grass are for?

            What F1 has to get to grips with soon(ish) is how to strike a better balance of providing a product that people want (interesting F1 races over the course of a season) while still making money for both themselves (F1 corporate) and the sponsors buying ads and ad space. How the 2021 regs shake out will probably be the tipping point for me, there or thereabouts. I hope they address the issues of allowing cars to race closer and allowing teams to compete without $400m budgets. We will see.

          2. It *is* like that, but not as you worded it. Richer football teams pay to have the best players. Best players run faster, have better ball control, kick better, you name it. I’ve been saying this for years

    7. Do we know that two commission members specifically voted against the name change? Or did those two members simply not vote?

      I think you asked and answered your question about why name changes are so much more common than previous eras – those old teams were almost all the vision of a single person. Teams these days are ruled by committee, be it board members, financial companies or lawyers. And if there’s one thing you can always count on from a committee, it’s indecision.

      1. It was 22 for & 2 against, no abestentions according to my source

      2. I suspect one of them is Haas as they were against Racing Point getting a continuation of prize money after they bought the assets instead of the company as a going concern.

    8. @dieterrencken, aren’t there 26 votes available, including 12 for the teams (the final 2 are automatically added to the majority of the 10 actual team votes)?
      I read this somewhere, some time ago when they moved from 12 to 11 teams.

    9. No the F1 Commission was restructured in 2013, which actually reduced the voting power of the teams by removing their right to nominate race promoters.

      Equally, given that the regulations permit 13 teams, what would happen in that case?

        1. I don’t know (nor care) where your source got his “info” from – I use my own trusted sources, and can assure you that there are 24, as per names listed in my feature. Equally, I am sure my F1 Commission source, who provided the vote information is able to add Racing Point’s 22 ‘for’ votes and the 2 against and come up with the same 24 as voted for Sauber’s name change.

          All I can do is caution you to be wary about what you believe from where…

    10. Dieter — for your opening quote, how about “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”?

      1. I’m not sure that everybody believes the new names to be ‘sweet’, hence some of the comments here.

    11. “Today only three teams still race under their original registrations: Ferrari, McLaren and Williams”.

      Also Haas. Granted, not for nearly as long a time, but still, they’re on their original registration.

    12. Point taken, but the context was ‘historic’ as the para made clear. I did later refer to Haas’s ownership.

    13. A bit sad to see the tenacious outsider Sauber gone, but better this way than an undignified bankruptcy exit as looked more than likely just a few seasons ago.

      And to have Alfa Romeo back in F1 is just great.

    14. Thank you for the article littered with your expertise. I wonder how many staff at the different factories out survive team owners. There’s an opportunity somewhere to investigate this. We don’t often hear about the jobs involved unless a factory is closing, and even then it’s just a number.

      1. It’s a good question, but the answer ain’t easy. A senior manager (but not executive level) related a tale recently: he joined a ‘heritage’ team from an independent, and one of the first staff functions he attended was a long-service awards evening, where a number of employees received recognition for up to 40yrs service.

        He was horrified, saying he suddenly realised why the team had gotten stuck in the rut he’d been employed to reverse.

        He pushed for younger staff members able to bring with them the best technologies and practices from other teams and industries, but was overruled by team bosses who made a virtue of long service.

        Who is right?

    15. Little known is that Mallya had a run with then-F1 tsar Bernie Ecclestone over his chosen Force India moniker after the Indian had chosen the name in the hope to fashion the initials of the team into an F1 likeness, but the wily Bernie soon cottoned on and blocked the logo

      But not before some attire got produced with that logo! Now that Bernie is no longer head of FOM, I feel safe in mentioning that I have a hoodie with the FI logo. One person has indeed confused it for the F1 logo in the past…

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