F1

Silly season: 2014 F1 driver market

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  • #230087
    Deej92
    Participant

    PDVSA will probably pay Williams a nice bit of compensation for ending the contract early, and then Massa will bring his Brazilian sponsors in, so Williams will still have a good amount of money there.
    I wouldn’t like to say where Maldonado will be next season. Sauber and Force India surely wouldn’t reject him and his money when they come calling (should Lotus sign Hulkenberg).

    #230088

    Seems Maldonado is set for Lotus, Bouillier backing out of his talks of Hulkenberg.
    Massa going to Williams and Perez did enough to retain his seat. But if Mclaren keeps Perez based on last race and not the whole season, thats how Massa survived at Ferrari, get Magnussen in!

    #230089
    Iestyn Davies
    Participant

    If that’s the case (are you the real Michael Christensen? :D), then we have:

    MCLAREN
    Jenson Button
    Sergio Perez

    LOTUS (PDVSA & Total)
    Pastor Maldonado
    Romain Grosjean

    FORCE INDIA
    Nico Hulkenberg
    Paul Di Resta (possibly Kevin Magnussen)
    FP1s: James Calado

    SAUBER
    Adrian Sutil
    Sergey Sirotkin/Vitaly Petrov (if the Gazprom rumour is true, probably Sirotkin on FP1s if retained. If there’s no Russian money, why not take back Kamui Kobayashi with his £6.5m?)

    WILLIAMS
    Felipe Massa
    Valtteri Bottas
    Possibility of FP1s/testing: Susie Wolff for PR gain or a Mercedes young driver if it would make the powertrain cheaper.

    I wonder how PDVSA and Total are going to fit together? It’s been said that Quantum have asked for 1 extra week to put their deal together, and that that runs out tomorrow – this news could be preceding a “our money was in the box, but now it isn’t” kind of announcement (or lack thereof, if the announcement is now in the box too!)

    There’s still the rumour that Di Resta is not secure, and that FI could lose their £8m debt to McLaren if they take Magnussen. Chilton is still bringing £10m to Marussia I imagine, so if McLaren were desperate not to run Magnussen in FP1s (as they have enough operational issues usually), they could offer him there for the same deal or better to replace Chilton. But I don’t know if they pay McLaren that much for the technology transfer deal they have going on, as they don’t share the same powertrain with McLaren as Force India do.

    #230090
    sozavele
    Participant

    I imagine the Quantum F1 twitter account is a fake as the account has been suspended.

    #230091
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Why would Boullier and Lotus suddenly back down from Hulkenberg?

    There is the possibility that the money from Quantum isn’t coming after all, but during the pre-race show for the Indian Grand Prix, James Allen mentioned that it was about to happen. I don’t see that suddenly falling apart in two days to the point where the team start trying to get Maldonado out of Williams with no evidence that his sponsors are willing to pay more than one team.

    No, I think it’s far more likely that a) Williams are trying to get rid of Maldonado, b) Maldonado is sick of trundling around in 15th place and wants something more, or c) PDVSA feel their investment isn’t worth it and have decided to cut their losses.

    #230092
    Iestyn Davies
    Participant

    True, I do hope that Lotus go with the Hulk & Grosjean pairing, and that team is ripe for some investment. You’d get massive PR coverage on the car muscling it for the podium on a regular basis.

    Autosport mentions Maldonado has £20m a year to bargain with – I’ll speculate then that Williams will receive £10m each for 2014 and 2015 to not run Maldonado! Allied to a few million from Massa and Petrobras, if that materialises, then their budget will be down from £145m to £130m, which will still put them as the 6th best funded team, even if Maldonado moves to Force India. Time to step up under a new rules era, depending on how good the Mercedes powertrain is.

    Sauber and Force India need some investment, as they have less budget than Toro Rosso, yet outperform them each year. Caterham and Marussia are not far off their spending levels as it happens. No wonder Sauber is in trouble, as Force India guarantees some of their speed by paying McLaren for a technology transfer. Caterham and Marussia in particular don’t employ as many people still as those above them, hence lacking speed. Sauber may be the most efficient team on the grid that makes everything for itself (excepting the engine). Also a good investment prospect! But Lotus still can’t land a title sponsor just yet…

    #230093
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Lotus may not need one. I’ve heard that the Quantum deal will wipe their debt and guarantee them a competitive budget for at least three years and possibly as many as five. At that point, a title sponsor would just be extra money. Although I think they would have to lose the Lotus name to make it possible.

    #230094
    Iestyn Davies
    Participant

    Hmm, interesting, I wonder what they would change to name to? Hopefully not Quantum, a name made up because Infinity was too close to Infiniti…… Renault works team would be a good name to have, but I doubt it will be that if it is Quantum paying for it and not Renault!

    #230095
    Deej92
    Participant

    Renault could be made works team but just have part of the team name – like McLaren were Mercedes’ works team, and even though they aren’t now, they remain part of the name. I certainly hope it isn’t Quantum anyway!

    #230096
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    @fastiesty – “Enstone” seems to be the name the team use. Although they could call themselves SPECTRE.

    #230097
    Dion
    Participant

    Maybe PHANTOM or VENOM? We should get some 12 year olds/Top Gear to come up with a new name!

    In all seriousness though, SPECTRE seems cool, but I’d rather they stick to Enstone, which just sounds a bit more professional (not that Lotus would care, they’re the ‘edgy’ team, whom I inexplicably love)…

    #230098
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    @infinitygc – SPECTRE is a joke. One of Ian Fleming’s best-known creations in the James Bond universe was Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his criminal organisation, SPECTRE. But Fleming had help from a guy named Kevin McClory in creating SPECTRE, and McClory did not get credited when SPECTRE were introduced into the film’s. McClory sued and won the rights to SPECTRE and Blofeld, but he could only ever remake “Thunderball”, the novel where they first appeared. Flash-forward to 2006 and the producers finally acquired the rights to make “Casino Royale”, and a key plot point was a sinister and far-reaching criminal enterprise. But because the McClory family still owned the rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE, the organisation had to be an original creation. The end result was Quantum, a vaguely-defined SPECTRE knock-off notorious among fans for being almost completely anonymous.

    #230099
    Dion
    Participant

    @prisoner-monkeys Allright, I am not too big of a James Bond fanatic, so that explains why I didn’t get it!

    #230100
    Ben Needham
    Participant

    I will be very disappointed if Lotus go for Maldonado over Hulkenberg… although there’s no guarantee it would be the best choice for Hulkenberg anyway.

    #230101
    Iestyn Davies
    Participant

    Haha nice James Bond reference there. Totally on the money. From an F1 and branding point of view, the two best names (and two biggest names not secure on the grid now, historically speaking) available are definitely Lotus and Renault. Lotus-Renault secures both, and hence why it is continuing on despite no sponsorship cash from Proton. Their image is now winning them fans and probably merchandising, after the whole Lotus-Caterham naming squabble has been forgotten (and paid for).

    It must be speculated that as Quantum is made up of Ijaz, an Abu Dhabi business group and a Brunei prince, that we will definitively hear on whether it will go ahead this weekend in Abu Dhabi. At their home race is surely where they would want to make the announcement of their big involvement in Lotus F1. Maybe a switch of name to something around Abu Dhabi/Brunei (for putting cash in/ego)? They could then also announce they have signed Nico Hulkenberg for 2014.

    I fear if there is no announcement this weekend that the deal will have fallen through and instead we’ll be seeing an announcement of Pastor Maldonado, followed by the vindication that he is a race winner (and brings £20m cash), which is fair enough in itself. If Mercedes then turn out to have a killer engine for 2014, this could be a silver lining for Hulkenberg returning to Force India (probably being 5th quickest out of 8 Mercedes engined drivers, unless McLaren screw up again and podiums then come into contention).

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