F1

The 13th slot

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 47 total)
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  • #201331
    Boxcar Racer
    Participant

    Do you think that the reason the new teams aren’t that competitive is because the wrong teams were selected to enter F1 in the first place. For example, if Epsilon Euskadi were selected instead of HRT, would they have scored points by now???

    #201332
    Rich
    Member

    Lola are in no position to enter F1 sadly. They are over £10m in debt on the car side of things, the only thing keeping them solvent is the Watchkeeper project for the US military. Their headquarters are based in my town and some mates work for them. They could be about to make mass layoffs. So even if they considered getting a 13th team in, Lola won’t be there.

    #201333
    MazdaChris
    Participant

    Realistically I can’t see a major manufacturer joining F1 in the current climate. This is due to a few different things, but is mainly down to two major factors. Money and the potential to be competitive. The money factor is, I think, fairly clear, but in essence it’s a hugely expensive sport to take part in and the returns in terms of brand exposure are minimal.

    The competitiveness problem I think deserves a little more explanation. As an example, look at Caterham. They’ve got major financial backing, a decent facility, two reasonable drivers, and plenty of engineering talent in the team. If you looked at Caterham you’d assume they’d be on the level of teams like Toro Rosso or Force India. But they aren’t. Mostly because of inexperience. An established team has a wealth of experience to draw upon when designing their cars. They have a degree of engineering maturity in how they approach the aero concepts on the cars. A new team starts without the benefit of this wealth of knowledge, and is at a huge disadvantage because of it. This shouldn’t be an insurmountable problem, except for the fact that testing is effectively banned. Time was, a new team could take their car to a test track and spend a week or two pumping in thousands of laps, testing all sorts of components. They could build up that database very effectively and then take their results to the track for races. It removes the ability of a new team to ever build sufficient data to gain ground on established teams.

    This means that the only viable route into F1 for a major car manufacturer is through purchasing an established outfit. This is what Force India did, and it’s what Red Bull have done. Both are now competitive teams who are firmly established in the sport. It’s the route that Lotus have (eventually!) taken and it seems to be giving them a fair bit of brand exposure as a result. Mercedes are also trying this out, although their history of involvement in the sport is rather more complicated. However this isn’t likely to be attractive for most car manufacturers, who want to see their own cars winning races rather than just putting their badges on someone else’s work. The history of the Mercedes team and their lack of competitiveness is also likely to put people off buying into an existing team; none of the good teams are for sale, and it seems that these days F1 isn’t a problem which can be solved simply by throwing money at it.

    Compare this to Toyota; spent years in F1 with something amounting to a blank chequebook, able to pour almost unlimited resource into their programme and even then they weren’t able to challenge for a title. They have now taken that expertise and channelled it into sportscar racing, and this weekend they managed to put in a commanding win over Audi who have for a very long time been the benchmark, in only their third race. If I was the head of motorsport for a large auto manufacturer I’d look at Mercedes and Caterham in F1, and then I’d look at Toyota in LMP1. To me, the smart money is spent in sportscar racing, where there’s still room for genuine innovation and you get a much much better return for your investment.

    For this reason, I find it extremely unlikely that we will see a major car manufacturer join with a brand new team. As for filling the 13th garage with privateers, well honestly I couldn’t be any less interested in the idea. We don’t need another HRT or Marussia, there are enough rolling chicanes in F1 without adding more dead weight to the sport.

    #201334
    Antonio Nartea
    Participant

    This means that the only viable route into F1 for a major car manufacturer is through purchasing an established outfit.

    Exactly. BMW did it with Sauber in the mid-2000’s and it sort of worked. Not on Mario Thiessen’s liking but they were competitive. And apparently there are rumours Sauber could merge with VW starting 2015 bringing one of their high-end brands like Porsche or Lamborghini in F1.

    Otherwise there are teams like Force India, Marussia or HRT which are struggling financially at the moment and which, offered the right amount of money, would be up for a sale in no time, in my opinion.

    I don’t see the 13th spot being filled up by a client team though. I think HRT, Marussia and Caterham’s performances in the past couple of years opened a lot of eyes regarding what it takes to be competitive in modern F1, acting like a discouragement for anyone who would think of getting involved in the sport at the moment.

    I don’t see it happening. Not until the 2014 regulations get in place and get settled. And even then, I still don’t see it unless someone like Carlos Slim decides to get involved or someone like David Richards stumbles upon a warehouse full of money.

    #201335
    AJ
    Participant

    Will all the teams make it to the 2013 1st grid?

    #201336
    xjr15jaaag
    Participant

    Prodrive should enter as Aston Martin, with the Gulf livery

    #201337
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    @xjr15jaaag – Prodirive have bungled their last three motorsports programmes.

    First of all, there was their ill-fated Formula 1 entry. Their plans hinged on customer chassis regulations being approved, and while Bernie and Max promised to get those regulations passed, Williams refused to allow it. Prodrive evidently didn’t allow for any of the established teams opposing their plans when they first proposed their entry.

    Secondly, there was the Aston Martin AMR-One, which is no doubt go down in history as one of the sorriest and most pathetic attempts at racing at Le Mans. It looked like a submarine and it handled like a submarine. It was an LMP-1 car that was five seconds off the pace of the fastest cars at Paul Ricard, which made it slower than most LMP-2 cars. When it got to Le Mans, the car was twenty seconds a lap slower than the pole time and the team completed a total of six laps – split between their two cars – before retiring. Development of the car was quickly, quietly and very wisely abandoned.

    Finally, the Mini programme. Prodrive went back to the WRC where they made their name, and were doing very well with the John Cooper Works WRC … until it came time to launch a full campaign, where they somehow upset Mini so much that all of their works funding was pulled and instead given to another team which has run pay-drivers for most of the season, and they have absolutely no idea what is happening next year.

    The idea of Prodrive in Formula 1 might sound nice, but they’ve been so completely inept that they’d likely make HRT look quick if they did make it.

    #201338
    MazdaChris
    Participant

    I think AMR would be mad to do it to be honest. Aston Martin make GT cars, and the best advert for GT cars is GT racing. Their various GTE cars look absolutely glorious, and they manage to beat the likes of Ferrari and Corvette. In terms of brand exposure, AM is already considered one of the most desirable and recognisable brands out there, so it’s hard to see what the appeal would be of pitching themselves into a sport where they’d have no hope of competing at the top level. It would mean throwing hundreds of millions of eurodollars at a venture which could only harm their brand values.

    #201339
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    The only way I see a thirteenth team working out at the moment is if one of the existing teams were to establish a satellite team like Toro Rosso. Lotus seems to have the most-established driver development programme, so they’d probably be the most likely candidates for setting up as second team.

    #201340
    matt90
    Participant

    “Prodrive evidently didn’t allow for any of the established teams opposing their plans when they first proposed their entry.”

    Of course they didn’t, because, as you said, they were promised they had no need to allow for it to happen. I can’t blame somebody taking the sport’s two leaders seriously. It was Mosely and Ecclestone who bundled that one!

    The latest Aston really was a disaster though. It looked like I’d designed it. And I wasn’t aware that they’d screwed up the Mini WRC.

    #201341
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    I can’t blame somebody taking the sport’s two leaders seriously. It was Mosely and Ecclestone who bundled that one!

    Given their reputations, I would have been extremely worried for anyone who took Bernie and Max at their word.

    And I wasn’t aware that they’d screwed up the Mini WRC.

    They’ve actually done quite a bit of work on it, and made it reasonably competitive. Particularly on tarmac. But they failed horribly at the management side of things. I’m not sure exactly what happened – nobody seems to know – but Mini pulled their funding after the Rallye Monte Carlo in January and then assembled a new team out of two customer teams (Armindo Arajuo WRT and Palmeirinha Rally) to form Team Mini Portugal.

    But whatever Prodrive did, it was clearly a monumental screw-up. They were very promising at the end of the 2011 season, but then Mini only guarnateed them a budget for one car (forcing them to drop Kris Meeke) and pulling it entirely after the first rally.

    #201342
    matt90
    Participant

    Something like an assurance that you will be allowed to compete is a bit different to their political mind-game-ramblings which were mostly either complete nonsense or nonsense they seriously believed in out of delusion, but would never be realistic.

    Perhaps Mini are just keeping costs down, and the best way to do that is to support two privateers rather than a full ‘factory’ effort?

    #201343
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    Something like an assurance that you will be allowed to compete is a bit different to their political mind-game-ramblings which were mostly either complete nonsense or nonsense they seriously believed in out of delusion, but would never be realistic.

    They made assurances they were never in any position to give. The power to push those regulations through rested solely with the teams, and they clearly didn’t have any leverage – or, at the very least, they didn’t have enough leverage – to make it happen. It should have been obvious from the start that teams were going to be opposed to the idea of a newcomer buyng a customer chassis and then out-performing established teams, especially given the talk that Prodrive wanted to buy McLaren’s design.

    Perhaps Mini are just keeping costs down, and the best way to do that is to support two privateers rather than a full ‘factory’ effort?

    Nope – as near as I can tell, Prodrive are doing this year’s WRC on their own dime. There is talk that they are trying to get that support back somehow, but popular rumour suggests that Dani Sordo is in talks to fill the second Volkswagen seat alongside Sebasiten Ogier, and if Prodrive lose Sordo to the promise of works support and a full season, then there’s not much point to Mini continuing in the WRC since Sordo is their one draw-card.

    Prodrive definately upset Mini’s head office,

    #201344
    sam3110
    Participant

    I think Ferrari should pipe down about 3 car teams etc. and bring in their own customer team for their DDP. They could draft in a load of current Ferrari men (I am sure they have enough to spare!) and call it Scuderia Italia, paint it bright assed racing yellow and go racing!

    #201345
    the_sigman
    Participant

    @sam3110. Nice idea especially for the colours! I can see Audi coming into F1.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 47 total)
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