Discussion in 'general sports' started by 1%er, Dec 19, 2017.
Long overdue if true.
Never really noticed them when watching on the TV, I suspect some teams will continue to employ hostess in their hospitality areas, the article linked to below from Girlracer gives an insight from the grid girls point of view.
I can remember at Le Mans one of the years I went finding myself next to a group of Hawiian Tropic promotional girls looking very glammed up so I got talking to one of them and discovered she seemed very innocent, was from a southern US state and had absolutely no idea about motor racing. She was there to look glamorous, which she did, but does it have a place in 2018 I don't really think so.
What we need is more female team managers, engineers and drivers.
It’s thebsort of thing that should be given to competition winners. It’s a sponsors dream.
Race start times to change
As mentioned in post #51 above (FOM were thinking of changing the start times), FOM have now confirmed they are changing the start times for a number of races. From this year, races will start 10 minutes later while the European and Brazilian Grands Prix will begin an hour later than in previous years.
A statement from Liberty Media reads; "Some broadcasters usually go on air precisely on the hour, hence missing the tension and emotion that characterise the minutes before the start of each Grand Prix. Thanks to this change, television viewers will be brought closer to the teams and the drivers and fully enjoy the spectacle offered just before the red lights go out. The second change is to the European and Brazilian race weekends. Research has indicated that a wider TV audience is reachable later in the afternoons, especially in the summer months. Consequently, it has been decided to move the schedule of every session back by one hour across the whole weekend for each of the above-mentioned Grands Prix."
(cybershot you may need to change your calendar to reflect this news)
Rubinho recovering in hospital
Former Ferrari and Brawn GP Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello is recovering in hospital after a health scare at home in Brazil last weekend. The 11-time F1 race winner was admitted to hospital last Saturday complaining of a severe headache which has later diagnosed as a problem with a vein that has now been treated. Barrichello has been recuperating well and is expected to make a full recovery. The Brazilian driver, who retired from F1 in 2011 and switched to a single season in IndyCar before competing in Brazilian Stock Cars, has given an update on his condition via his Instagram page.
Grid girls hit back at loss of jobs
Formula 1’s grid girls are unimpressed with the sport’s decision to drop them, saying it actually detracts from women's rights. Earlier this week, Formula 1 commercial boss Sean Bratches announced that as of this season grid girls will not be used in F1. The ladies, though, haven’t taking their axing quietly.
Rebecca Cooper, who states on Twitter that she is a “five-times F1 grid girl!”, tweeted: “So the inevitable has happened, F1 grid girls have been banned. “Ridiculous that women who say they are ‘fighting for women’s rights’ are saying what others should and shouldn’t do, stopping us from doing a job we love and are proud to do. PC gone mad. If we don’t do something to stop this where will it end? No grid girls, no cheerleaders, female singers being told what to wear on stage, no models in magazines?! I’ll fight for my right to choose what I wear, where I work and to keep a job I love. I’ll #fightformyrighttochoose.
Sophie Wright, a DJ and broadcaster with Bauer City 1 Network, called it political correctness gone crazy. Feminism now costing women their jobs..wake me up when all this crazy political correctness blows over and pass me the Lycra! I loved being a grid girl @Mike_Petch @PaulONeill29 #Gridgirls #BTCC pic.twitter.com/iQciq5qu6c
Another grid girl, Hannah Louise, hopes that other racing series don’t follow F1’s example. I am a grid girl, I LOVE my job and I CHOOSE to do it! The issue at the moment is there are too many people being offended on behalf of people who are not offended at all! I will be devastated if @OfficialBSB and @iom_tt follow suit.#saveourgridgirls #womensrights gridgirls pic.twitter.com/yr074Bnnq0 Hannah Louise (@Hannah_James_6)
Ex-grid girl Zilda Williams told Daily Mail Australia: “I think it’s ridiculous. Grid girls are iconic and all part of the racing experience. You have fast cars, noise, the smell of burnt rubber and beautiful grid girls on the track. I was a grid girl in 2007 and had some of the best times of my life. The girls were classy, gorgeous, and well presented. Now all the fun has been taken out of it, and for what? Political correctness. How boring are we becoming? Will we be banning cheerleaders next?”
Surely the grid girls will get other jobs with teams in 'hospitality meets & greets, garage tours etc, they might not want to burn their bridges so quickly.
The F1Fantatics one just puts it in as an all day appt, which works for me. However the beauty of using a shared google calendar that someone else maintains is, you leave it to them to update and the changes will sync to your own calendar!
Seven weeks till the off
Formula 1: 'Grid kids' to replace 'grid girls' from start of the season
How perfectly nauseating.
Could Ford return to F1
Ford Motorsport boss Mark Rushbrook has claimed there is the possibility of the manufacturer returning to Formula 1 in the future, but admits the costs at the present time within the sport are too high for it to happen. Speaking to the press he said “Hybrid power will be relevant for a long time for Ford, so I’d never say never to Formula 1, especially if it introduces budgets”. Rushbrook admits that the current hybrid regulations within the sport are also relevant to Ford, but it would take a lot of motivation and a big reduction in the development of power units within Formula 1 for the American car marker to return.
Ford’s last venture into Formula 1 ended back in 2004 when they sold Jaguar Racing to Red Bull Racing, but financed the legendary Cosworth DFV engine that took the Formula 1 world by storm in 1967, so the return of Ford to Formula 1 would be well received should it become a reality. Rushbrook insists a proper cap on spending in Formula 1 would be needed for them to return, particularly in the current climate where a manufacturer spends significant amounts of money in various areas of the car to gain performance.
The FIA and Liberty Media have been looking at getting other manufacturers to join the Formula 1 grid to join Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Renault and Honda, so Ford admitting they could return, although with a provision, will be music to their ears.
Mercedes fires up its 2018 Silver Arrows
I can see the headlines already, F1 has moved from the exploitation of women to the exploitation of children
It'll save money. Instead of paying grid girls get kids do it free. Cynical posturing?
Not really. It’s meant to be kids who are karting and already have an interest in motor sports. I guess the idea is it’s motivation to keep going and meet heroes. I’m sure sponsors will love this. As for the grid girls. No doubt still be hired as hospitality meet and greet’s for these very kids and their families. Well the ones that had some charisma anyway.
McLaren have signed what they are calling a "multi-faceted" sponsorship deal with Dell Technologies, what that means is that the deal will not only cover the F1 racing team but also other areas of the McLaren Technology group, including McLaren Applied Technologies, as well as benefiting McLaren’s esports programme, World’s Fastest Gamer.. Dell is the world’s largest privately-controlled technology company.
Zak Brown, McLaren's chief, said: “McLaren’s agreement with Dell Technologies expands beyond the traditional sponsorship model. We are like-minded organizations led by the key principles of technical innovation and human progress at the cutting-edge of data-driven technology. This announcement is a further statement that McLaren has strong ambitions as we strive to take an important leap in performance both on-track and off it. Dell Technologies is the perfect partner and our two brands share the same ethos, which will propel us towards our business objectives for 2018 and beyond”.
They have not been named as McLaren's title sponsor, so they are still looking for one. It is a few years now since McLaren had a title sponsor.
Oil company BP has extended its relationship with the Renault F1 team for another five years as part of a wider deal with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. It was widely expected that Renault would return to a French oil company. BP Castrol started work with Renault last year, replacing Total as the team's fuel and oil supplier. The new deal came after a meeting between Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn and BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley and will see the relationship extend beyond a supply contract in Formula One.
Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO BP Downstream is reported as saying "This partnership enables us to combine the excellent skills and knowledge across both organizations to tackle the challenges and explore the opportunities of this rapidly evolving market".
Ferrari sign Montoya
Not Juan Pablo Montoya but his 12 year old son. The young son of seven-time Grand Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya has apparently impressed Ferrari with his performance and skills in karting following his first full season of racing in Europe in 2017. Supported by his famous father, Montoya joins the Scuderia's prestigious junior programme which includes the likes of Sauber's Charles Leclerc, Giuliano Alesi, Antonio Fuoco and Enzo Fittipaldi, the 16-year-old grandson of F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi.
The youngest member of the FDA will compete this year in the OKJ category of the European Karting Championship with the competitive Tony Kart outfit which enjoys a close relationship with Ferrari. As part of his tutoring and grooming programme, Montoya will receive driver training as well as advice and support on dieting and media work. It's early days, but the Montoya name could find its way back to Formula 1. Especially as papa Montoya will be right there by Sebastian's side.
The McLaren Senna
Some say it is ugly but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it has some amazing stats, read more about it.
That car looks like it drove straight out of Mordor.
Are VW moving closer to F1
The main reason VW are not currently involved in F1 is because of the acrimoniousness relationship between Bernie and those previously at the top of the VW group, such as Ferdinand Piech (ex-chairman of the group) and Wolfgang Durheimer (the ex-boss head of Bugatti and Bentley), both of whom have now left the company and F1 now has new owners.
Volkswagen has just announced that Fritz Enzinger will take over the role of head of group motorsport, replacing Wolfgang Dürheimer. Enzinger will also continue in his role at Porsche where he oversaw the multiple title winning LMP1 project until the marque announced its decision to pull out of the World Endurance Championship to join the Formula E grid. The 61-year-old will report directly to VW CEO Matthias Müller with the task of "assessing the current portfolio of works commitments and customers' sports programs in all disciplines and their long-term orientation".
VW could enter F1 with any of its various brands that have a racing heritage, which includes Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Bentley. The Volkswagen Group has also been involved in shaping new F1 engine regulations post-2020 and is therefore aware of future plans, whilst at Porsche, Enzinger himself has overseen the development of a "high-performance combustion engine" which meets the current F1 power unit requirements and could be used as a test bed for a 2021 engine, which is roughly based on the current rules.
The battle-lines are being drawn
In the run-up to the new Concorde agreement, it seems the teams are currently evenly split over the direction of the sport. My personal view is that the FIA and the owners of the rights (Liberty Media) should set the rules and that teams should ether accept them or leave the series. I can't think off-hand of any professional sport where the competitors/teams have a say in the making of the rules for the competition (but I haven't spent much time thinking about it). While Bernie was the King, he loved to have the teams fighting each other as it fitted perfectly with his divide and rule philosophy, that was the main reason behind him setting up the divisive Strategy group.
It appears we have Ferrari and Mercedes on one side of the fence (they don't want a new power-unit in 2021 or a budget cap) with Renault and Honda on the other side (who believe in a more even distribution of prize money and think a new power-unit could level the playing field some what). So where do the customer teams sit? Well Sauber have already come out and sided with Ferrari (and have been well paid to do so), Haas haven't said much yet (other than Gene Haas saying he doesn't want Socialism in F1, speaking about equalizing the prize money), but if Haas become Alfa Romeo Haas, they are likely to side with Ferrari (money talks). Then we have Mercedes customer teams, Force India and Williams, Force India have often supported Mercedes when it counts but Williams are much more independent.
Renault despite their difference with Red Bull, can count on Red Bull, who are likely to have Aston Martin power by 2021, but still run a Renault engine, albeit badged as TAG Heuer and McLaren, while Honda can count on the support of Toro Rosso, who will in the end go with Red Bull the team owner.
It seems that any new players in the power-unit supply could well decided the future of F1, if they can take teams away from Ferrari or Mercedes. I think we are in for a couple of interesting years in the sport, as the list of new companies looking at joining or supplying engines just gets bigger and bigger.
GRAND PRIX Driver (the series)
As promised I have posted below the 4 episodes of the TV series Grand Prix Driver shown recently on Amazon TV, I hope you enjoy it.
Review: Grand Prix Driver will take viewers through Vandoorne's first few months with McLaren-Honda, including his grueling training regime, the highly anticipated launch of the new 2017 car and testing at Barcelona. Prime members will get to see challenges within the team, including rare insight into Alonso and his fierce drive to claim a third championship, new McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown's quest for sponsorship in this expensive sport and the car build process, including the installation of the new Honda engine, which no team has previously allowed. The series is narrated by Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas.
NB If you don't use an ad-blocker you will get some pop-ups at the start and please remember you do not need to download anything to watch, so don't!
The power of Alonso
The world endurance championship has moved the date of its race in Japan so Alonso can drive in in it, previously it clashed with his Formula One commitments. Alonso, a two-time F1 world champion, will feature for Toyota in the WEC as well as competing in the iconic Le Mans race in June. Such is Alonso’s pulling power that the Fuji Six Hour race has been switched from Oct. 21 to Oct. 14 so that he can still race for McLaren in the U.S. Grand Prix.
“Awesome news,” tweeted Alonso once he was confirmed for the Japan race.
Flavio Briatore get 18 months for tax evasion
Former boss of the Benetton and Renault F1 racing teams Flavio Briatore, whose multi-million-dollar superyacht "Force Blue" was seized in 2010, had his sentence reduced from 23 months, despite prosecutors asking for a four-year sentence. His lawyers said they would again appeal. The 63-metre (206-foot) yacht is registered in the Cayman Islands. Investigators contest Briatore's claims that he does not own it but merely rents it from a company registered in the Virgin Islands. They said he was the owner of the company and by extension owner of the yacht. Briatore was convicted of not paying €3.6-million of VAT on the yacht's value and dodging €800 000 of fuel duties between 2006 and 2010.
Ferrari fire up their 2018 engine
Ferrari have sent out a video in a tweet of them firing up their 2018 engine, click here to listen.
The engines just don't have the excitement of the old V8 or even V12.
Are Holland and Denmark on the way
One of the first steps in taking the Grand Prix circus to a new venue is filing a Trade Mark application in the region. Via Formula 1 Licensing BV, Liberty Media have filed trademark application in both Denmark and Holland, Denmark last November and Holland in January this year. The application is for full rights to articles and services, which refers not only to the event but related merchandise.
While there has been talk of Zandvoort hosting a Grand Prix, the iconic track having hosted Holland's round of the world championship on 31 occasions between 1952 and 1985, last month FIA race director Charlie Whiting visited Assen, more noted for its 2-wheel racing. Following a computer simulation of the track in December which suggested that it already meets the FIA's Grade 1 safety requirements, Whiting's visit confirmed that only minor changes would be required to the circuit including additional kerbing, guardrails and barriers at certain points on the track. However, while Liberty is seeking a return to the Netherlands as part of its plan to extend the calendar to as many as 25 events, commercial boss Sean Bratches has admitted that a street event would be preferable with Amsterdam and Rotterdam the current favourites.
Late last year an application was made in Denmark where a street race in Copenhagen is under serious consideration. However, what all these prospective race hosts have to do next is show the colour of their money, and with the average annual race hosting fee coming to an eye-watering £22.3m that is no mean feat.
Liberty Media direct streaming could cost just £6 a month
Liberty Media's prepares to take Formula One forward with streaming, whereby all manner of content and data would be sent direct to the fan via the internet. While existing TV broadcast deals, such as in the UK with Sky, may delay the introduction of F1's planned streaming service in some countries, in others the service is almost good to go. While Bernie Ecclestone believed that the TV deals were sacrosanct and therefore barely explored other means of delivering the sport, Liberty Media believes that there is room for paid TV and an online alternative.
I believe Morgan Stanley's recent analysis of the sport's future TV trends is open to question, the report did give some insight into the plans for streaming. Streaming, is "not a near-term revenue driver but important long-term" claimed the bank, which forecasts that only 104,000 users will subscribe this year at an estimated monthly cost of £6 ($7.99) providing just £5.4m ($7.5m) of venue. Indeed, according to the report it will take seven years for the number of subscribers to top one million, the bank admitting "slower than expected adoption of the company's upcoming digital platform efforts could impact growth expectations."
I think the bank are way behind in terms of numbers, the people who watch F1 will not sit and watch the stream on their phones, computers or laptops but will have these devices linked to their flat-screen TVs or as most TVs nowadays are internet ready will just stream directly to the TV. There will for sure be the capability of having screen in screen, so people will be able to look at the data for everything or just individual drivers while also watching the racing.
I think many fans do this already by watching the race on the TV and the data from F1.com on another device, I know I do and most of my friends do also. I think while the banks believe it will take 7 years to top one million streaming viewers, my view is it will take less than 3, of course this depends on how widely available Liberty media's streaming platform will be. Clearly they can not sell it where they have exclusive contracts and I don't know how many countries do at this point. Deals in the USA, Brazil and China are all up for grabs in the next year or two, so Liberty Media can negotiate contracts allowing them to sell OTT internet viewing.
Looking at the figures for just the UK it is clear to see that viewing figures drop massively when the sport goes behind a paywall, the average audience in the last year of the BBC coverage in 2015 was 3.1m. Channel 4's was 1.9m last year. Sky's in 2017 was 652,000. When F1 goes Sky-exclusive in 2019, Sky believe they will get a huge boost in income, the deal is said to be worth upwards of £200m a year. But the UK TV audience is likely to have dropped by about 80% in four years. The big question is; will Liberty Media get that 80% of lost viewers back with their Internet services.
McLaren set up sponsorship advisory group
The boss of the McLaren Formula One team has revealed that he has appointed a panel of business advisers, including former London 2012 frontman Lord Coe, in a bid to boost its sponsorship income after years of dismal results. McLaren has recently announced a string of sponsorship deals culminating in the signing of computer manufacturer Dell last Thursday. However, perhaps more than any other team, it needs to rev up its appeal after finishing second-to-last in the standings last year which was its joint worst result since 1967.
The latest accounts for the team, which is based near Woking and employs 675 people, show a net loss in 2016 of £3.2m on revenue which was down 4.5 per cent to £179.8m. Last month McLaren hired a 12-man advisory group of business luminaries including Lord Coe, Richard Solomons, the former boss of InterContinental Hotels Group and Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing officer. Their precise duties have not yet been made clear but McLaren’s executive director Zak Brown has revealed that they are there to bring in new deals.
Despite a torrid 2017 McLaren recently announced that it had signed sponsorship deals with news network CNBC and Airgain, which provides wireless connectivity platforms. Its biggest-paying sponsor is believed to be Diageo’s whisky brand Johnnie Walker. McLaren has lacked a naming rights partner since telecoms giant Vodafone pulled out in 2013 and Brown says it isn’t on track to be replaced.
The F1 sponsorship sector has been stuck in the slow lane in recent years following a string of processional seasons which have been dominated by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Since 2013 F1’s television audience has reversed by 22 per cent to 352.3m and the number of sponsors has fallen by 17 per cent giving it a total of 228 last year.
Testing starts in just 2 weeks
The first testing session will be held at the Circuit de Catalunya, on Monday 26 February 2018 to Thursday 01 March 2018, with the second session following it from Tuesday, 06 March 2018 to Friday, 09 March 2018, not long now folks
Are Williams really launching the FW41 tomorrow
Williams announced its 2018 F1 launch would be on the 15th Feb, but now there seems to be some question over if this we be the launch of the car or just the launch of the 2018 livery. The official Formula One website (formula1.com) has it only as a launch of the 2018 livery, I guess we will see tomorrow
There has been little if any information coming out of Williams in regard to the new car apart from comments sometime back from Paddy Lowe saying that it will be a substantial change from their 2017 car. This will be the first Williams where Lowe has had a major influence in its design.
Reports in the Italian press have lots of speculation in regard to delays in process of getting the FW41 ready in particular the FIA crash tests, some even claiming the car has failed the crash tests and the team may even have to use the 2017 car for the first official testing in Barcelona that starts on the 26th Feb.
US fans to get OTT this season
F1 fans in the United States are to get the Sky Sports F1 UK package on ESPN and ABC under a deal announced yesterday. The deal for ESPN to replace NBC as the rights holder in the US was done last year and there is also an OTT (Over The Top) offering in the US. What it means for F1 fans in the US is that, although they will not have their own dedicated team as they had under NBC, they will have access to more content. It is similar to what happens in other countries, like Australia, where the Sky coverage is carried on Foxtel behind a paywall.
While it seems that ESPN will be offering the OTT option, it isn't clear if this is going to be the test-bed for Liberty Media's direct to customer via the Internet service, mentioned in the post above this one. This is good news for those of us who watch via the Internet as it means there will be many more free streams available, showing what is by far the best coverage of F1.
Renault fire-up the RS 18
Late last night here or early in the morning European time, the Renault F1 team fired up their 2018 challenger the Renault RS 18, they even sent out one of those tweet thingamabobs. Want a listen to the 3rd of 4th best engine in F1? Click here
Haas F1 team the first to reveal their 2018 car
The Haas F1 team was the first to release images of its 2018 car yesterday, the VF-18 which shows a strong connection with last year’s successful Ferrari SF70-H, as one would expect. Team principal Gunter Steiner has said that “90% of the components of our car are made in Italy” and the team has a unit near Dallara where it is being assembled, with staff shipped over from their base in Banbury, UK to complete the car build. The VF-18 will be driven by Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen this season, as Haas enters 2018 with an unchanged driver pairing.
The new Williams FW41
Williams Racing have presented their new FW41 at a launch event in London. The car is the first to be fully built and designed under the guidance of Paddy Lowe, and hence features several large changes to what have been common design elements on recent Williams cars. Chief technical officer, Paddy Lowe, said beforehand that the team has indeed ditched several aerodynamic concepts, resulting in a car that features "great advances in aerodynamic performance". Of course, Lowe has brought a vast amount of experience and knowledge from Mercedes with him, and it should therefore not be a surprise that the new FW41 features a "cape" underneath the nose cone. This aerodynamic fairing was a unique feature on last year's Mercedes.
That thing around the cockpit looks awful, and won't defend against a spring at all.
Yes it doesn't look good, its heavy and high up and will not do the job well in many situations, in my view it is a stop-gap and as I've mentioned before a legal requirement, once the FIA said it had a solution for head protection for drivers, it needed to introduce something.
I think it will be gone soon, a season or two maybe, I think FOM will come up with a transparent screen very quickly, if the teams don't agree FOM and the FIA may well add it to the changes they are making with in the new Concorde agreement. I know it is being talked about by Ross Brawn's committee and some at the top of Liberty media.
Like all mechanical devices, the halo will optimise over time. Yes, it looks like crap. But I do like that high-waisted Williams design.
In response to comments regarding the Halo and how it looks on the Haas and Williams the FIA safety delegate Laurent Mekies has spoken to the press about Halo 2.0. Unfortunately it seems they are still looking at a tubular structure for version 2.0, my information was that they are looking at a transparent screen, lets hope they are looking at both. As weltweit said above it looks awful and will not offer protection against small items. Formula 1 isn't the only racing series in which the Halo has become compulsory, it is also mandatory for Formula 2 and Formula E
Laurent Mekies is reported to have told the press "We have two main objectives, one is the central strut, to see if we can have a reduction in thickness for visibility purposes. And secondly a better integration in the car, i.e. better aesthetics ultimately. So that's what we would like to see in stage two". Mekies went on to explain why only now have the FIA focused on making changes to it "So the reality is that the last few months we have been trying to switch from a decision-making point to making it happen. So we had to get halo standards published, get halo suppliers certified, get halo suppliers to deliver certified parts, which in the end was an added complexity because not only did we do it for F1 but we did it for F1, F2 and Formula E pretty much in the same timeline. Now we are a few months later and the situation is quite good. Halo has been delivered, we have three suppliers now homologated, so we are now going to be able to put a bit more emphasis on the research on stage two".
DRS to stay for a while it seems
Ross Brawn has made it very clear that he would like to do away with DRS as he believes overtaking aids have no place in racing. Recently, Liberty Media bought defunct F1 team Manor's last wind tunnel model and began working on how overtaking chances can be improved for the future, but to date have not found the answer. Brawn said that is because Liberty is determined to make sure any changes that are made are done right "In the short term we will continue to work with DRS. My hope is that the cars will develop to the point that we don't need it anymore, but in the near future that will not happen. Before we can improve the racing, we need to thoroughly understand what's going on. We can follow our gut instinct, but that's not good enough when you think about how incredibly complicated these cars are. Speed plays an important role and the fans want to see the fastest cars. But if we see a way to make the racing better, then I would be willing to sacrifice some speed".
Brawn also said that Liberty is considering dealing with the issue of having too many promoters wanting a race by introducing a kind of "league table". This would involve a "waiting list of top-class circuits and promoters that are waiting to get into Formula 1. If there's any race that is not working well, you relegate that and put a strong race in" he is reported as saying.
Reasons for and against a budget cap
Liberty Media are a NASDAQ listed company, so Liberty’s primary focus is its share price, which entails turning ever increasing profits, and thus dividends. Profits come from income as well as less costs, so with team revenues being Liberty’s largest outlay, about 50 per cent of F1’s current $1.8bn annual turnover, it stands to reason that reducing team payouts and bonuses impacts extremely well on Liberty’s bottom line. So it isn't hard to understand why they want a budget cap, particularly as their income is likely to fall in the short and medium terms as they restructures the sport.
Whenever talk has turned to post 2020 regulations, Ferrari and Mercedes have threatened to exit (F1xit ), with mutterings about F1’s DNA and threats of dumbing-down the technology underpinning some teams arguments. Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has been the most vocal, although Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche has stated the two companies are “100% aligned on our thoughts and our strategic actions in Formula 1”. The opposing view comes from McLaren group executive director Zak Brown who is urging Liberty Media to get a grip on the cost of competing in F1. “Costs are totally out of control,” he said, describing F1 as “probably the only industry in the world, let alone sport, that has not addressed costs in today’s day and age. That need to happen, I think that needs to happen as the highest priority”.
Other arguments are that the top teams fear that the smaller teams used to running on restricted budgets, could catch them up, so customer teams could end up beating the manufactures, not great for marketing. Also the big teams don't want to loose hundreds of employees. For example, Haas runs on a budget of around £100m and employs about 225 staff, likewise Force India also runs on a budget of around £100m and employs about 400 staff. On the other side we have Ferrari who have a budget of around £350m and a staff of 960 (excluding engine division) and Mercedes with around a £290m budget with 860 staff. The massive budget difference also means that the bigger teams can do much more in-season development.
Liberty Media really needs to introduce cost caps simply to balance its books, and thus a figure of £125m exclusive of marketing, engines, tyres, driver and executive salaries has been bandied about. That would enable each team to build and race two cars, leaving approximately £45m for in-season development and testing, but this means Ferrari would loose 60% of its staff and Mercedes around 50%, both teams say this is unacceptable to them. The irony of the situation is that a lot more jobs will be lost if one or more team exits F1 completely, while the question must be asked, could F1 really call itself "the pinnacle of motorsport" without Ferrari and Mercedes?
Clearly Liberty needs budget caps as much as F1 needs to control its spending, but too many open questions remain, including the level of cap, how to control spending limits, and what penalties should be applied in the event of breaches. After all, fines levied on excess spending are pretty meaningless when teams like Mercedes and Ferrari have a spare £200m in the bag as a result of the cap. I'm not sure a budget cap is the silver bullet some believe it to be and alone will not correct F1’s many current problems.
That just doesn’t look like an F1 car should imho
In fact the more I look at it the worse it gets.
The halo. The stupid fin on the back. The sides are too high. All the horrible aero clutter everywhere.
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