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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:46 am 
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McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says "of the 11 teams, seven of them are in survival strategy".

Spanish team HRT finally called it a day at the end of last season, after three years of limping from crisis to crisis at the back of the grid. But could others follow?

Marussia and Caterham, the two teams at the back now that HRT have gone, have chosen to replace experienced drivers who command a salary with novice 'pay-drivers' who bring much-needed sponsorship income with them.

Last year, there were even problems at Lotus, who finished fourth in the constructors' championship.

As Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul puts it: "There's one single team that's been able to do an amazing job on the track and from the commercial perspective - Red Bull - but they have had the luxury of a shareholder that was helping at the start and no great sponsors. But I think everyone else is suffering."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/21469518

Is it time for the FIA to act on this so that money isn't the major determinant for a couple of seasons, or at least to the extent it has been for the past couple of seasons?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:55 am 
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Formula1Fan. wrote:
Quote:
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says "of the 11 teams, seven of them are in survival strategy".

Spanish team HRT finally called it a day at the end of last season, after three years of limping from crisis to crisis at the back of the grid. But could others follow?

Marussia and Caterham, the two teams at the back now that HRT have gone, have chosen to replace experienced drivers who command a salary with novice 'pay-drivers' who bring much-needed sponsorship income with them.

Last year, there were even problems at Lotus, who finished fourth in the constructors' championship.

As Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul puts it: "There's one single team that's been able to do an amazing job on the track and from the commercial perspective - Red Bull - but they have had the luxury of a shareholder that was helping at the start and no great sponsors. But I think everyone else is suffering."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/21469518

Is it time for the FIA to act on this so that money isn't the major determinant for a couple of seasons, or at least to the extent it has been for the past couple of seasons?



Thing is this really is nothing new. Until car manufacturers became interested in the sport in the mid 00's the situation was no different than it is today with the vast majority of teams trying t survive rather than win championships. With the major motor corporations involved in the sport we were gifted close competition but often boring racing and inevitably they poved t be very fair weather fiends.

That being said I would not be against a budget cap of around $75. Allowing teams to compete slightly more evenly however I feel the more major problem is that with the economic downturn and no fag money F1 teams have far less sponsors to fall back on so drivers have to find the sponsors themselves to foot the bill. And Really I cannot see what F1 as a whole can do about that.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:08 am 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
That being said I would not be against a budget cap of around $75. Allowing teams to compete slightly more evenly however I feel the more major problem is that with the economic downturn and no fag money F1 teams have far less sponsors to fall back on so drivers have to find the sponsors themselves to foot the bill. And Really I cannot see what F1 as a whole can do about that.


Seventy five bucks should build a good soap box racer ;) The teams are the ones who have blocked the budget cap. It would be hard to police though... but would be the best option going forward i feel.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:10 am 
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sic98 wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
That being said I would not be against a budget cap of around $75. Allowing teams to compete slightly more evenly however I feel the more major problem is that with the economic downturn and no fag money F1 teams have far less sponsors to fall back on so drivers have to find the sponsors themselves to foot the bill. And Really I cannot see what F1 as a whole can do about that.


Seventy five bucks should build a good soap box racer ;) The teams are the ones who have blocked the budget cap. It would be hard to police though... but would be the best option going forward i feel.


Problem is it may help teams compete but unless there was a very, very low cap then It may not help teams survive.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:28 am 
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It's always been like this. The idea that there might be twelve teams with equal funding to compete for winning the championship is not F1. Money goes to the best teams, the top 4, those in with a chance of winning the season. The others need to scrape by with whatever money they can get their hands on, and hope they can pull something out of the bag to move up the order and attract more funds from the big guys. That's how it works.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:40 am 
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jamei wrote:
It's always been like this. The idea that there might be twelve teams with equal funding to compete for winning the championship is not F1. Money goes to the best teams, the top 4, those in with a chance of winning the season. The others need to scrape by with whatever money they can get their hands on, and hope they can pull something out of the bag to move up the order and attract more funds from the big guys. That's how it works.


Yes, that is probably how it works. But the sad thing about it is, that we end up with drivers like Charles Pic, Max Chilton, Louz Razia and Guido van der Garde, while drivers like Heikko Kovalainen, Kamui Kobayashi, Vitaly Petrov and Timo Glock have to go elsewhere. This year the necessity of pay drivers are going to make the back markers look even more embarrasing than usually, and that can't be in the long term interest of the sport.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:51 am 
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This actually has been spoken for some years now. Nothing really new. Even the budget cap discussions have been tabled numerous times and Im not sure which particular team/s are responsible for derailing it but they need to find a common ground fast. Or in a couple of years we'll have more teams saying goodbye.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:05 pm 
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jamei wrote:
It's always been like this. The idea that there might be twelve teams with equal funding to compete for winning the championship is not F1. Money goes to the best teams, the top 4, those in with a chance of winning the season. The others need to scrape by with whatever money they can get their hands on, and hope they can pull something out of the bag to move up the order and attract more funds from the big guys. That's how it works.


Yeah. I like the system. If a small team can come up with a good innovation, they tend to move up in money etc and so can spend more and be better the next year. Accension takes a while, but I dislike the way it seems to be in football (UK) where someone can just come in and chuck a whole load of money at it and get almost instant results.

I'd like it if teams could all get by decently with their CVC money, and then any advertising money just added to the budget. But I suppose that would involve a massive disparity in teams and we'd end up with a couple of teams romping away from the rest.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Race2win wrote:
This actually has been spoken for some years now. Nothing really new. Even the budget cap discussions have been tabled numerous times and Im not sure which particular team/s are responsible for derailing it but they need to find a common ground fast. Or in a couple of years we'll have more teams saying goodbye.

Yeah, I don't think it's acceptable that teams are forced to compromise their driver selections just to stay in the sport and it's a little farcical that success on the track is effectively being bought by weight of financial resources. It's got to the stage whereby we can pick the WCC/WDC by looking team's bank balance before the season starts.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Formula1Fan. wrote:
Race2win wrote:
This actually has been spoken for some years now. Nothing really new. Even the budget cap discussions have been tabled numerous times and Im not sure which particular team/s are responsible for derailing it but they need to find a common ground fast. Or in a couple of years we'll have more teams saying goodbye.

Yeah, I don't think it's acceptable that teams are forced to compromise their driver selections just to stay in the sport and it's a little farcical that success on the track is effectively being bought by weight of financial resources. It's got to the stage whereby we can pick the WCC/WDC by looking team's bank balance before the season starts.


But what do you suggest to change it? Plus we know money does not equate to success always but it has always been in a major factor since the early days of the sport.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:27 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
But what do you suggest to change it?

Obviously for the FIA to determine, any suggestion I have is irrelevant but for the sake of discussion I would lean toward more spec features in a car to level the playing-field for a few seasons while financially struggling teams get on their feet. Piling millions after millions into development is surely a great drain on the teams in the middle and back of the grid.

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Plus we know money does not equate to success always but it has always been in a major factor since the early days of the sport.

I agree it's always been a major factor but imo it is now the factor, the balance shifted too far. Moreover, driver combinations are now being effected to a significant agree, even in teams like McLaren, just to maintain the finance for the development race.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:43 pm 
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This is such a complicated issue.

The question I always ask myself is whether the sport is truly in danger due to the financial pressure. For years now we've heard doomsday predictions, but the sport has managed to sustain at least 10 teams. When the sport was flush with money Mosley was constantly warning about the dependence on manufacturers, but since they left the sport doesn't seem to have suffered that much with Red Bull financing a team on the level of the top ones and Mercedes making an entrance. Moreover. a lot of the money is coming from pay drivers now, which on the surface appears a bad thing, but overall the quality of the pay drivers has been good and it's arguable that they have kept their seats on merit. A driver like Perez could be seen as a win-win: bringing capital to the team to help make them more competitive and driving well enough to bring home WCC prize money. Meanwhile the wealthier teams are funding young driver programs so talented youngsters who don't have the financial means to buy their way into the sport still have opportunities. But is that all sustainable or is Formula 1 in a bubble that is about to burst?

There's also the question of whether or not the way in which the sport operates at the moment is what I/we want. There's no doubt there are the haves and the have nots. The top three teams will always likely share the major spoils amongst themselves and the rest will fight for the occasional win and podium and generally just pick up the remainder of the points. In fact it's arguable that there's five potential top teams in Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Lotus, but is that really a realistic assessment or is it a false impression given by the format mixing things up and/or keeping things close? While I like the idea of having teams able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the competition because of the fact that it keep the sport at the pinnacle, that will always mean a division and the sport teetering somewhere near the edge of sustainability. And in the bigger scheme of things, I'm not sure it's really fun to watch a WDC fight knowing that essentially it comes down to whoever spends the most money.

An alternative to a budget cap is if the teams are given a far higher proportion of TV revenue. So long as the regulations are limited enough (ie not too much of a free for all across the board), IMO there is less of a distinction in potential competitiveness between one team spending $300M and a team spending $150M than between a team spending $200M and a team spending $50M because the gains beyond a certain point become incrementally smaller. A further alternative is to look at creating regulations such that the gains to be made by spending a lot are not so great, although that may work contrary to innovation. Moreover, as we have seen, with the right tyres and format the racing can be close and winning is not so reliant on who is spending the most money. Instead it can be about which team does the best job over the weekend.

IMO only if the sport is genuinely in danger of the bubble bursting should there be a budget cap of some sort.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Race2win wrote:
This actually has been spoken for some years now. Nothing really new. Even the budget cap discussions have been tabled numerous times and Im not sure which particular team/s are responsible for derailing it but they need to find a common ground fast. Or in a couple of years we'll have more teams saying goodbye.


I hate to say this but Max Mosely has yet again, in hindsight, been proven right. I am increasingly regretful of the fact he was pushed out of the FIA Presidency.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:01 pm 
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For the sake of discussion again my suggestion would this.
1. Budget: Approx 50 - 80 m pounds.
2. Resource Restriction should be implemented.
Both these should be stricly monitored by the FIA. Not the teams. Or else we will still have teams accusing each other like now.
3. Currently CVC takes about 50 % of revenues. So its going out of the sport. Increase the teams share of the revenue. Atleast they invest most of it in the sport.
4. Scrap the 2014 regulations or postpone it for a later date. We have maybe 3 to 4 months before teams start slowly directing their resources for next year. Nobody know what will be the cost of the new engines. With millions invested towards R&D they maybe costlier than the existing ones. If they do cost more, unless the maufacturers can bear the loss for a few years then we may see a few teams still struggle or leave also.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:07 pm 
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I'd be in favour of a budget cap. Increasing the teams' share of the commercial revenue would be a positive step as I don't like the idea of so much of F1's revenue being spent outside the sport but if they're given this extra money they will simply increase their expenditure to match. The sport is so competitive that the teams will always be looking to stretch their budgets right to the very limit in pursuit of performance, whether that budget is $40 million or $140 million. It has been like this for years, and was only masked for a short period by the manufacturers coming in and being willing to piss large sums of money down the drain.

As for the pay driver issue, I see this as being more down to the sport being more car-dependent. If is more beneficial for the teams to hire slightly worse drivers so that they have more money to spend developing the car, then that to me is a sign that the driver doesn't have as much of an impact on the car's performance as the fans would like. And also that the quality of pay drivers has increased massively in recent years.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:05 pm 
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They should also allow customer cars, I know it's taboo because people like each team to be unique. But it would save the smaller teams money, the bigger teams like Mclaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes, Williams, would be able to provide chassis to teams like Toro Rosso, Caterham and Marussia. This would hugely help to make the field more competitive, which is a plus.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:27 pm 
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hd23 wrote:
They should also allow customer cars, I know it's taboo because people like each team to be unique. But it would save the smaller teams money, the bigger teams like Mclaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes, Williams, would be able to provide chassis to teams like Toro Rosso, Caterham and Marussia. This would hugely help to make the field more competitive, which is a plus.



Which is exactly why the top four will never agree to it.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:35 pm 
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I don't see an issue in policing a budget cap. It would just require an FIA accountant to check each teams finances on a quarterly or 6 month basis. Teams would need to have different companies/books for their f1 related spend and other income (such as production cars). Its not too unfair to give a maximum budget as suggested already but any WCC winnings and sponsorship could be added on top to reward teams who are more successful (extra winnings, more likely to attract sponsorship). There should be none of the talk like 'these funds were used for next years car' just simply 'you can spend x amount during the designated 12 month period'

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:45 pm 
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i think a budget cap is all good in theory but all the big teams would have to do is set up separate companies and pump them with cash then claim they outsource certain developments and buy designs/parts in at minimal cost. if the cap was able to actually stop that then all it would do is ruin the top flight engineering industry the uk is at the top of. we need massive budgets blasted on indulgent ideas and future fantasy innovation! look at what has filtered down to mainstream motors that otherwise would've been unthought of due to cost.

i agree with the driver situation although i think the pay driver tag can be quite blurred at times


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