Tuesday, May 12, 2009

F1 without Ferrari?

I wish these boys would find a better way of solving their problems than the entirely predictable series of threats to quit Formula 1 by 40% of the current competing teams in the face of the imposition of a budget cap of £40 million which, as Edis has pointed out below, would give those who comply with it a more liberal technical regime and more testing.

I guess it's like being asked to fight an election on tuppence ha'penny, but, hey, we Lib Dems have been doing that forever. I think a cap on the amount of money national parties can spend during campaigns would be a good idea, to level the playing field a bit, so why not make Formula One more accessible? Accessible is, of course, a word you use advisedly in this context - anyone seeking to enter a team would have to be very, very rich.

To most of us, that sort of sum would seem more than enough for each team to keep a couple of cars on the road for a few thousand miles and to develop another one for next year, but apparently not, according to Toyota, Red Bull (and consequently Torro Rosso) and, now, the big boys, Ferrari. I'm sure I heard Eddie Jordan, former team owner, say that his team spent £100 million per year, and it's 8 years since he owned it. The new rules seem to offer a choice between spend and test which sounds quite difficult to interpret and implement.

Today, the iconic team, who have been around since Formula 1's inception, said they would not participate in next year's season if this new regime is implemented.

The sport would not be the same without them, no doubt, but it's way too early to contemplate that. I suspect more of the big boys will threaten to leave and then at some point, probably the eleventh hour, a solution will be found.

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Edis said...

I havent followed the F1 cap business very closely but the inpression I get is that the Cap would not apply to teams like Ferrari, who could spend what they liked. Other teams, fresh to F1, would be allowed to enter F1 operating under less strict technical constraints but not allowed to spend to the skies in developing their variations. Ferari says this would mean a two-tier F1.

Am I wrong in this interpretation?


Unknown said...

You're right, of course. And there's no doubt that it would create a two tier F1. Whether that's a good idea or not is open to debate - if people are not operating under the same rules, how can the system be fair if they are competing in the same races?

It seems to me that if you are going to have a competition, the same rules should apply to everybody.

It would of course be open to Ferrari under these new rules to adhere to the £40 million cap, but I can kind of see their point.

My main point is that it's all a big stand off, being fought in public in the way that these things often are in F1, but I'm not going to wave goodbye to Ferrari just yet - there's a long way to go, and more headlines to be had on this one.

Jock Coats said...

Maybe we could also go back to the days of parking the cars on the other side of the track from the pits and the drivers having to run out, start the cars, jump in and get going instead of all this grid nonsense!

By the way, re Sunday's race, do you thionk it's a bit daft to allow KERS to be fully charged on the grid. If it's supposed to recoup kinetic energy from the previous lap, why should they have anything in there at the very start of the first lap?

It's kind of like letting everyone pit on the formation lap and fill their boots with fuel and new tyres!

On the upside - who cares if the petulant Italians leave, if we get Lola and Aston Martin back...:)


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