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StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

Formula One teams going bankrupt (again)

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StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

I know Neoware posted that Formula 1 topic earlier in the year and the topic died about 7 months ago, so I suppose I needed to start a new topic on a serious issue.

 

As of last week Marussia Racing has been dropped out from the Formula 1 Championship for the foreseeable future. This comes only one week after Caterham owners said they could not field a team for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Since then, both teams have not been heard from as owners are looking for anything, sponsors, investors, and if it gets bad enough, potential new owners.

 

Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi has gone on the record now saying that he has no problem becoming a back up (number 3) driver or even a test driver for a team in the future, should he not receive any contract offers. Personally I feel that he will get at least one contract offer because of how badly these teams were dominated by Mercedes this season.

 

Marussia's "exit" marks the last of the three teams which were "bought out" and "revived" back in 2010. (At that time the teams were Hispania Racing Team [hrT], Virgin Racing [which became Marussia F1], and One Malaysia Racing [initially driving under the Lotus racing name, but then soon turning into Caterham] ) Each of these teams were never going to be competitive with the top teams for a few years because they didnt have the funding they needed, and everyone knew that. But this attempt to allow teams with less money to compete with the bigger teams by promises of "budget caps" (which if I may ask, did they ever get implemented?) has failed dramatically. Seriously, FOUR YEARS? Actually wait no, less than 4 because this season hasn't even ended yet.

 

F1 officials are already considering the possibility of expanding racing teams to three drivers per team in order to fill the races with more drivers if new teams do not come into existence soon. This is a very bad sign for the future of Formula 1. Even though the success of Force India this season should theoretically get new potential teams interested in joining, these recent stories of teams having financial issues is something to be very concerned about. If the teams at the bottom of the standings continue to struggle so greatly, I would imagine that the next two teams to go would be Sauber and Lotus. As most fans are aware of, the Lotus lead engineer from 2013 was offered a contract he could not refuse from Mercedes. As such, the brains behind the team had been "stolen" so to speak, and their performance on the track has shown this season.

 

What do you think needs to happen if Formula 1 wants to attract new teams into the sport? I don't agree with the idea of having three drivers per team. If Marussia and Caterham fail to exist next season, that means there would be 10 teams of three drivers. 30 drivers in Formula 1.....I would imagine that they would need to re-implement two pit crews for teams, which would only create HUGE financial strain on all the teams involved. That would surely lead to the demise of Lotus and Sauber, possibly even STR.

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Clearwater

Yeah, I'm against three cars per team for next year. I mean, if the grid gets cramped, then there'll potentially

be no room for overtaking on any of the circuits. Plus, they'd have to do pit garage extensions, which might not

even be done in time for the new season if they do go ahead.

Also, from what I read on BBC Sport news, Lotus and a few other teams are 'angry' about the fact that Marussia had

to bail from the rest of the 2014 season, saying that they're not getting a fair share of the sport's profit, and

lay also consider boycotting ther last 2 races (Source: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/29888406 )

On another F1-related story, I would like to wish for the speedy recovery of French driver Jules Bianchi. In

case you don't know what happened, he had a very bad crash during very wet conditions at the Japanese Grand Prix,

crashing into a JCB or something. If I remember correctly, he was unconcious when the medical crew got him out of

his car. He remains in a 'critical but stable' form, according to his family (Source: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/29838365 )

Jules, I wish you well. Please get well soon.

 

 

EDIT: For some reason, it's saying that the links are invalid. If you want to have a look at the sources I posted,

the you'll need to Google 'BBC Sport News Formula 1', and look for the 'Bianchi remains critical but stable' headline.

Also, I called the boycott on those three teams a little too soon. Someone managed to talk them out of it.

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DZComposer

It's the ")." IPB is parsing it as part of the URL. I fixed it.

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StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

Yeah that crash was insane with Jules. If I remember correctly, there was a mistake on the part of the F1 officials who were giving signals and someone waved a green flag I think, which Jules interpreted as a signal to undergo normal racing conditions again. At least that was my understanding of the story, since I was unable to watch the Japanese Grand Prix live. Thank goodness Jules is slowly recovering. If that article is correct, things were looking worse two weeks ago.

 

As for the situation with Caterham, Marussia, and potentially Lotus, I was under the impression that Caterham is for sure not competing the rest of the season. Why is Marussia getting more flack for the same thing? Personally I think Lotus is in the wrong to point fingers at the other teams. Last season, they had an incredible run because of the efforts of their entire engineering and manufacturing team. Remember how nearly everyone who made up their mechanical team behind the scenes left for other teams during the offseason. Lotus should have complained then and there how all the teams with greater budgets were "buying out" each of their engineers. Besides, unlike Caterham, and even Sauber (who everyone has forgotten about), Lotus at least has gained constructors points this season. In fact for such a weaker team compared to last season, being able to set up 8th place so far is a huge success for what they had to work with.

 

I think if it really is that big of an issue, Lotus should pull out for the rest of the season. There is no use racing if you will lose even more money than if you were to sit out. Unbelievable to me how Lotus could be in this situation really. Same goes for Marussia and Caterham. Both of them should stay out for the rest of the season as well. Who is to say that their drivers will even show up for the races at this point? Well I suppose Kobayashi will in the case of Caterham but still... Surely someone can see the potential those two teams have and would like to purchase them. What concerns me most is when I hear reports that Force India is complaining about not having the budget to run with the stronger teams. When an 80 million dollar budget is considered too small to run a successful F1 team, you know they need to implement a budget cap soon or things will fall apart.

 

To end this rant of mine, I want to go over the potential 30 man field. I went onto the F1 website, and found that the last time there was a field of at least 30 drivers was back in 1992. To be exact, there were 16 teams of 2 drivers for 32 drivers. The tracks themselves could not support a race for that many drivers, so the qualifying sessions were even more important since some drivers would not even be able to qualify for a race. Referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Formula_One_season  you will see how 6 drivers would be unable to qualify for a race out of the field, meaning only 26 out of 32 drivers could start a race. My theory is that if this three drivers per team thing happens, eventually you will have teams like Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, McLaren will be able to qualify all three of their drivers into the race. That's 15 spots taken with only nine available for the remaining teams to fight over (Assuming they stick to 24 drivers and not 26). Imagine an F1 race where one team has more drivers than another at the start of the race. Teamwork would compound the issue of over-dominance as richer teams would simply outman the smaller teams on track, as well as having a huge advantage in the vehicles at their disposal being better overall. As soon as there is an issue with the one vehicle on the track (if its the only one for the smaller team) they now have nobody else to fall back on, race day over.

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InfinitySquared

I dunno why, but despite coming from a family of car people, I've never really payed much attention to auto races. Hell, I don't keep up with most sports period (although I have been to plenty of baseball/football/hockey games, plus I live in the town where the Redskins players live and train, and our family does see a couple of horse races up at Saratoga and air races at Reno every year). That being said, the only sport I really hate is golf. All the snooty rich people of horse racing and none of the fun of giving double entendre names to horses (Hoof Hearted, Hun Glika Horse, anyone?). But I digress... :P

 

 

 What concerns me most is when I hear reports that Force India is complaining about not having the budget to run with the stronger teams. When an 80 million dollar budget is considered too small to run a successful F1 team, you know they need to implement a budget cap soon or things will fall apart.

 

As I said before, I'm not too familiar with F1 racing, but if it's anything like the mainstream sports (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc.), some players are payed roughly the GDP of Zimbabwe while others get diddly. They both wind up broke at retirement, though.  I think that players should be getting a flat salary, no matter who they are or how good they are or how many people know who they are. But, I guess there's also maintenance issues to deal with as well. If my mom's Mercedes convertible costs a small fortune just to get the dealer to take a look at a check-engine light, I can only imagine how horribly expensive it would be to keep a fleet of Mercedes F1 cars going :

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StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

I dunno why, but despite coming from a family of car people, I've never really payed much attention to auto races. Hell, I don't keep up with most sports period (although I have been to plenty of baseball/football/hockey games, plus I live in the town where the Redskins players live and train, and our family does see a couple of horse races up at Saratoga and air races at Reno every year). That being said, the only sport I really hate is golf. All the snooty rich people of horse racing and none of the fun of giving double entendre names to horses (Hoof Hearted, Hun Glika Horse, anyone?). But I digress... :-P

 

You sure it's not just the pros who act snotty? "Look at how great I am at golf, I got a score of 89" - Random rich person who thinks they are better at golf than they really are, but only because the people they associate with are even less skilled at it. (I might need to work on that description to make it shorter...)

 

As I said before, I'm not too familiar with F1 racing, but if it's anything like the mainstream sports (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc.), some players are payed roughly the GDP of Zimbabwe while others get diddly. They both wind up broke at retirement, though.  I think that players should be getting a flat salary, no matter who they are or how good they are or how many people know who they are. But, I guess there's also maintenance issues to deal with as well. If my mom's Mercedes convertible costs a small fortune just to get the dealer to take a look at a check-engine light, I can only imagine how horribly expensive it would be to keep a fleet of Mercedes F1 cars going :

 

Well, your assumption is technically correct about the differences in how well the drivers get paid in Formula 1. If you check http://www.crash.net/f1/news/207581/1/f1-2014-driver-salaries-published-but-who-earns-most.html you will be shocked by the disparity....But to save you some time, the highest paid drivers this season are being paid 22 million euros, while the lowest paid drivers were offered 150 thousand euros. Understandably however, it just so happens we are comparing the amount of money Ferrari spent on its drivers (Do I even need to describe Ferrari to anyone?), to Caterham (as I mentioned before, Caterham is bankrupt right now due to sponsor support dwindling)

 

Now as for your joke for how expensive it can be to maintain a fleet of F1 vehicles.....sorry to say its pretty bad too. This source http://www.tsmplug.com/f1/average-cost-of-formula-1-car/ claims that the average cost for the vehicle parts alone come out to 9.4 million US dollars...

 

Meanwhile http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/22/whats-it-cost-to-compete-in-formula-one-an-indycar-comparison/ claims that the cost of the car for the " top team" in terms of manufacturing as 15 million US dollars....and then on top of that over 100 million US dollars on research and development. I don't know what to make of that comparison....especially when it is known that the poorest teams have a 60 million dollar budget for everything.

 

However all of this said, that last line where you said an F1 team would take a lot of money to keep running. Here's the thing, let's say there are no buyers for the teams that look like they will be pulling out at the end of this season, and every team now has to sign three drivers, provide cars for all three drivers, and potentially hire an extra pit crew in case all three drivers can enter a single race. By making this rule of 3 drivers per team, the F1 governing body would drastically increase the minimum costs of running an F1 team, thereby giving potential new owners and potential new teams even less incentive to join F1. 

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InfinitySquared

You sure it's not just the pros who act snotty? "Look at how great I am at golf, I got a score of 89" - Random rich person who thinks they are better at golf than they really are, but only because the people they associate with are even less skilled at it. (I might need to work on that description to make it shorter...)

Having been dragged to a tournament or two by my dad (some business crap), I can say it's nothing but people who think they're more important than they are (as opposed to Saratoga where it's just old money types whose only crime is not being able to pronounce the letter 'r'). It's actually kinda fun to play, in the same way that opera is entertaining or Adam Sandler movies are ironically funny. That is to say meh. I haven't been in a while since God only knows where my club's have gone (I know my putter was lost to extracting a US flag with a hornet's nest from the garage a few years ago, but the rest idk).

 

As for the money thing, I think you could cut off about 20 million euros just by paying them all between 150 and 250 euros a year (~$200k-$300k USD). That's certainly not peanuts, so it should sustain one F1 driver and any other hobbies/interests/coke habits he or she may have. In addition, you could have several drivers and their combined salaries would be only 1 million euros instead of several. Yeah, that's not millions a year for skilled driving, but you know who gets paid jack shit for skilled driving? Truckers :-P Any of the promotional bonuses should be split between the company and the driver. Money could also be saved by perhaps having more R&D focused on reliability and cheaper parts, since fewer breakdowns could make up for less speed. It should be ideally McLaren fast and Miata reliable. I guess spending a bit more on advertising might also help, since I don't even know what channel F1 racing is on. It's probably buried deep within the TV guide between the televangelicals and the porno and the fishing channels. Also, perhaps getting more big names in the F1 circuit. I mean, I know who Michael Schumacher and Danica Patrick are, but the others...not so much. Push it as a high-brow NASCAR, perhaps? You gotta spend money to make money.

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StarFoxfan-FUR_ever

Danica Patrick is a NASCAR driver XD. Anyways, I like your idea for the 200k - 300k, except you know that none of the drivers would agree to that except the ones who are being paid less.

 

As for your idea about McLaren parts, as it stands right now, it would appear that the most team support comes from Renault, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Look at the following list of teams who competed in this season http://www.formula1.com/results/team/ Now let me explain what the team names mean. Mercedes by itself is the main Mercedes team. When you see "Williams-Mercedes", what this means is Williams is the team that is competing, but they are using Mercedes engines in their vehicles. Likewise, "Red Bull Racing-Renault" means Red Bull is using Renault engines. Sauber-Ferrari means Sauber is using Ferrari engines.

 

The same naming convention is used for each team with a hyphen in their name. And no, your eyes do not deceive you, McLaren is using Mercedes engines....I don't know why that would be the case either to be honest.

 

EDIT: It turns out that McLaren is so upset with the performance of the Mercedes engines, they will be switching to Honda engines next season. Now this sounds ridiculous at first, but the Group CEO of McLaren, Rob Dennis, has gone on record saying he wants to be able to compete with Mercedes in the future on the race track, and using engines created by Mercedes for their specific F1 car designs makes it impossible for McLaren to compete with them.

 

As for the biggest issue for Formula 1, ratings...Formula 1 is televised all over the world, meaning you could watch a live race going on in Japan, while living in the US on cable TV. The problem of course being that most likely, no matter where you are in the world, you will miss some races during the season due to time zones. In the US, you can watch the remaining F1 races on the following stations:

 

Brazilian Grand Prix

Friday, November 7 - 11:00 a.m. -- Brazilian Grand Prix - Practice #2 (NBCSN)
Saturday, November 8 - 11:00 a.m. -- Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying (CNBC)
Sunday, November 9 - 1:00 p.m. -- Brazilian Grand Prix - Race (NBC)

 

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Friday, November 21 - 8:00 a.m. -- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Practice #2 (NBCSN)
Saturday, November 22 - 8:00 a.m. -- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying (CNBC)
Sunday, November 23 - 7:30 a.m. -- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Race (NBCSN)

 

Yes, its rather weird. But you are correct in saying that advertisements are not as plentiful as they should be.

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