Ferrari are wrong to oppose new teams

GP2 teams like Racing Engineering and iSport could enter F1 next year

GP2 teams like Racing Engineering and iSport could enter F1 next year

As has been widely reported, Ferrari have lost their case against the FIA in France but vowed to continue fighting their corner.

It remains to be seen whether the other F1 teams will continue to back Ferrari or take this as their cue to either make peace with Mosley or exit the sport.

Ferrari also issued a startling broadside against the new teams tipped to enter F1 in 2010. I?ve had some sympathy with their point of view now, but I don?t agree with their opposition to new teams joining Formula 1.

The 11 tipped for 2010

The 11 names linked with new F1 entries in 2010 so far are:

Lola – Have several past F1 projects to their name.
Racing Engineering ?ǣ Took Giorgio Pantano to the GP2 crown last year.
Epsilon Euskadi ?ǣ Active in World Series by Renault, conceived a striking sports coupe for last year?s Le Mans 24 Hours.
Team USF1American F1 project.
Prodrive ?ǣ David Richards’ team nearly entered F1 in 2008, considered buying Honda?s team for 2009, possibly branded as ??Aston Martin? in 2010.
iSport ?ǣ GP2 champions with Timo Glock in 2007.
Litespeed – F3 team planning a tie-up with MGI with assistance from ex-Jordan/Renault/Toyota/Force India F1 designer Mike Gascoyne.
Ray Mallock Limited – Over 70 years’ experience in a range of motor sports, currently run Chevrolet’s World Touring Car Championship cars.
Nick Wirth – Boss of former Grand Prix team Simtek.
Formtech – Automotive parts builder.
Campos Racing/Addax – Formed by ex-F1 driver Adrian Campos, compete in GP2 (where they were teams’ champions last year) and Spanish Formula Three. Have now said they’re not entering.

Ferrari has patronisingly denounced the prospect of F1 allowing teams like the above in the sport as ??Formula GP3?.

Inevitably some of these entries look more viable than others. But a common thread among many of them is their participation in junior or alternative racing categories. I think we need more teams like this in F1.

It would strengthen the link between F1 and other championships, which badly need greater public exposure. It would provide a ladder of progression for junior drivers and engineers.

And, most importantly, it would allow the F1 grid to expand to a decent number of cars. The FIA has been woefully tardy in addressing the problem of small grid sizes that has persisted since the mid-1990s (in fact, it has done much to exacerbate it).

The best solution isn?t to have Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes replaced by Racing Engineering and USF1. Nor would it be best for F1 for the same ten teams to remain and these potential new competitors get left behind.

F1 needs both ?ǣ the manufacturer teams with their history and popularity, and the independent outfits that could be the McLarens and Williamses of the future.

Two-tier on paper, one-tier on track?

Although I am unhappy with Ferrari taking a stand against the new teams, I am still not convinced the FIA has a viable solution in budget capping.

The only way the FIA can legally impose budget capping is by making it voluntary. If it is voluntary, they have to offer some form of advantage to the teams that take it up.

That leaves us with the deeply unsatisfactory ??two tier? system. It?s true that many other racing series offer different classes for their competitors ?ǣ but they also have different championships for each, like LMP1 and LMP2 at Le Mans.

Is F1 going to go down this route? It has done before, in 1987, when non-turbo-engined cars had their own championships.

But this will inevitably be seen as an acknowledgement that one set of teams are racing at a disadvantage. How many F1 history books even bother to record the winners of that year?s Jim Clark and Colin Chapman Cups, respectively for non-turbo drivers and teams?

The proposed 2010 technical rules are massively weighted in favour of the capped teams. It seems the FIA wants F1 to be a two-tier championship on paper only ?ǣ and operate as a de facto one-tier series, with every team running to the ??40m limit.

Is this the compromise the teams will agree to at Monaco this weekend? Or is there another solution to the impasse?

Image (C) Glenn Dunbar / GP2 Media Service

Read more: Stalemate: Ferrari taking FIA to court but who is in the right? (Poll)

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134 comments on Ferrari are wrong to oppose new teams

  1. Gman said on 21st May 2009, 0:43

    Two quick things for everyone on the new teams…

    First, for those of you so opposed to the new entries and who are so protective of the big teams, just remember that every new team had to start somewhere. I’m all for seeing the big names in the sport, but if a bunch of good drivers and engineers can show up and kick their tails, why be opposed to that? Everyone loves an underdog, so if you just want the big teams, why not propose an amendment to the sporting regulations that prohibits new teams from entering?

    Second, for any of you who think that USF1 should be left out in favor of the GP2 teams and others, I urge you to consider the following…..
    – The parties behind USF1 has been planning this for several years, and they have been onboard and intending to enter long before the floodgates opened and the F1 entry process became a free-for-all backyard party.
    – The team has a budget in place, with a factory established, and may be ahead of even some of the current teams in having their 2010 car in the design process as we speak. Their entry is as credible as anyone else’s, at least on paper.
    – With regards to the currently-established racing outfits, what’s to say that they will be better equipped to handle the rigors of F1 than a completely new entry? Indeed, some of those teams have been competing in spec series for years and may be even worse off when it comes time to design their car, for just one example.
    -As for the arguments against the team being based in North Carolina, or employing one or more American drivers, I won’t even waste my time addressing such petty sticking points.

    I’m not saying that USF1 or anyone else should get special treatment, but I am saying something along the lines of GP2 teams should not just be handed an F1 entry because they are a GP2 team.

    • persempre said on 21st May 2009, 9:10

      If I gave the impression that I`m against new teams then I`m sorry. I`m not at all. Of course F1 needs new blood.
      What it doesn`t need is Max` idea of what F1 should be & the threat of constantly changing rules combined with handcuffs on how much you may spend to keep up with those changes.
      I really can`t see how people can think this is a good idea. I`m guessing they haven`t actually read the proposed regulations but, maybe, I`m wrong.

    • Gman said on 21st May 2009, 20:42

      persempre- My post was no intended towards you or anyone else in specific, but was just a general bit of info. While I believe that costs do need to come way down in running an F1 team, I agree with you that Max could go about it in a far better fashion than his current crusade, in a manner that work for both the existing teams and the new entries.

  2. Heckie said on 21st May 2009, 1:00

    who won the Jim Clark and Colin Chapman Cups in 1987?

  3. CD said on 21st May 2009, 1:01

    If there will be 2 tier and these teams enter Formula 1, it will no longer be the most prestigious race and pinnacle of motorsport anymore. F1 will be exploited. I think it should be limited to the elite groups/teams to maintain its respect. at least this is only my opinion which in any case everybody is entitled to.

  4. Gman-look up “sarcasm.” I believe the system is a total curse, as in, Max decides to go “green” while trying to cut costs and hundreds of millions of dollars are flushed down the toilet, with absolutely no benefit to the world at large, unless Williams can sell the system they’ve never used.

    • Gman said on 21st May 2009, 1:09

      Now that you defined it as sarcasm, I get your point ;) I know some people aren’t always caught up on things like that, so I was just trying to lend a helping hand if you really did have it mistaken.

      While I supported the idea from the start, KERS really dose look more and more like a waste to me, especially with almost no one using it, and the teams that are using it aren’t doing quite so well.

  5. Win7Golf said on 21st May 2009, 1:05

    I don’t oppose new teams in Formula 1, I even encourage it. What I oppose (and I’m not even close a Ferrari fan) is news teams in Formula 1 that are NOT Formula 1 teams – they are GP2 teams, projects on the shelves, low budget ideas, GP2 teams that can now afford to put 2 cars on a F1 race grid… that only will have (I still hope not) this opportunity to even dream entering Formula 1, because of those ****** rules with a budget so low that EVEN these team will have the reduce their actual budget to enroll…

    Now imagine what happens to F1 teams – like for example Toyota, that, from the begging of all theses budget news, was said that they will have to cut 90% of their 2009 budget, to enroll on Mad Max Championship next year.

    And that’s right, stop calling it Formula One – 2009 will be Formula One last year. I’m already prepared to see the last Formula One Monaco Grand Prix ever…

    Can you imagine Monaco being shut down for some kind of a GP2 race ONLY? This weekend there are Formula One, GP2 and I’m sure other smaller competitions on the program, but the main show is no doubt Formula One. Now imagine it, without Formula 1 on the program, only with GP2 and other small events. They will NEVER close down and organize another Grand Prix du Monaco for that!

    So may friends, give thanks to Mad Max (I say this because what I want to say would be deleted) for destroying this sport we all love, better yet, used to love…

  6. Prisoner Monkeys said on 21st May 2009, 1:10

    Damn straight they’re wrong to be opposing the new teams. Methinks that most of it is because they’re sore over the fact that they lost their injunction, but also because they’re not doing so well this year. I’d be very interested to see what Ferrari would be thinking of it all if they and Brawn swapped places. Because if they show up next year, the’re likely to be racing the new teams, and Ferrari clearly think they’re above them.

    While I do hope they don’t go – while Formula One wouldn’t be the same without them, it would still survive – I wouldn’t be too broken up over it if they left tomorrow. This criticism of the other teams (for essentially not being Ferrari), combined with their injunction and their veto rights has been a display of arrogance that the sport has never seen before. And then people wonder why the FIA and FOTA don’t get along. Max Mosely might be an idiot on every day ending with the word “day”, but FOTA isn’t exclusively populated by saints.

    What happened to the Ferrari that had a soul and passion and why is there a team in their place with egos the size of their budget?

  7. Leaf said on 21st May 2009, 1:41

    Keith, Ferrari might have made a mistake in their comments about smaller new teams, but their argument regarding the rules of the sport and the recognized validity of FOTA is valid. At the time Simtek, Pacific and others were in F1 I believe Mosley and Ecclestone were the ones commenting that these teams did not belong in the sport because they did not add to the prestige and “cache” of the sport. That, of course, is BS. All teams that meet whatever the entry criteria is should be welcomed into the sport. One of the best loved teams in the history of the sport never made much of a dent as far as results. That team was Minardi. It acted, if nothing else, as a feeder team for the larger teams. Ferrari is a team whos management sees F1 going down a very bad road and is trying desperately to change that direction, along with the other manufacturers. Their reaction is nothing more than the emotion we have become used to seeing from a passionate Italian team.

    • Influenced said on 21st May 2009, 1:49

      I Totally Agree With Leaf.

      I Think We Are Also Forgetting That Ferrari Was The 3rd Biggest Spending Team Last Year According To An Article On This Site. With Renault Honda And BMW Not Far Behind.

      I Was Asking My Friends To Day Non Watchers To Full On Fanatics To Name 15 F1 Teams. Most Struggled To Get To Ten With… All Saying Ferrari, BMW, Mclaren, Renault, Honda, Brawn, and surprisingly Jaguar shows how much a name means

      How Many People Here Would Watch A New Championship With
      Toyata, Renault, Honda, BMW, Ferrari Mclaren And Even Possibly RedBull. Would It Be Fair To Say 90%

  8. Timmy D said on 21st May 2009, 1:42

    It’s fair enough to say that ‘Ferrari are wrong to oppose new teams’, but that’s not really what they are doing. They are opposing the replacement of the big manufacturers (who really make F1 what it is) with second-rate teams who aren’t going to be affected by the budget cap because they could never raise more than 40 million pounds anyway!

    F1 could survive (just!) without Ferrari, but it couldn’t prosper. The TV ratings wouldn’t be the same for 10 years, and the fan-base would scatter.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 21st May 2009, 1:53

      If this were a game of poker, Ferrari would be bluffing. Ecclestone has come out and announced that the two-tier system will be abandoned and that it was a stupid idea to begin with. Now that the major point of contention over the new regulations is no longer a problem, the manufacturers threatening to withdraw – like Red Bull, Toyota and Renault – could very well be more amenable to negotiations.

  9. De Nominator said on 21st May 2009, 2:21

    I don’t agree with Ferrari opposing new teams to enter F1. Ferrari seem like they want to enjoy the technical benefits they always had.

    Why wouldn’t F1 expand the team list to 20 teams and have a revert back to those days of qualification where cars couldn’t pre-qualify wouldn’t be able to participate in the race?

    13 teams with 26 cars on the grid for race will be fun to watch, so why would Ferrari want to destroy F1? The fans want the fun, excitement.

    I won’t mind about the two-tier. We had turbo-charged, we had V8, V10, V12s engines before. Isn’t that multi-tiers instead? F1 cannot turn into equalisation. It’s not IndyCar, A1GP, GP2, Formula BMW, Formula Palmer Audi or the newly returning Formula 2. F1 is pinnacle of motorsport, technical freedom category.

    Minus the horrendous year 2008’s expansions of winglets, horns, bridges, ears and stuff like that. I would like to see the return of 26 cars on grid with simple plain aerodynamics but multi-tier system of turbo engines, non-turbo but V8, V10 and V12s.

    • CD said on 21st May 2009, 3:18

      I you are talking about technological freedon on F1, the rules and regulations might as well be trashed.

      If there are no rules, team may run any type of car they want, even a car without wheels.

  10. sean said on 21st May 2009, 2:34

    If FERRARI do pull out it will not effect their car sales one jot.With there budget they could move easily into other open wheel series all over the world.Remember they supply engine’s and chassis for A1GP.Imagine if they entered the IRL and won the indie 500 with the technology they could bring the yank,s would fall over themselves.The loss to F1 is going to be greater than the loss to FERRARI. People seem to have a grudge against them because they are successful “tall poppy syndrome”.
    I see there being larger issue facing F1, with there departure revenue will be slashed so all the extra money that the team’s receive will be greatly deminishing over a short period of time.The new team’s are not going to be as financially stable as the current crop remember Force India is owned by a Billionaire so even at 40mill they may be stretched to compete over 3-4 seasons what’s max going to do then, pled with the manufacturers to come back.This could be the tragic end to F1 where do you think MAX will be.

  11. Phil c said on 21st May 2009, 2:35

    The arrogance of the FIA is alarming, hopefully it is just the reporting but I am astounded that they continue with this. People have different opinions on this however all I can see at the moment is everybody associated with F1 is going to lose. We have 10 teams on the grid, (the show), the people who spend $100million plus a year saying the new rules suck. 5 of those ten teams saying they wont sign up, and potentially 2 more that will leave. Why is it so hard for the FIA to understand what the teams are saying.
    If the teams carry on with there threat, next year championship will be Williams, brawn, force india, dodgy lola, usgp, and a bunch of other no names teams big deal, a worthless championship because they haven’t beaten the heart and the real f1 teams of Ferrari, Mclaren, Renault etc etc. What will f1 be without the manufactures, we will end up with potentially 8 no name teams, that have no manufacture support, will have no KERS, (apart from Williams, if they stay), and all running Cosworth engines. (this is not f1). F1 needs Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, etc etc.
    Some people think Ferrari are bluffing, but the reality is, Ferrari, who sell cars doesn’t need F1 to survive, People don’t decided to spend upward of $100,000 on a Ferrari by watching f1, Ferrari is established already, they can walk away and invest in another series, They choose to be there, they don’t need to be there. Them leaving the sport will only take viewers away from f1. They are the only car company making a profit to date.
    The only way this will work and costs decrease is standardisation in parts which is the best way forward, standard materials, wheels, brakes, electrics, control engines, etc etc. They can standardise front and rear wings to so cars can follow more closely, and teams can research areas of mechanical grip, efficiency only, etc etc.
    With the manufacture teams leaving so do the drivers, so we can safely assume half of the f1 viewing audience, the driving factor behind the money in F1 I might add, will leave. There goes Spain (Alonso), Italy (Ferrari), Germany (Merc, BMW and vetell) etc etc probably 50% maybe 60% of the viewing public will stop watching f1. Not only this, other manufactures will not be attracted to f1 as there is no direct competition. Why would Aston Martin join if there is no Ferrari, or Merc there direct competitors. I personally wont watch a glorified GP2 series, it will be a pathetic championship. Not only this, the viewing public will leave in droves so do the sponsors. Bernie and associated partners, go broke, the FIA will be the villain and the teams go to other series. The big winner out of this will be Lemans or potentially another championship. Has the FIA also considered the devaluation of f1. Sponsors attach themselves to a team because of their success and prestige. Williams has only survived because of its name, same goes with the other big names teams. Brawn has won 4 races this season and we only have Virgin on the car. Why is that, Vodafone attached themselves to Mclaren or Ferrari because people know the brand. Nobody knows the brawn brand. This will be the same for all the other small f1 teams, there names are known but not like Ferrari Mclaren. Sponsor wont attached themsevles to these teams if the manufactures leave, because the viewing public which sponsors require will be gone.
    F1 has become popular because of the manufactures and there promotion of the sport. I don’t see the FIA selling F1. For the fans sake, the people who watch f1, I hope the FIA listens to the teams.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 21st May 2009, 4:24

      You accuse the FIA of arrogance when Ferrari go ahead and file an injunction against them that serves their interests rather than the interests of all the teams. Ferrari are supposed to lead FOTA, yet they’re more concerned with protecting themselves than the interests of all the teams!

  12. CD said on 21st May 2009, 3:03

    yes F1 can accommodate as many team as they want, but i doesn’t mean that F1 will be as prestigious as before if the likes of Ferrari, Mclaren, BMW and other big name are not in the league. F1 isn’t for low end team racing. but if that will be the case, it wont be the pinnacle of motorsport anymore. (X-F1 — exploited F1)

  13. Phil c said on 21st May 2009, 4:38

    Prisoner Monkeys the FIA dont own f1, technically they are there to police rules not develop rules. Bernie has said this several time. Ferrari did not act without the consent of FOTA Ferrari acted on behalf of all the teams. All the teams actually supported Ferrari in this case. No body has spoken against them at all. Ferrari are protecting the interests of Ferrari, all the teams as well as f1, . This cap and FIA rules will only kill f1. As i explained, it will devalue the teams and sport so much. Frank Williams has even said this and he supports a cap. When you have 10 teams in agreement that this proposal is crap why cant the FIA listen. Instead they force the rules and inturn kill the sport. The commercial rights holder will step in soon. He relies on the income from f1 to pay debt. If all the teams pull out. Or the big ones that attract the big sponsers are the FIA going to pay the 2billion dollar loan. No they wont, they cant introduce rules that affect the commercial side of the sport. That is what this budget cap will do. And Bernie, and people who own f1 cant have some one outside the ownership of f1 affecting there revenue stream.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 21st May 2009, 7:09

      The teams need the FIA more than the FA needs the teams. If five teams withdraw, the FIA can find five replacements. Hell, the could replace the entire grid with that list above. I don’t think it devalues the sport at all: expanding the grid can only be a good thing.

      Formula One shouldn’t be about whoever can spend the most; that will kill the sport faster than anything. Rather, it should be about whoever is the fastest an all the teams should have an equal oportunity to do that. Forty million pounds is still a hell of a lot of money, and it doesn’t apply to absolutely everything.

      For all we know, this is a part of a masterplan that spans years: the diea being to introduce a budget cap for 2010 and get new teams into the game. Once the grid is full and the economic situation stablisies, the budget cap can be removed and teams can go back to spending the way they once did. But the new teams will have an equal chance there, because they’ve been able to prove themselves.

      If Formula One were to keep going the way it had been until this year, eventually there would be about two teams left over because no-one could keep up with the spending.

    • Phil c said on 22nd May 2009, 3:53

      Prisoner Monkeys you need to look at the big picture. F1 was not always the pinnacle of motorsport. , the reason Bernie made his money was because the big teams, have promoted the sport, and got a worldwide audience to watch f1. Before the big manufactures f1 was famous but only attracted a 1/3 of the viewers it attracts today. That is because of the big teams and big names. Yes I agree more people on the grid is good, but i bet of all the teams proposed only 1 maybe 2 will last 2 years in f1. If there is no money for the existing teams who the hell is going to waste there money on these no name teams.
      If the manufactures leave, so will all the big sponsors. Nobody knows who these no names teams are, everybody knows who Ferrari, mclaren etc etc are. If they leave F1, F1 is dead. Do you think Vodafone will go from Mclaren to Lola, no chance as the viewing public will disappear. It will no longer be worth for Vodafone to sponsor a team and spend 25million a year, when the viewing public is less then other sporting events, and the teams are only allowed to spend 40mil.

  14. Pierre said on 21st May 2009, 6:30

    Keith I fully agree that we need to increase the number of entrants into F1 and yes that F1 need to curb spending. The teams are well aware of this and have already agreed to a structured reducting which they hope will be fully introduced by 2012.

    I believe the proposed budget cap by Mad Max is exactly that mad and will devaluate F1. You just simply cannot run a F1 team on the proposed cap. I think a reasonable and realistic cap should be around $120 – 140 million which if I remember correctly is the proposed target set by the teams for 2012 anyway.

    Very few if any of the proposed teams set to join F1 would make an significant contribution to F1 and one has to question whether they will be their for the long haul or whether we will have a repeat scenario of the 1980,s where a team is there one weekend and gone the next. F1 is a completely different and complex technology driven animal today and teams with no existing developed F1 platform will find it extremely difficult if not impossible to develop a car which is able to compete against the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, BMW etc. – Especialy with the proposed butget cap.

    Lets introduce more teams yes, but with a realistic budget cap, lets ensure that their F1 participation is sustainable and most importantly DONT DEVALUATE F1.

  15. Arun...india said on 21st May 2009, 6:51

    Like i have said before even if u hate ferrari ,if ferrari is not there then who would these people hate.Ferrari is required by ferrari fans as well as people who hate them.And ferrari are not against budget cap they are only against 2 tire series.I guess a little rise in the budget cap may be to 70 million could very well attract all the teams to participate under budget cap.

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