Ferrari are wrong to oppose new teams

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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)

134 comments on “Ferrari are wrong to oppose new teams”

  1. 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.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      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!

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      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.

    2. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Arun...india
    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.

  6. Having had a long think about this, I have realised that it might be good for F1 if the big budget teams like Ferrari, Toyota and McLaren left the sport. Since they apparently aren’t able to live with any discussion of a reduced budget, let alone actually do the reducing.
    Thanks Ferrari for telling us all those teams who are interested in joining. Has anybody noticed that even with Max’s ‘transparency’ he hasn’t mentioned any names so far? Thats one good thing to come out of it, at least.
    So, bye bye big spenders, hello smaller teams, newer teams and a new set of rules. And congratulations to Max for getting Ferrari to put its corporate foot in its mouth!
    However, I still think that as engine manufacturers the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Toyota and BMW can still have a place in the sport. All they have to do is start negotiating with these new teams…….

    1. On the contrary. ALL teams have said they agree with reducing costs.
      As I heard someone recently say “There`s a big difference between a doctor telling an overweight man to lose weight gradually & chopping his hands & feet off to do it overnight”.
      First method is Ferrari`s preference. 2nd way is the FIA`s.

    2. Yes, ALL teams have said they would like to reduce costs, but so far NO team has suggested any other way of doing it. So they have to go with Max or go away.
      And why are they having such difficulty either telling Max to shut up or that they will find a way of handling the situation? Unless they speak as one voice and say something constructive in the next 6 days, why should they deserve to stay in the sport?
      Mind you, I think this is Max showing his claws and why he is head of the FIA. He has not given them any options and the onus is on the teams to either agree or disagree with him, and face the consequences.

    3. @ DGR-F1.
      In fact FOTA did come up with a whole raft of suggestions to cut costs (see their Press Release of 5 March here)
      It is just that the Max doesn`t want the teams to have power so is trying to force the issue.
      It`s like the KERS debate – one of the most expensive & hotly debated items of this year.
      The teams would be willing to have a spec KERS but Max wants a KERS-war because he thinks it will bring innovation.
      So, yes, Max wants savings but only where he thinks they should be!
      It`s about the power not the money.

  7. I think Ferrari have a point. Next year is shaping up to be quantity over quality. Do we really need a few new teams at the cost of the most established team with the biggest worldwide fanbase? As well as that, if none of the manufacturers enter for next year, as is their current position, then we’ll almost be starting again with a new series using the same name, same tracks, but no history.

    The teams can work together, get Bernie on board and launch GP1 for next year, and then we’re in the realm of IRL vs CART…

    The FIA have really dropped the ball so to speak, and I think at the end of this, Max will be the one we’re all blaming for it’s his intransigence. £40M was always too low, and to not work with the teams is typical of the way Max expects to get his way every time. It’s a shame Ferrari didn’t win yesterday.

    1. Yes, but racing series, and especially F1, change all the time as technology improves and teams come and go. This has been pointed out elsewhere.
      How do we know that these new teams won’t provide us with better racing and less politics in the years to come? I am assuming that most of the drivers will try to stay in the sport, and find new homes (and for once they will all have important experience to share with the teams), though we may get a few ‘rookies’ as well.
      We all seem to agree that SOMETHING needs to be done to improve the sport, and although Max had gone about it with the subtlety of an elephant, he has finally got the message through to the teams at last.
      Now lets wait for the 2009 compromise, and maybe see a much more diverse group of teams in 2010….

  8. HounslowBusGarage
    21st May 2009, 8:32

    Prediction time.
    Max will stay powerfully silent for a while if he’s got any sense.
    Next their will be some fairly feverish diplomatic negotiations behind the scenes, and a comproimise wil be reached on the 28th. The FIA will defer the budget cap (which will be raised to £100 million in the first year) until 2011 in order to allow the larger teams to downsize their operations with less dramatic impact on team personnel.
    Ferrari will sign up for next year and pretend that nothing else has changed. But I bet that Max will demand an end to their veto and special payments as his price for deferring for another year.
    And no new teams will enter for 2010.
    Ferrari will be happy, but FIAT will be secretly unhappy, so will the main boards of Toyota and Renault.
    If I’m wrong, we are in for exciting times.

  9. A budget cap puts F1 one step closer to a spec series. It takes money to be successful in F1, R&D for new technology doesn’t come cheap. I’d love to see some new blood in the series, but what does the series have to offer them? Perhaps if the payout percentage was higher, it might be a more sound investment for smaller teams to try and compete. I think that should be a much larger issue than a budget cap, but those in favor of the cap are making a ton of money the way it is now.

    Think about it, we’ve lost all racing in North America, the largest market for most of the manufacurers, so we can have more races in Asia where their share of the market is nearly nonexistant. The teams are getting the same share, regardless of where they race, but how much does a team lose out on by not racing in their profitable markets?

    I’m ready for the teams to leave and start a new series, going back to racing on race tracks, not theme parks in postcard settings.

  10. Siding with Ferrari could give some of the other wavering manufacturer teams a graceful way to bow out of F1. I would hate to see it happen, but taking a ‘principled stand’ alongside Ferrari would give Renault & Toyota an graceful and more ‘honourable’ exit, compared to the embarassment shown by Honda at the end of 2008 when they pulled out.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      21st May 2009, 11:48

      I think that’s about right, MW.
      Incidentally, a worthy viewpoint here from Ed Gorman

  11. Ideally we would have the ten current teams and three new ones. I agree with Ferrari’s statement to a point, the new teams should be in addition to the current ones not replacements, and also that some of the teams who have announced their intention to join F1 don’t seem to be of that high a quality.

    When Mosley came out with the two-tier budget cap earlier this year he said that a team would virtually be able to be run on the money it receives from FOM, so I think this has attracted a lot of teams who never seriously considered F1 before and next season would probably be too soon for some of them.

    I like the idea of a racing team rising up through the lower formula like a driver does, but because of the money involved in F1 the gap has become too big in recent years, the last to do this was Stewart wasn’t it?

    Does anyone have any figures for how much it costs to go racing in other motorsport series?

    I would put USF1 ahead of most of the other potential new teams because they announced their intentions a while ago so seem more serious about it.

    1. PJM
      “When Mosley came out with the two-tier budget cap earlier this year he said that a team would virtually be able to be run on the money it receives from FOM”
      But did he mean it? Bernie is now offering £10m towards Max’ £40m without a word from Max about FOG’s charges.

    2. Not that it’s apples to apples, but I tried to find the average budget of a NASCAR team before making an earlier post, but the number was 120m USD for the average NASCAR team to run a full season.

    3. PJA- I agree 100% with what you have said about USF1, they have been serious about this for some time and look like they are going to do business in an efficient and cost-effective fashion, regardless of the budget cap.

      Rikadyn- Thanks for the info, but keep in mind that NASCAR budgets work a bit differently. For example, some teams run 3 or 4 cars, while others run just 2. Also, there are many more races per season in NASCAR, so you’ve got all the expenses for a race many more times over. Still, there are some useful applications from how NASCAR dose things to F1- hopefully the sport can pick some of those up in the future.

  12. Heckie

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

    Jim Clark Cup – Jonathan Palmer
    Colin Chapman Trophy – Tyrrell Ford

  13. New teams should definitely enter formula one. But Mosely, being the misguided idiot he is, thinks that he can do away with Ferrari and Renault in favour of teams with no credibility to them like iSport and Lola. ***?

  14. Ferrari go to court to stand up for their and some other teams rights and low and behold Keith and his cronies are slandering away! I’m sorry mate but F1 would be nowhere in terms of it being the pinnicale of motorsport, from technology in the cars to the drivers that drive them without Ferrari in the modern era of F1 anyways. The driving force behind this has been the amount of money they have been able to spend on setting the standard, so to speak. If all the teams were forced to spend 80-90% less during these last few decades it F1 would be fighting it out with GP3 in terms of being the more technologically advanced and ultimately the pinnicale of motorsport. Last season you slandered Ferrari because they were seen to be getting favours from the FIA, everything that was said by you and anyone else of like mind has been proven wrong by the latest series of events yet you still have this desire to slander Ferrari. Furthermore, Mark Webber was asked, shortly after the latest appeal denial, what he thought of the possibilty of Ferrari leaving F1, his response:

    “I can’t think about it,” he said.

    “They are F1. For me, the red car has to be on the Formula One grid. It just would not be the same without them.”

    Oh and as was stated by MajorMilou:

    “Also, nowhere do they “oppose” the new teams in their comment, they ridicule the idea of a F1 championship with those teams only.”

    Of course you didn’t or rather couldn’t form a rebuttle because it calls you and this whole article out as just being part of a an anti-Ferrari blog, more than a F1 fan blog. Not once have I read a positive article on this blog about Ferrari.

  15. In a nutshell – Alonso is right. If Ferrari et al leave F1 to be replaced by the likes of the above, this will no longer be F1. I would be quite happy to see a breakaway series now.


  16. I think it would be easier to rename GP2 to F1…

    1. or maybe F1 to GP2..

  17. I have a question…I haven’t read a word from any of the heavyweight drivers… Mansel, Prost, Shumacher, Piquet…etc. Anyone read or heard any opinions from them regarding a breakaway series?

    1. Not on a breakaway series, as far as I knw, Alex.
      Prost is pretty tied up trying to sort out a new French GP circuit & Piquet with questions on his son`s career. Schumacher has backed Ferrari`s stance. Mansell has either not commented or I`ve missed it if he has. My guess is he`d be moaning ;)

  18. Maybe mf…I might be screwing up the math with my suggestion.

  19. It’s time for the FOTA to start a real F1 series without the corrupt FIA.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd May 2009, 6:09

      Do you want to justify how you can call the FIA corrupt? That’s a very serious allegation to level at someone, especially when it’s untrue. Right now, all I think the FIA could reasonably beaccused of is trying to diminish Ferrari’s power, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing: in the past, Ferrari have been paid to remain within the sport, many stewarding decisions have gone their way and they have had a technical veto for years. No other team has that; it’s ironic given that Ferrari don’t want different teams playing by different rules on the track, but they’re more than happy do so when the racing stops.

      The FIA and FOTA need one another as they’re a check against the other. If FOTA created a rival series, it would fall apart simply because you can’t have the people playing the game being the ones to referee it. Most of the criticism levelled at theFIA has an historical context, with most people assuming they’re in the wrong simply because they don’t like them. That kind of thinking will kill Formula One faster tha anyting else I could care to think of.

    2. Nicely said especially in your first paragraph @ Prisoner Monkeys

  20. one good thing about this site is that opinions aren’t wasted as report.

    good for keith to express his mind. that’s what makes a readable text.

    i remember combac texts from french sportAuto and they were just great. and thing is that he did never hide his own feeling. a must for success in good writing.

    for me it’s a bit of a addition throw away. hope that f1 implodes: i’m really tired of this auto racing.

    the thing that keeps me following this is old fashion nostalgia. and that begins with ferrari and ends with williams.

    besides that cars are ugly.

    1. Do you want to justify how you can call the FIA corrupt? That’s a very serious allegation to level at someone, especially when it’s untrue. Right now, all I think the FIA could reasonably beaccused of is trying to diminish Ferrari’s power, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing: in the past, Ferrari have been paid to remain within the sport, many stewarding decisions have gone their way and they have had a technical veto for years. No other team has that; it’s ironic given that Ferrari don’t want different teams playing by different rules on the track, but they’re more than happy do so when the racing stops.

      If true it could be said that only a corrupt regulatory body would do what you are saying the FIA has done.

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      22nd May 2009, 13:57

      If true it could be said that only a corrupt regulatory body would do what you are saying the FIA has done.

      Well, you’re wrong. Firstly, the FIA did not pay Ferrari to continue in the sport. FOM did, and they are not a regulatory body. They manage the commercial aspects of Formula One; while they have influence, they are not policy-makers the way the FIA are.

      Secondly, the technical veto existed before the formation of FOTA and was evidently created as a means to give at least one team a say in the creation of policy; now that FOTA exists, the technical veto afforded to Ferrari is an imbalance of power that should be rectified.

      Thirdly, whilst the conspiracy theorists might lap this stuff up, there is abslutely no evidence that the FIA has been favouring Ferrari in its decisions either on or of the track. The decision in favour of the Brawns, Williams-es and Toyotas is evidence enough of this off the track, whilst decisions like the ones against Hamilton at both Spa and Fuji are hardly proof of anything because there is simply no way a Ferrari-backed conspiracy could involve so many people and yet remain secret for so long. The broader a conspiracy, the more people that need to be invovled and the more money that needs to be paid to keep people quiet, and money trails lead everywhere. The notion that it would have gone un-noticed for so long instantly disproves it because it’s an impossblity in and of itself.

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