F1 heads meet again as deadline looms

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Toyota's change of management could be the death knell for its F1 team
Toyota's change of management could be the death knell for its F1 team

Today sees yet another meeting on the future of F1 as the teams and the FIA scramble to reach an accord before the FIA’s Friday deadline.

Williams’ decision to submit an entry for next year’s championship appears to signal a split in the F1 teams’ association. But are some teams preparing to take the opposite route and quit the sport entirely?

As the deadline draws closer there have been suggestions that some teams may choose to quit the sport entirely if they don’t get their way. Which ones are most likely to?

BMW

BMW’s dissatisfaction with another FIA-run series, the World Touring Car Championship, has driven them to breaking point. BMW had won four consecutive titles in the series with Andy Priaulx, but believe FIA rules changes have left them unable to compete.

Mario Theissen said:

The decisions taken were not communicated cleanly – that means competitors did not know what the situation was, and under which circumstances and conditions the other competitors were racing. This only became clear when there was a protest.

This was in reference to BMW being unaware what boost pressure rivals Seat were allowed to use. But it’s not difficult to see BMW’s grievances about differing technical regulations mirrored in the FIA’s controversial proposed two-tier system.

Simply put, BMW’s exasperation with the FIA’s governance may not be confined to the WTCC. Having compromised their 2008 F1 programme to develop their 2009 machine, but finding it uncompetitive partly thanks to the FIA’s handling of the diffuser rules, it’s not hard to imagine how they might be frustrated by the FIA.

It has spoken of competing in another touring car championship. Defecting to the DTM would put it up against its two major domestic rivals, Audi and Mercedes, which could serve as an alternative not just to the WTCC – but F1 as well.

Toyota

Toyota’s future in F1 was in doubt before the season began, especially so after the withdrawal of arch-rival Honda in December.

Over the winter team boss John Howett set the team a target of winning a race this year, coming off the back of seven seasons that yielded just eight podium finishes:

We have to win, I think that?s clear. This organisation really only exists to win so we have to realise that we need to really make a change and deliver some outstanding performance this year.

Toyota might have already delivered on that had it not been for the odd strategy in Bahrain. But since that race the team have bombed, finishing qualifying at Monaco with the two slowest times.

Next month Akio Toyoda, grandson of company founder Kiichiro Toyoda, will take over as chief executive of the company from Katsuaki Watanabe. Drastic changes are expected: in February the company projected a $3.5bn (??2.2bn/??2.5bn) loss for the last financial year – earlier this month it confirmed a figure of $4.4bn (??2.8bn/??3.1bn).

What chances, then, the future of what has been F1’s biggest-spending team for several years, which under Howett is arguing for the right to spend more than ??40m per season?

Perhaps Williams’ decision to sign up to the 2010 rules gives us an inkling of what the future holds for Toyota’s F1 team. Williams’ Toyota engine contract is up for renewal this year. If Toyota are indeed on their way out of the sport, Williams will need a new engine deal, and the FIA’s customer Cosworth engines could be just the ticket.

Renault

Given their slump in form post-2006, and inability to capitalise on the new regulations to re-discover their form this year, it’s hardly a surprise that Fernando Alonso is being touted as a Ferrari driver in 2010.

Renault has received a ??6bn (??5.5bn) bail out from Nicolas Sarkozy’s government – would it be politically wise to spend a chunk of that money on running an F1 team?

It has also lost primary sponsor ING, the Dutch bank which was also forced to turn to its government for help.

Read more: ING quits F1 ?ǣ will Renault follow?

Ferrari

Have made a lot of threats about leaving F1, but where would their marketing presence be without it?

Would they get anything like the same kind of exotic appeal racing a diesel at Le Mans, or running an effective one-make series in the form of A1 Grand Prix?

In the wider economy some analysts are optimistically talking about ‘green shoots’ of recovery. But as has often been well observed in the past, motor sport tends to feel the full brunt of a recession long after it hits the headlines. The shockwaves travel through sponsors and manufacturers and eventually hit the teams in the form of slashed budgets.

Is that going to happen now? Can the teams, Mosley and Ecclestone reach a new deal that keeps the remaining manufacturers in the sport while enticing new teams in to replace those that will depart?

Which F1 teams do you think will still be competing in 2010? Cast your vote and have your say below:

Update: Sorry about the broken poll before – this has now been fixed!

Which teams will still be in F1 next year?

  • Ferrari (68%)
  • McLaren (83%)
  • BMW (39%)
  • Renault (44%)
  • Toyota (24%)
  • Williams (90%)
  • Red Bull (76%)
  • Toro Rosso (61%)
  • Brawn GP (93%)
  • Force India (83%)

Total Voters: 250

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130 comments on “F1 heads meet again as deadline looms”

  1. I think the poll is rigged :), it says maximum number of choices is 1?

    1. Pete Walker
      27th May 2009, 10:41

      I’m getting the same thing. My vote is that all ten will still be in the sport next season.

    2. i agree with pete

    3. Sorry about the poll everyone have put a new one up where you can place multiple votes.

  2. Clicked vote, error message:

    “Maximum number of choices allowed: 1.”

    Well… ok, Williams it is then.

    1. Yep, same for me.

  3. Yep, it only allows you to make one choice.

    The obvious answer therefore is Williams ;-)

    For the record, in order of likelyness, I rate Toyota, Renault & then BMW to pull out before anyone else. In fact I don’t see anyone else pulling out, and I for one won’t miss the 3 manufacturers… well maybe Renault & Flav a little.

    Cosworth is going to have a bumber year next year. Ferrari & Mercedes probably supplying 3 teams each (maybe 4 for Mercedes). If I was Mercedes I would return to engine/gearbox/kers (or combinations of) supplier only, ditch the partnership with McLaren… and get the badge on all the supplied teams.

    1. Aren’t mercedes major share holders in mclaren, like 40% and mclaren are much more than just an f1 team

    2. Aren’t mercedes major share holders in mclaren, like 40% and mclaren have other divisions. So would it not be more beneficial to continue it’s partnership with mclaren in motorsport and the roadcar aspects as well as engine supplier to multiple teams?

    3. Yeah, you’re probably true. I guess I just want the teams to operate independently of the manufacturers, who would just supply the engines.

  4. ps. I don’t expect them all to pull out next year (though they might) but I expect the 3 I mentioned to pull out before anyone else does.

  5. i voted 4 force india.but i really worry abt ferrari.if they quit,i will not watch f1,hope many do the same

    1. I shan’t be doing the same.

    2. ah, Ferrari fans.

    3. I’m not a Ferrari fan. I’m a McLaren fan but I agree. No Ferrari = No F1.

  6. I think Williams, Brawn, Force India and McLaren will definitely be in F1 next year. Ferrari and Red Bull may miss the deadline but will most likely still be in also. Toro Rosso will probably also be in but possibly under different ownership. While Toyota, Renault and BMW may use the current argument as an excuse to quit F1.

  7. The combination of not challenging for the title and the recession will be the end of Toyota and BMW in F1 I think (for next few seasons at least). Theres no way they can justify an unsuccesful F1 operation with road car sales plummeting and the companies themselves struggling.

    Hopefully Renault and Ferrari will both stay.

  8. schumi the greatest
    27th May 2009, 11:43

    I dont think ferrari will pull out their threats are just a way to try and get their own way again!

    I think toyota are pretty much gone already, before the season started i remember trulli saying they had 2 win in the 1st 6 races or it would be the end of the team. Well 6 races in they havent won a race although this has been their most competetive year to date.

    BMW have ended up with alot of egg on their face, they were the ones who opposed to the delay in kers and they dont even use it now because their car is poor. i dont know much about the fall out with the wtcc thing but i think they definitley are considering their future.

    Renault always seem to be on about pulling out, wasnt that the reason alonso signed a deal with mclaren staright after hed won his 1st tittle??

    the global recession and the consequent pathetic arguing with the fia has given them an excuse to pull out.

    When i 1st heard about this row and teams threatening to pull out i was worried about how it would affect the sport i love so much and whether id ever have the same enthusiasm to watch it without the big names but, before jaguar bought stewart in 99 the only full manafacturer team was ferrari. f1 was great before and it will be the same again, it will bring back the privateers who only want to be there to race, not use it as an expensive pr exercise.

    Aslong as other teams can come in and replace the manafacturers il be happy, f1 is probably in the best shape ive ever seen it in terms of talented drivers.

    Long live f1

  9. StrFerrari4Ever
    27th May 2009, 11:50

    It seems as if the big guns Ferrari , Toyota , Renault & BMW could miss the FIA’S deadline date but they will soon realise the importance of F1 to them and possibly buy a small team and bring in their personel etc.
    Regarding Red Bull & Toro Rosso I really dont know what Mr Mateschitz will do I hope they do stay on and people suggesting that Toro Rosso will be bought is pretty absurd because on their website on an article they said they wouldn’t sell up despite Red Bull wanting a buyer they said they are in a healthy condition and have no reason to quit or be bought out.
    That sounds very reassuring for me as an STR fan.
    Regarding the other teams particularly the British teams Mclaren , Williams , Brawn & you could say Force India as it was former Jordan and is British based they will stay on In my honest opinion.

  10. I heard Windsor saying that the Cosworth needs to run out to 20,000 rpm to be usable and they can’t be reengineered in time. That means a 2 speed regulatory environment is absolutely on the table anyway because I don’t think the manufacturers besides maybe Renault could turn the crew back up again quickly due to major mods they have made through last year on the engines. I am a supporter of 2 speed because I can’t see it happening any other way. If some one could explain how any new entrant could get in and financed without it I would listen. And staying with or supporting the current grid encumbancy with Toyota in doubt and Torro Rosso on the edge of their seats looks an impossible option too.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys
    27th May 2009, 11:55

    I suspect that if anyone withdraws, it will be over sponsorship or a lack of results. In fact, I’d say all ten teams have prepared entries for 2010; all that remains is to submit them.

    If anybody is going to go, it’s Renault. Yes, Alonso had some results last year, but they came under some pretty exceptional circumstances, like Massa’s fuel rig tearing in Singapore. They simply can’t get any results, and Briatore’s poor management style means Alonso is the ony one who has any chance at anything.

  12. The poll should allow more than 1 choice. Also Williams should not be included because they have already entered the 2010 championship, so ive heard. I know they could bail out due to financial problems like Honda but, we are talking about the rule changes here arent we? (correct me if im wrong)!

  13. Same grievance as the first comments, i think all will stay and Toyota might take the highway.

    however BMW’s lack of performance this year has nothing to do with how the FIA handled Diffuser gate. more like how they completely misunderstood the regulations to start with. i think they put too much effort into Kers and sacrificed the effort needed on design. or something along those lines….

    Toyota will probably go, cause 8 years billions of dollars and 0 wins is aching for someone to fall on his sword in the land of the rising sun.

    Renault can leave, they have other series they already handle be it formula renault or world series, their absence from formula one will not make the Twingo handle any worse.

    Ferrari on the other hand will loose possibly as much as F1 in terms of appeal in case they do leave. it’s hard to distinguish one without the other. to what series would F1 lean to when marketing the new gearbox on the 599? or the suspension setting on the next F car? they need F1, just like F1 needs them.

    eventually i can see that both FIA and the teams will compromise to keep Bernie and the fans happy. fans, even casual ones will drop both the team’s and F1 if both cease to exist, and if they spilt that’s what they would be doing.

    however if Max, and that’s my biggest take on MadMax, wants F1 to be cheaper, and more accessible, he should come up with a trick to force Ecclestone to lower his fees and charge circuit attendance much much much less than he does today. because a sport with half empty grandstands is not truly worth saving, for TV viewers, they can just switch to the next channel. or is Bernie planning some sort of future like we saw in the movie death race?

    1. This is the same Max & FIA who made each entry pay a 48 million dollar bond, isn`t it?
      That`s why the small teams couldn`t play & that was precisely the reason the bond was brought in – to keep them out.

  14. It sounds like something out of ‘The Godfather’ – the heads of the Five Families meeting. I just think Mosley should resign. They can’t do anything with his attitude and intransigence. I also think they should stick together and am very disappointed with Williams.

    On a different note, what a boring championship! It’s kind of over already. Contrast that to the last 2 years, particularly last year, when it was all decided on the final corner of the final lap of the final race. And it infuriates me when people pontificate about Button being “the most complete driver in F1”. Does that mean that Rubens Barrichello is the second most complete driver as he lies second? NO, it means that the Brawn car is head and shoulders above the rest of the field and any driver on the grid in one of those cars would be first or second. What a farce of a season. At least last year, the McLaren and the Ferrari were more evenly matched with each car shining at different circuits throughout the year. If Button wins this year, it will be the most undeserved in F1 history. Rant over!

    1. If Hamilton was in the Brawn and winning the championship, would you think he was the most complete driver in F1? I bet you would.

    2. that’s not what he’s saying.

      and i completely agree with him on both counts

    3. To Hughes the rant,just a tad over the top there,Hughes.
      Seems to me,no one gave a dame while BUTTON Was doing badly.
      Now that he has great ride,you think it’s Bogus!!!
      Give some though to 10 boring years we had w/ Ferrari.
      That was so much fun,iam still getting over it
      Just to mention (boring)I Recall a remark from Ron.
      Well,they need to catch up to us……..leo

    4. If Hamilton was in the Brawn and winning the championship, would you think he was the most complete driver in F1? I bet you would.

      If Lewis and Heikki in the Brawn were 1 and 2 in most races in a season, I would have the honesty to admit it is a huge amount down to the car. Especially as there are excellent drivers like Kimi, Massa and Alonso coming nowhere near.

    5. Dougie, yes that was meant for you, but it seems your a big fan of everyone;)

    6. If Lewis and Heikki in the Brawn were 1 and 2 in most races in a season, I would have the honesty to admit it is a huge amount down to the car. Especially as there are excellent drivers like Kimi, Massa and Alonso coming nowhere near.

      I think anyone and everyone who knows Formula 1 knows that it is a “huge amount down to the car”. Hence why “great” drivers like Alonso, Kimi & Lewis are nowhere and now its Jensons turn at the front. However this is now Buttons chance to show just how he belongs in that group, and I for one have always believed in him and his performances this year confirm that. To knock what are great performances in the car (and I agree Martin Brundle overstepped the mark) is in my view acting blind to the reality.

      Ross Brawn at the start of the season openly admitted he did not know Button as he hadn’t worked with him much, but the team were telling him that Jenson was one to watch… and Ross now concurs with that view and even makes references to Schumacher when talking about him… these are all people who know what makes a good driver great.

      I’m not saying who is better than who, but Jenson has shown this year (and in previous years in my view) that he is a top drawer driver waiting for the right car. Here it is and his performances in it are outstanding!

    7. Dougie, yes that was meant for you, but it seems your a big fan of everyone;)

      LOL!! Not quite, there are some exceptions :-D

    8. Scott Joslin
      27th May 2009, 19:27

      Deal with it, this stuff happens throughout F1 all the time. Are you going discredit almost every champion ever that drove a car with an advantage over their rivals, Schumacher, Senna, Prost all had the best car with clear advantages over their rivals when they won some of their championships – are you going to take strips off them too? Brawn did a better job than everyone else and Jenson is driving superbly is delivering the maximum that car and achieve, that’s all he can do.

      If you want car equallity too then follow nascar or GP2 – This is always going to happen.

  15. Williams’ decision to submit an entry for next year’s championship appears to signal a split in the F1 teams’ association.

    I dont think thats quite right. Williams like force india and brawn are racing teams, that is all, unlike ferrari bmw etc who have the retail cars, i think williams will race in F1 as long as they can afford it, the FIA know that FOTA know it and i dont think its big news.

  16. what a boring championship! It’s kind of over already.

    Really!?! There are still 110 points up for grabs and Jenson is only 16 points ahead. I guess that would explain why you are not racing in F1 if you give up that easily.

    it means that the Brawn car is head and shoulders above the rest of the field

    Rubbish! Force India is consistently closer to Brawn than any backmarker has been closer to the field leaders at any time in the history of the sport.

    people pontificate about Button being “the most complete driver in F1”. Does that mean that Rubens Barrichello is the second most complete driver as he lies second? NO

    I don’t believe anyone is saying Button is THE most complete driver in F1 currently… Alonso I believe still has that mantle… however, Jenson is showing a maturity of driving that people probably didn’t believe he had, and has raised his game beyond all expectations. Last year people were saying Jenson is rubbish and Rubens was consistently beating him… now those same people are saying its the car and Rubens is being secretly given a supporting role… RUBBISH!!… in equal Ferraris Rubens beat Schumi on occasion… in equal Brawns Jenson is giving Rubens a hiding.

    Should Jenson go on to take the title, he deserves it at least equally as much as any previous champion, more so than some I would say. Name me one champion who didn’t have one of the fastest cars on the grid?

    1. I don’t believe anyone is saying Button is THE most complete driver in F1 currently

      Actually, Martin Brundle (of all people) has said that in his recent blog. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8067217.stm

      It isn’t ONE of the fastest cars on the grid, it is THE fastest car on the grid. So how much do you rate Rubens? Is he really the second best driver on the grid? Ergo, is Jenson really the best driver on the grid? Last year, Rubens beat Jenson in a poor car, 11 points to 3. Surely the mark of a truly great driver is one who gets the most out of even a poor car, and doesn’t give up and shrug his shoulders while collecting his millions, which is what Jenson did last year. He’s just lucky lucky lucky.

    2. @ S Hughes

      You wrote: ‘Surely the mark of a truly great driver is one who gets the most out of even a poor car.’

      No, the mark of a great driver is someone who turns it on when he needs to turn it on and you can’t deny that he’s done that. Look at his qualifying times in Bahrain and Monaco for evidence of that.

  17. Rubbish! Force India is consistently closer to Brawn than any backmarker has been closer to the field leaders at any time in the history of the sport.

    That may be true, but do they have anything to show for it? Zero points say no.

    The point is, Brawn may only be slightly ahead, but they are CONSTANTLY ahead. If they weren’t head and shoulders ahead of the rest, they wouldn’t have won 5 of the first 6 races.

    1. Journeyer (and SHughes),

      On more than one occasion Red Bull have had the faster car, but their strategy let them down on all occasions bar China. Ferrari were faster in Monace but didn’t make the most of it.

      What do you want here?? Brawn to mess up like everyone else, or should we be chastising the other teams to pull their acts together. Personally, I am applauding Brawn for showing them how it should be done, and was applauding Red Bull in the first few races as well because I saw potential but unfortunately they’ve dropped the ball a bit.

    2. Dougie, at least here you are giving (justified) plaudits to the car and the team and not the driver!

    3. Dougie, at least here you are giving (justified) plaudits to the car and the team and not the driver!

      I though I had always said the winner is the best combination of team and driver!?! Here I am appluading the teams contribution, at other times I am applauding Jensons contribution.

      If Ross & Nick are looking to sign Jenson for the “rest of his career”, and Ross (a man who has steered Schumacher through his career) has been very emotional and vocal in his surprise and praise of Jenson… then I think enough said.

    4. Dougie

      has been very emotional and vocal in his surprise and praise of Jenson

      That says it all really. Ross is as “surprised” as the rest of us because it just don’t add up from his performances to date. And what about Rubens in second place? You haven’t addressed that yet.

    5. And what about Rubens in second place? You haven’t addressed that yet.

      I have addressed why Rubens is second to Jenson (as Rubens has been throughout their time together) and also why the consistency of the Brawn team have allowed them to remain ahead of the sometimes faster cars around them.

  18. Come on Dougie. We have seen it all before (Williams 92 & 93, Ferrari 02 & 04). Brawn is in two states when compared to the rest: In some tracks they are ahead enough and in others they blow up the field. Don’t expect it to become any more competitive throughout the year (well, perhaps in the last races, when everything is already decided). When it comes to Barrichello being a rival, that won’t happen either. Believe what you want, but they have been racing in the same team for a few years with very similar results. Now, suddenly Button learned how to drive better or Rubens got rusty. Or, as I believe, Brawn decided that Rubens is the #2. Either way, no competition will come from that corner either.

    1. Egggsactly!

    2. Or, as I believe, Brawn decided that Rubens is the #2

      I know it’s your belief, but the facts really don’t add up with that one – perhaps Jenson is just a quicker driver who manages his tyres better..? I think there’s quite a lot of evidence to suggest this IMO.

  19. Williams has been suspended from FOTA.

    What on earth is FOTA thinking…!?

    1. Crazy. And I bet Williams don’t even care.

  20. I think that McLaren, Ferrari, Brawn, Renault and Williams will all be there in 2010, and surprisingly, i think Force India will stay put too. To be in a small team in the current situation does give them a hope for the future.

    Lets say a budget cap is introduced, then the smaller teams all of a sudden have a very even playing field uopn which to fight.

    That said, i thoroughly sympathise with Ferrari’s position, as Formula 1 IS supposed ot be the pinnacle of motor racing, and £40m means huge cutbacks for the biggest teams, and most importantly forced job losses which nobody wants at all.

    Its a really interesting argument this, one which i am following and hope to see a resolution for very soon. I’d like to see all the teams compete next year, along with two or three newer ones, Lola, iSport for example. The extra competition is needed, as is fresh ideas and new ways of thinking around the problems they face. Taking away refuelling will definitely spice thigns up a bit, its just a shame that in this day and age, the most exciting racing comes from the lower ranks of motorsport: touring cars, GT1, LMP1 etc etc

    i suppose this is testiment to how close the pack really is, when less then 2s a lap seperates 1st from 20th, and the entire race is conducted with the leading few cars arriving at the finish line seconds apart. How can this change? Obviously the FIA is trying, but new rules and arguments don’t directly translate into better more exciting racing in my view.

    ON a side note, I’d like to see less talk of monaco being such a historic race, cos lets face it, its a procession EVERY year, SO much money is spent on it, yet since 1992 (think Mansell, Senna) we’ve known that you need to be CONSIDERABLY faster in order to overtake there, why do they still spend so much time on such a predictable and boring race? Where are the wider, faster tracks like Istanbul (probably my fave tilkedrome) where there are multiple racing lines drivers can take to try and gain an advantage over their competitors?

  21. Sorry but this is not the same as Ferrari or Williams.

    As I’ve already said, Red Bull and Ferrari (even Toyota) have shown on at least one occassion each (more for RB) that they have the car to beat Brawn… but their strategy lets them down.

    Could you say the same in 92, or 04??

  22. Where did you hear that Journeyer?

    If its true, and I’ve no reason not to believe you, that is ridiculous! …and for me shows how the teams are completely not capable of running anything let alone a break away series!

    Williams position on this is obvious… of course they are on the side of the teams and want unity and sensible rules… but either way they are here purely for F1, it is their bread and butter.

    1. Dougie – it’s on all the F1 news outlets now, including Autosport.

      What this does show though is that as things stand, you’re either with the FIA or FOTA. There is no middle ground, no gray area. If any of the other teams follow what Williams did, they’ll be forced to walk the plank…

    1. I don’t blame FOTA. It’s meaningless to have meetings saying you will stick together against Mosley and his lackeys, then break ranks. What a mess!

    2. Fota Shmota… I;m not watching FOTA races in case they split… register that as a shot across the bow of LDM FOTA

  23. It isn’t ONE of the fastest cars on the grid, it is THE fastest car on the grid. So how much do you rate Rubens? Is he really the second best driver on the grid? Ergo, is Jenson really the best driver on the grid? Last year, Rubens beat Jenson in a poor car, 11 points to 3. Surely the mark of a truly great driver is one who gets the most out of even a poor car, and doesn’t give up and shrug his shoulders while collecting his millions, which is what Jenson did last year. He’s just lucky lucky lucky.

    By your rules then Irvine was the second best driver on the grid in ’99… Patrese was the second best in ’92… Mike Hawthorn was the best driver on the grid way back when…

    Every single Drivers Championship has been won by a combination of driver and car… the best combination won… this year is no different.

    Honda gave up in 2008, not Jenson, the car did not suit him and there was next to no development to allow him to bring it closer to him. As far as 2008 goes Rubens versus Jenson… where they were both classified at the finish Jenson beat Rubens 6 races to 4… Rubens however (fortunately/luckily/through strategy/whatever) on 3 of those occasions got into the points.

    1. I think many people underestimate the strength of feeling.
      If there are no concessions by the FIA (& Bernie, too) then a number of teams may well not be there in 2010.

      As to Ferrari. They have much more to turn to than the examples given. They already have several of their own events which take place around the world which could be expanded.
      So far this month (& leaving aside F1 GPs) their cars have run at Mugello (Ferrari Challenge Italia); Fuji (Ferrari Festival of Japan); Imola (Ferrari Racing Days); the Mille Miglia; the FIA GT Championship; the American Le Mans Series & the Spanish Open GT Championship.
      Next month they have the Historic Challenge at Le Vigeant & Challenge USA at Road America, Elkhart Lake as well as Le Mans & other events.

  24. If Ferrari quits F1 than their would be no charm to F1 Racing it will loose a lots of Fans for sure!

    Am afraid they will stay back next year with F1…

    1. I agree, and I’m not even a Ferrari fan.

  25. As far as 2008 goes Rubens versus Jenson… where they were both classified at the finish Jenson beat Rubens 6 races to 4… Rubens however (fortunately/luckily/through strategy/whatever) on 3 of those occasions got into the points.

    very good point. and hopefully the end to this argument lol.

    way i see it, Jensen could have been F1 world champion when he first joined the sport. Imagine if he had been pulled into F1 from the age of 10 like Lewis Hamilton was? It would be interesting to see how Lewis would perform in the Brawn car, as its well known that Jensen’s driving style is probably the smoothest and most precise of all the current drivers, which doesn’t always translate into fastest, but combination of driver and car (Brawn and Button) are showing that this car is built just right for him.

    On this point, during the monaco race, when Massa was being told to stop cutting the curbs at the swimming pool chicane’s, look again at the line taken by Jensen through the same corners. Jensen has just one wheel over the curb, whereas massa was all four for several laps, the lap times show that they’re very similar, but we all know Jensen wasn’t pushing for fastest lap, he was avoiding fighting traffice ahead (and wisely so) leaving the ferrari’s having to really push to match the brawns lap times. Had Jensen a clear track in front of him, i suspect that he woudl have taken fastest lap no problem.

    1. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.

      Lewis got sponsorship because he won everything up to F1. I presume that’s what you mean when you say

      pulled into F1 from the age of 10.

      When he didn’t win, which happened one year, he had to find sponsorship outside of McLaren. It wasn’t handed to him on a plate because of the goodness of Ron Dennis’ heart. Button had funding via his father who ran a karting team. He was better off than Lewis financially. BTW, please note you brought Lewis into this debate, NOT me.

      Button is riding on the crest of the Brawn wave and it is ridiculous to assume he is there because he’s the best driver in F1 (as Brundle has said – did you notice the link?). I cannot imagine anyone could carry on saying such a thing. I ask you again, is Rubens the second best driver this year?

  26. I’m not touching that poll with a barge pole;)

  27. I see only resolution to this current quagmire, Max has to go.

    1. The ONLY solution in my view!

  28. & into Max` place we`d get …….. Tony Purnell? He hasn`t had the most tactful approach to all this, either

    1. exactly.

      For me.. okay, so Max may set up his stall in a way to get peoples backs up… but it does focus the minds of the teams and gets them talking together and with him… as always happened in the past, and is happening here, Max’s stall will look much different when all is done and everyone is happy.

      That is good for the teams, for the FIA, for FOM, and for F1 all round.

    2. I’m not sure…but Max is clearly insane. BMW, Toyota Ferrari (aka Fiat) and Renault are about to say “bye bye”. Yes, there is a rescission, but it wont last forever. It may seem logical to say they are quitting because of the said economic conditions, but I’d daresay that Honda is ready to fall on their swords. Well, so much for predicting F1. Go Figure? Tony is someone I know nothing about…as a Ferrari fan, I nominate Ron Dennis as the head of the F.I.A.

      Cheers Mate;)

  29. SHughes,

    Lewis was sponsored by McLaren (except for a short period where Anthony was demanding too much from McLaren) for the best part of 10 years before F1.

    Running a Karting Team does not give you nearly enough sponsorship to get through Single Seaters into F1… and in some respects you could say that Anthony Hamilton ran a Karting Team ;-)

    Anyway, I ain’t going to get into the “who is better, Lewis or Jenson?” argument. I feel they are both the cream of British and they definitely have different styles of driving requiring different setup of cars to get the best of them. The only way to tell who is best is for them to race, one on one, both in the McLaren and then both in the Brawn… and finally both in the turbo Williams F1 of 1995!! :-D

    1. except for a short period where Anthony was demanding too much from McLaren

      That is balderdash. Mark Hughes’ book doesn’t read it like that and I respect his knowledge of LH’s career more than yours.

      Anyway, I agree with the second half of your post. S’pose we’ll never know. But I really think positing Button as the best driver in F1 is stretching it a tad too far. :)

    2. That is balderdash. Mark Hughes’ book doesn’t read it like that and I respect his knowledge of LH’s career more than yours.

      Slap in the face accepted, though if I find otherwise expect to be slapped back ;-)

      But I really think positing Button as the best driver in F1 is stretching it a tad too far.

      Agreed :-D …however, he is one of the small band of great drivers and deserving of the title “Champion”.

  30. oops! oh b_ll_x!

    I meant the turbo Williams F1 of 1985!

    1. It must have been so much easier before they invented the darned World Drivers Championship.
      Before that they knew it was nearly all about the cars. :)

  31. Button is riding on the crest of the Brawn wave and it is ridiculous to assume he is there because he’s the best driver in F1 (as Brundle has said – did you notice the link?). I cannot imagine anyone could carry on saying such a thing. I ask you again, is Rubens the second best driver this year?

    I agree with you (oh, I need to sit down! ;-)) that Brundle overstepped the mark there, but on current form Jenson is right up there! Car or not, Jenson is driving sublime in all conditions, especially compared to Rubens in the same car.

    I’ve already previously answered you’re second point about Rubens.

    1. Hope you found a chair :)

    2. Brundle also used the disclaimer ‘at the moment’. Which I think is fair. Jenson is the most complete driver at the moment. He has the most complete car, and his using his fairly complete talents as a driver to get that car to the finish first.

      Lew, Fred and Kimi are also complete drivers, possibly moreso than Jenson (although they’ve had longer careers in better cars, so they’ve had that chance to shine, whereas Jenson has had no chance the past two years, and more limited chances beforehand). It’s just that their cars this year are not as complete, and so they can’t do much about it, other than ring the car’s neck and hope for the best.

  32. Well Max and Bernie’s usual tactic of divide and conquer is starting to work.

    As Sir Frank Williams said

    “FOTA’s decision, although regrettable, is understandable”

  33. Well, since Williams have already played their hand and signed up for next year, we can take it that they must already have a new contract with Toyota for engines, or have found a new engine deal, or are playing the long game and hoping to have an engine deal in place for next year. What happens if there is no deal in place on Friday, Frank?
    Really McLaren ought to stay, whether Mercedes do or not, since they can also do new engine deals. And similarly Mercedes can stay supplying Brawn and Force India even if McLaren decide to leave.
    Ferrari should really be looking to supply more engines to more teams, and could cut its costs by sharing the Marenello facilities with them. Remember Ferrari already have a presence in ALMS and other GT series, with private entry GT1 and GT2 cars. They don’t really need to do much more to keep in the spotlight (apart from win races), though a proper FXX LMP car would be great to see.
    I have a feeling BMW will be leaving, since they have been stung in F1 and WTCC by the FIA. And I am surprised they have never been in DTM before now. However, since DTM is also run by the FIA, they would probably stand more chance competing in NASCAR or similar in America. GT racing will be a similar no-go area for them.
    Red Bull ought to stay, but cut down to one team if they really want to save money. It would be a shame, but there is no reason why they cannot support the rookie drivers in other teams if they want to.
    (How about a Red Bull Rookie Cup to the one who makes most progress in a year?)
    And considering how many other teams in motorsport and other sports they sponsor (including NASCAR, DTM and snowboarding) its amazing they can afford an F1 team at all……

    1. Ferrari should really be looking to supply more engines to more teams, and could cut its costs by sharing the Marenello facilities with them

      Can you see McLaren sharing Paragon or Williams Grove?
      Nope, nor can I.

    2. Hmmm, hadn’t thought of it like that. I was thinking more of Scuderia Marlboro Ferrari the team leaving F1, but FIAT/Ferrari/Maserati the engine manufacturer staying and supplying the new teams, and providing the facilities as required.
      And really, I could see McLaren the team leaving F1 and moving to ALMS or IRL, but still able to build complete F1 cars and providing facilities to teams that need them too.
      I think its about time the teams started thinking outside the ‘box’.

  34. & there is an FIA limit on the numbers of teams which engine suppliers can provide.
    Ball back with Max on that one.

    1. there is an FIA limit on the numbers of teams which engine suppliers can provide

      Not any more, apparantely that has been relaxed.

    2. I believe a one is allowed to supply a maximum of 2 teams in total, but a 3rd is usually allowed via a special dispensation (hence Brawn-Mercedes now, and Force India-Ferrari in the past).

    3. I read and respect your comments. So who should we pull for to replace Max?

    4. Nick Craw for FIA President- nuff’ said!

  35. I don’t think F(errari)OTA suspending Williams bodes terribly well for the 2010 FOTA GP Championship.

    What will the regulation book look like for that series?

    Rule 1 – If you don’t let Ferrari win, you will be suspended.
    Rule 2 – There are no ther rules.

    1. LOL!! Alternatively…

      1. Let the Ferrari Win
      2. If the Ferrari breaks, let the Toyota Win
      3. If the Toyota breaks, crash!

    2. It’s not just Ferrari, it’s F1…your cutting of your nose to spite your face! It’s all Ferrari’s Fault? How so? I guess your a bureaucratic Max fan?

    3. It’s not just Ferrari, it’s F1…your cutting of your nose to spite your face! It’s all Ferrari’s Fault? How so? I guess your a bureaucratic Max fan?

      I don’t know if that was meant for me or not… however… my comment was just a tonque-in-cheek play on the fact that Ferrari/Toyota are the ones throwing their toys out of the pram most in these meetings and I would imagine were most vocal in suspending Williams.

      I am a Ferrari Fan, and I am a Fan of Max & Bernie, I am a Fan of Jenson, and I am also a Fan of Brawn, Lewis, McLaren, Vettel, Webber, Williams, Rosberg, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Rubens, Alonso, Massa, Kimi, Force India, Sutil, Glock, Trulli, Renault… just some more than others. If someone or team has not been mentioned, I ain’t a fan. :-)

    4. Hilarious! But also, sadly true….

  36. When did that happen, Dougie?
    I know that they were thinking of relaxing it for Brawn but the current regs (published 24 March) still have

    13.3 …. A major car manufacturer may not directly or indirectly supply engines for more than two teams of two cars each without the consent of the FIA……

    As far as I know it hasn`t been changed

  37. When did that happen, Dougie?

    Am still looking, problem was it was in an article about the teams and FIA discussing 2010 rules and beyond, can’t remember where or exactly when, and my searches are not getting the general articles I want let alone the exact one.

    Hence… “apparantely”…

    Basically, in that article is said something along the lines of the FIA considering/conceding to manufacturers supplying engines to unlimited number of teams.

    1. That idea probably went out the window with the rest of the 2010 rules then ;)

  38. Hey Keith, as an aside, can we get an “edit option” on the blog? I suck at typing and reading after a few pints;)

    1. LOL – I don`t even need the pints to suck at typing :)

  39. I`ve just checked the 2010 regs (published 6 May) & they are still the same as above.

    1. The comment I read was after the 6th May, but its not transpired into a hard and fast rule so as yet is not in place.

      That said, although most will remain, I would take any rules with a pinch of salt until this matter is resolved.

  40. Persempre… Seriously, I think Ron is the best person to replace Max.

    1. Seriously?!
      There’s much that I could say but this is a public board. ;)

  41. I would like to see all of the teams back for next year, but at the same time I really want to see B.E. and M.M. gone by the end of this season. They alone are ruining this sport. If the teams want to leave then let them leave and next year we will be stuck watching 12 or 14 cars with mediocre drivers and teams. I don’t want to watch a bunch of minor leaguers pretending to be big boys. When it comes right down to it, the teams need to come out ahead, not B.E. or M.M.
    If B.E. or M.M have their way it will be like watching Indy car every other week.

  42. Isn’t it funny how a discussion about the state of FOTA and the current teams in F1 turns into a rant about Button and who has the best car?

    Regarding the current teams, I can easily see Toyota getting out of the sport any day now. This rwo over the 201 entires and all is the perfect excuse they need, and since they stuck it out a bit longer than Honda, it looks acceptable to the public view.

    BMW is less of a bet to pull out, I believe. Unlike Toyota, they’ve tasted some success and had a very good package last season. Still, spending that much money at difficult times like this can be hard to justify in the boardroom.

    As for Williams, it appears indeed that they are onboard for 2010. The analysis offered above is excellent, but the one thing I would remind everyone of is that Williams recently used Cosworth engines with little success in 2006, so they may not want back in with the compnay even if Toyota dose pull out.

    1. Isn’t it funny how a discussion about the state of FOTA and the current teams in F1 turns into a rant about Button and who has the best car?

      Good one Gman. :)

      Maybe some guys are missing a fight or two, maybe a fight in the same mood that we had in the past two seasons.

      Jenson is so ahead this season in terms of driving, and is so nice that there’s no point to fight for.

      Or I think Keith should put some controversial posts, some cheap ones like: Who is the best driver at the moment?

  43. Williams have been suspended from FOTA that seems a bit extream to me!

    1. Believe it or not The Telegraph of all places has an interesting article on this.
      They’ve been speaking with Adam Parr today.
      Linked here

    2. Williams have been suspended from FOTA that seems a bit extream to me!

      I guess you have to ask, what else could FOTA do? They’ve been trying to organise opposition to the FIA to improve their bargaining position, and Williams seem to have sold them out. Questions will be asked about how the FIA got Williams to break ranks…

  44. I like Williams. Always have. Respect that they are independent and exist to race F1 and all that ********. Frank and the team management are like a broken record with their stance on why they exist. However, now that they have kind of broken the FOTA alliance, can’t you just see Bernie and Max rubbing their grubby little hands together in glee?

  45. Well said G-man. This years championship may look a bit
    predictable at the moment, but as others have pointed out, there’s still a damn long way to go and more than a hundred winners points still up for grabs. Ferrari are nearly up with Brawn, Mclaren never stand still, Red Bull will get over there strategy mistakes…and so on.
    It ain’t over till the fat lady…etc, etc….

    On the budget cap row, though Max Mosely is not a very palatable bloke to do business with, unfortunately, in the present world financial state, he’s dead right.

    The current costs in F1 are simply obscene. For example, the drivers are amazing, but…£20 million a year to drive a racing car in this world mess…come on ! Reality will have to come to all the current F1 teams sooner or later. And for some of them it’s going to be a bloody painful experience.

    1. Driver wages aren`t included in the cap, Leon

  46. I wonder how others would feel about my idea. I know that they would never go for it but I think it may lower costs and give everyone one less thing to worry about.
    FIA forms a new commitee whose sole purpose would be to design a car for each year and every team must follow those blue prints to the letter when producing it. That way teams would no longer need to worry about wind tunnels and design teams and they could focus 100% on the cars engine, drivers, and strategy. I know that that would cost people their jobs, but with FIA’s current proposal, a lot of people will lose jobs anyway.
    As Enzo Ferrari once said, “Areodynamics are for people that can’t build a good engine.” Let the teams worry about perfecting their engines and let FIA the design the car themselves. I believe that it would cut costs drastically. Most will say it is a stupid idea but when you really think on it, it could.
    How is BMW’s current areo package benefitting them? And how much did they spend on it? How much did Williams spend on tyring to design their areo package and how has it benefitted them?
    Another thing that could save money is not using the Super Soft Tyres any more. From what I can tell, they usually cause more problems then anything else and as a result the cause accidents and slow down the pace of the race. They might be good on some tracks but not all.
    Teams: concentrate on Engines
    FIA: responsible for providing the teams with blueprints for the cars.

  47. My main problem with it is that I`m against standardisation in F1, Brian.
    You also put Williams (& other independent constructors who buy in their engines) out of business in one easy stroke.

  48. If now the budget caps make teams lay off workers; can’t these now free people simply to the newly formed F1 teams that would enter due to the budget cap?

    Regarding staying in F1 – Mercedes, or was it BMW, said that to get the same advertising effect outside of F1, the cost is 10 times greater, so they see no economical reason to leave. I’m sure it’s the same for several other teams.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      28th May 2009, 21:13

      Well yes possibly, but the problem must be that to make their bids credible the new teams must have assembled their personnel already. So that, even if there are 2 or 300 experienced F1 staff available, the new teams will have already contracted new staff.

  49. My Favorite team is Red Bull and I don’t see how my proposal would prevent them from buying an engine from another team.
    Red Bull has a NASCAR team and they use the same car design as everyone else in that particular series and they buy their Engine from Toyota. I think it is still Toyota. But it works and they are a competative team for the most part.

  50. OK I see what you mean, I think.
    All the teams would be building their own chassis but to FIA plans. Is that right?

    If I was a team owner I think my first question would be “Why should we pay wages to x number of people to turn out exactly the same car?”
    If I was a manufacturer I`d also be wondering “Why take part when we can just supply engines?”
    Another question would be how you would award points (&, therefore, pay) teams because it`s the Constructors Championship & not the Drivers Title that pays the wages.

    1. My real point is that i have seen little proof that any of the current Areo packages are currently effecting the standings. With that logic I don’t see the point of having the teams spend money on something that doesn’t seem to give any real advantage. If each team had a standardized top notch chassis then they would be free to spend their money on pimping out their engines.
      keep in mind that these Chassis and Areo packages would be completly top notch and would give each team equal footing in that regard and then it would come down to engine and driver.
      Ferrari and the other contrusctors could easily sell a basic engine to other teams interested and then let them upgrade and modify them themselves.
      Drivers would get paid based on performance and so would the teams. The better your engine and driver the more money you make. But I also would like to see the points stretch all the way down from 1st – 15th.
      It would take a while to get used but at least then we would see real talent insted of so much emphasis on the car.
      Ferrari and McLaren would still find a way to always be at the top though, no matter how we arrange things but is that really so bad? We have put up with for years haven’t we?
      Think of things this way. Currently Brawn has the same engine as McLaren but Mclaren has exactly lived up to snuff this year and everyone is finding something to complain about Button. But what if Brawn had the exact same chassis and aero package as mclaren? Button would still be winning simply because he is racing for a better team this year, but also because he is a good driver. When a driver wins it should be because he is good at what he does, not because of his car. That is what I want to see.

  51. I can see where you are coming from, Brian. I’m just finding it really hard to equate it to the F1 I`ve known & loved for more than 40 years.
    I must disagree about the aero, though.
    The Brawn aero is one of the main reasons for the cars’ success. If it was just due to the engine then we should expect the McLaren to be up there with them. The double-diffuser, the bonus of not carrying the additional & balance-changing weight of KERS & other less obvious differences are what has put the Brawn constantly in front.
    A change of aero for Ferrari at Monaco brought them the better part of a second improvement. They still lack downforce but that should come with more work.
    As all the teams work on their aero they, hopefully, will also see improvements.
    Yes, the manufacturers could sell engines to other teams (as they do now) but what incentive is there for them to actually compete themselves?
    For example, Ferrari could put their engine in any car but they may not wish to enter races as Ferrari. If they`re spending 40 million they will want a reason to do that or they may as well just provide engines. The same could be said of any of the manufacturers. It`s the development of the whole package they are interested in.
    I`m not explaining myself very well so, if someone can see what I mean, maybe they can do a better job of putting it into words.
    The problem IMO is how does F1 remain F1 but not cost as much as in the recent past.

    1. Just a side note. Red Bull except for a few bad strategies have kept up to Brawn and they didn’t have the double diffuser or kers or an even remotely similar Areo package. Not trying to be argumentative just pointing that out.
      Red Bull added the double diffuser for Monaco but it didn’t work as well as planned. Partly do to the young Vettel and not knowing to really handle the stupid super soft tyres.

  52. Here is something for you think about. No one really likes my idea, I don’t even completely agree with but I also don’t agree with the budget cap. As some of has said, how can F1 be F1 without the spending. We are all worried that F1 cannot survive in the coming economic downturn. But that is why the only argument I have heard that makes any sense is that only the TEAMS know how much they can spend. If they use the cap system we will end up with a bunch of grid fillers instead of competators. F1 needs to be what F1 has always been, a bunch of rich people that enjoy building cars and racing other cars built by other rich people.
    If it were up to me the grid would be as follows (in no particular order):

    Ferrari
    Renault
    Mercedes
    BMW
    Audi
    Lamborghini
    Nissan
    Saab
    Mazda
    Toyota
    Honda
    Aston Martin

    No independant teams, just the best. You can’t tell me that they people listed there cannot build an F1 car. Yes I know that Lamborghini is currently owned by Audi but I’m sure was could be worked around that.
    Jordan, Midland, now known as Force India have never been truly able to compete with the big boys. So answer this, why are they even here? Adrian Sutil is supposed to be a good driver but He will never be a winner driving for Force India.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      28th May 2009, 21:01

      Not very practical though is it?
      Audi and Lambo come from the same stable, as do Nissan and Renault. So they’re not going to fight against each other, are they? Oh, and Saab are bankrupt.

  53. one of the biggest concern’s the team’s all have is governance.With the rules constantly changing and the massive exspense that go’s with the compliance of said rules,that will be the “out clause” for many of the teams.Toyota will just say the series has been dumbed down and not the pinnacle of motorsport so will leave no loss of face.Bmw will site what has happened in the WTCC say the FIA cant be trusted so will leave over governance.Renault could just leave saying due to the uncertainty over governance sponosors are not willing to sign up or we just don’t care because we are French.Red bull/toro rosa have a more difficult decision as motorsport and the european market is huge so may stay.Mercedes could just become an engine/kers/gearbox supplier under AMG keep the race team under the budget cap but supply there system’s in direct competition to cosworth.They in fact could do better under the cap by brand than any other team.The biggest loser could be Ferrari if the teams all split they would have to go it alone.

  54. Toyota, Renault, BMW will be out, and Super Toro Rosso maybe.

    Maybe, Toyota would strengh his agreement with williams and stay as engine supplier, as Renault with RBR.

    Who will come in?

    USF1, Lola, Lightspeed, Campos…

    With all my respect for those teams, what we will have is an impoverished F1, thanks to two guys that have become rich selling a big portion of the total F1 income for the next, lets say, 100 years.

    This is not a story about cost, this is a “Bonnie & Clide” story.

  55. I dont think toro rosso will be there, as Red Bull cant have 2 teams anymore…..
    so, it will have to sell Toro Rosso and it will come under a new name…
    if it gets a buyer.

    1. Martin Bell
      28th May 2009, 9:31

      I don’t think there are any rules pending that would prevent Red Bull from owning two teams, in fact it has been suggested that one of the likely outcomes of the budget cap will be that all the big teams will have a “B” team in the way RB do. Even the “customer car” idea seems to be coming around again!!!

  56. It was an interesting point made earlier in the thread about Ferrari and Toyota being the teams in FOTA making the most noise about the spending cuts as they are the only ones (apart from maybe McLaren) who usually throw money at problems to solve it. No wonder Williams had enough and left the party, since they have comparitively little money to spend anyway. The ‘suspension’ by FOTA is meaningless drivel, since its only a gentlemen’s club by another name…..
    Brian, your ideas on a standardised F1 aero package is pretty close I think to what Max’s long term proposal is. He wants to turn F1 into a more powerful GP2, with standardised engines, KERS. brakes etc. And what incentive is there in that for cars to be branded Audi, Aston Martin, Nissan and Ferrari? Especially when they all look alike. Your example of Red Bull in NASCAR is slightly flawed. The car they have is a Toyota Camry COT, built around a Toyota engine by Toyota but run by the Red Bull team. Its exactly the same car as all the other COTs, apart from the engine (and even that is standardised). You really want F1 to be like that?
    It would be much better to have the lower budget, and the teams either building or buying cars which fit the requirements, and with more freedom of choice of engines, brakes, tyres etc, as long as they conform to the FORMULA which meets the budget requirements.
    This will allow a mixture of chassis and engines which hasn’t been seen since the 60’s or even the 50’s. Lots of little teams and proper racing (and still a place for the big manufacturers).

  57. Great summary. Now the ego’s have to compromise. The only question is will it produce a Solomon’s compromise…

  58. HounslowBusGarage
    28th May 2009, 21:18

    @ DGR-F1.
    I think customer cars can provide a cheap(er) route to F1 than even the proposed budget cap. The trick must be that development costs spread over two or three teams must be cheaper than developping your own car that’s still 99.9% the same.
    If Max is serious about cost cuts, he will address this area again, and make it stick this time.
    If customer cars were allowed right now, how many Brawns would we see on the grid for next year? Six, ten?

  59. All the current teams have submitted conditional entries for next

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/75680

    So thats 10 current teams and at least 4 new teams, I wonder who won’t make the cut.

    The BBC the FIA will publish the 2010 list on 12 June 2009.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8072295.stm

  60. for me it’s the end.
    i do not care for this show anymore.

    with respects,
    bye all.

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