Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Monza, 2011

Montezemolo demands “urgent” action on cost-cutting

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says F1 must respond to the global financial crisis.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Montezemolo across the board: “There is a need to do something immediately about costs in Formula 1″

“We cannot lose any more time: we need to tackle urgently and with determination the question of costs. Ferrari is in agreement with the FIA’s position that drastic intervention is required. We are absolutely convinced that, as I have always said, the teams and the commercial rights holder must work together with the Federation on this front. This is no longer the moment for getting bogged down in sterile discussions or the meanderings of engineers, usually only concerned in defending the interests of someone or other: the question has to be tackled at the highest level, without further delay”

Engine dispute threatens F1 schism (BBC)

“The new engines are being pushed strongly by governing body the FIA and have the support of the key manufacturers in Formula 1. But there are fears they will be much more expensive than the current 2.4-litre V8s and that the teams – the engine manufacturers’ customers to a large degree – will not be able to afford them.”

Pirelli to test new hard compound tyre (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “There is a big point to make that if we make a change, particularly with the way the championship has been played this year so close, we don’t want to risk creating an advantage for a particular team. So if you imagine, suddenly, for races 10, 11 and 12 one team starts running away, then we’re going to come under all the criticism.”

Dennis remarks all part of the McLaren game (The Telegraph)

“[Lewis Hamilton] has been a different beast altogether in 2012; calm, patient, pleasant to be around, and practically faultless on the track. Which made McLaren chairman Ron Dennis’s comments regarding the driver’s future all the more intriguing. ‘He’s going to look at [where he can go], we’re going to look at who’s available,’ he said.”

Bruno Senna wins the 2012 Lorenzo Bandini trophy (Williams)

“Established in 1992, The Lorenzo Bandini Trophy is a prize awarded in memory of Italian race car driver Lorenzo Bandini by his hometown of Brisighella, near Imola. Bruno is the 19th recipient of this prestigious award, with past winners including former Williams F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, current Williams F1 driver mentor Alex Wurz, and past World Champions Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher.”

McLaren rally round Button (Sky)

Martin Whitmarsh: “Jenson is a great racing driver, but we served him badly over the weekend. His rear tyres were completely shot because we didn’t long-run with his suspension set-up on Friday. That was our fault. We didn’t give him a car he could perform in.”

For One Day, Formula One Parks at the Crossroads of the World (New York Times)

“Short of strumming a guitar in one’s underwear, there are few fail-proof ways to compel passers-by to stop and gawk in Times Square. Formula One, the international open-wheel racing series, gave it a shot Monday, bringing a white and gray racecar from the Sauber team to promote coming races in the United States.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Charlie Whiting has visited the Circuit of the Americas, praised their progress so far, and is planning to return in late August.”

What happened in Montreal and new upgrades for Valencia 2012 (Caterham via YouTube)

Comment of the day

A view on whether the racing has improved this year from Patrickl:

I haven’t seen much of the races this season. Not too interested in F1 since the tyre lottery was introduced. This was the first race I watched the whole race. I’m really glad I did, because this looked like the racing I loved from before. Perhaps it would have been better if Alonso and Vettel actually had gone on the same strategy as Hamilton, but in this case even some tyre based “entertainment” was exciting in its own way.

Personally I liked the “boring” bit before that better. The suspense of how the race will unfold with the top 3 continuously that close to each other interests me a whole lot more than all the fake ‘overtaking’ that has been introduced.

From the forum

Will Wood taking over the round-ups

Will Wood will take over writing the round-up ups for the next week as I need to put some of my time into other areas of work.

Will previously wrote for F1 Fanatic during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Scunnyman!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Riccardo Paletti lost his life during the 1982 Canadian Grand Prix.

That sad day in F1 history will be the subject of an article here later today.

132 comments on “Montezemolo demands “urgent” action on cost-cutting”

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  1. despite being 3-4 years late to the party, i expect ldm to use this to pitch the idea of customer cars again.

    1. He’s perhaps just realised he could probably do with an example of experience in cutting costs to make things economically viable – especially areas with such ludicrously high spending as F1 – for his CV if he chooses to run for Prime Minister of Italy in 2013.

      1. Sounds like a fitting reason behind these words @metrium, off course it could also have to do with the whole thing of getting some kind of budget or resources limit, to kerb Red Bull.

        1. His playing his last card on trying to stop the smaller engines and get customer cars on the mix.

      2. His team are also heavily sponsored by a Spanish bank. I’m sure the current situation in the Spanish banking sector helps make cost cutting an import topic for Ferrari all of a sudden.

        1. Not at all. His team can finish third and still as much money as the first because of special days with Bernie. Ferrari used to spend 400million. Now with all the cost cutting they only spend 150-200million.
          They can keep going even without that Bank. Besides is not like they can’t find another sponsor. They just have to accept a little less money maybe but i doubt getting 10million less a year will have much of an impact on them.

  2. Wouldn’t you think that sticking with the same engines would save a bucket-load of money for the teams? Is there a compelling reason for change? I haven’t heard one other than some greenie pandering. Enlighten me wise ones.

    1. Is there a compelling reason for change?

      Well for one, it makes the sport more attractive to manuacturers. The 2014 engines will have KERS fully-integrated into the engine, and the current KERS function will be replaced by a Thermal Energy Recovery System (TERS), which does the same thing as KERS, but recovers energy in the form of wasted heat.

      KERS and TERS will inevitably trickle down to road cars, and that process is expedited by Formula 1. because Formula 1 is a competitive environment where a tenth of a second can make or break a car’s ultimate pace, teams are able to develop devices like KERS and TERS faster than if a manufacturer was simply trying to develop it for their road-going cars. Anybody who can adapt either or both devices into a cost-effective solution for road-going cars is going to have a major stake in the future car industry, since KERS (in particular; TERS is untested) is much more efficient than hybrid power.

      Besides, it’s technical innovation. It might be envionrmentally-friendly technical innovation, but it is nevertheless technical innovation. KERS and TERS represent the latest developments in high-end precision engineering, and that’s precisely what Formula 1 is all about.

      I haven’t heard one other than some greenie pandering.

      And I haven’t heard any arguments against the 2014 engines other than “WWAAAAAHH! The engines won’t sound the same! Formula 1 will be dead!”

    2. Well you see, F1 engines go vrooooooom really really loud and burn to much fuel and spit out bad, no no, naughty, go sit in the corner emissions. So we are making them spend millions of dollars to fix it, despite the fact that they fly around the world every second week burning around 100,000+ litres of fuel per plane trip, because fixing the F1 cars tiny emissions WILL save the planet.

      1. Silly me, I get it. A $1000 solution to a $10 problem.

        1. Silly you indeed… A $1000 solution (spent by 10+ temas) that would translate to millions of cars with a $10 problem. The key word here is relevance. Otherwise, we would have a cheap sport, but without relation to those who have the money…

        2. Anyway, I feel that no one ever see my comments… i don’t have much time during the week, so i’m always late on my f1f reading (specially after a gp weekend)…

      2. @thecollaroboys I think the compelling argument is the cars burn a hell of a lot of fuel over the season and this way they will be able to burn less. Thus, reducing the negative impact on our atmosphere. You know, the thing that enables us to live..
        Whereas cost cutting, while making the sport more sustainable, just gives us a sport. A great sport, one of the best.
        However, if I had a choice between an extra 10years of F1, or knowing my great grandkids will be able to live on this planet, I know which one I would choose.

        It might seem like a small change from the V8 to the V6T, however these small margins will be the difference in a century or so. Think bigger than the sport.

        @julian I guess you’re one of those people who when an election comes round, sits there saying “hah as if my one vote will make a difference”.

        1. I’m all for cost cutting and fuel efficiency, so why don’t they start with cancelling the engine changes and cancel fly-away races? As to relative fuel efficiency between now and the new engine then it is a thimblefull and in my view not a tangible benefit for the amount spent. Or why not change to biofuel if they’re really serious – no fossil fuel, and probably the same amount spent on R&D as changing the engines (though ethanol production does chew up a lot of fossil fuel). If the changes are all about fuel efficiency then that’s PR not direct action.

          As for voting, I haven’t missed a local, state or federal election since 1975. PM me and I’ll let you who my company sponsors each year.

          1. I’m all for cost cutting and fuel efficiency, so why don’t they start with cancelling the engine changes and cancel fly-away races? As to relative fuel efficiency between now and the new engine then it is a thimblefull and in my view not a tangible benefit for the amount spent. Or why not change to biofuel if they’re really serious – no fossil fuel, and probably the same amount spent on R&D as changing the engines (though ethanol production does chew up a lot of fossil fuel). If the changes are all about fuel efficiency then that’s PR not direct action

            Those are preciously my thoughts on the matter.

            Part of the reason for the engine change is just a cop out so F1 can say “hey see we are doing something to help the environment” when in reality its going to have a negligible effect.

            @timi I don’t think my one vote makes a difference but I still vote. Further more I live in Australia, we have compulsory voting which is something I think all democracy’s should adopt. And I would still vote even if it wasn’t compulsory.

        2. The fuel used by the cars is so negligible, the idea that slightly more environmental engines in F1 will have any impact doesn’t hold up. There are reasons for change, but that isn’t one of them.

          1. but F1 is an innovative sport, and its seen as being the pinical of development technologies, and its quite old fashioned technology they have with these engines at the moment. Its the development that they can show to the world that is important, not the greenness of individual races and the sport logistical emissions.

            Manufacturers are really pushing performance with better MPG, this should be the same for f1. I say limit the fuel flow rate and un-restrict all development on the engines except with a cap (a high cap) on the total spending. that would promote efficiency developments like crazy!

          2. @thecollaroyboys I agree, it’s most likely a PR thing moving to the V6T. I see what you mean, but I think it is well worth the amount spent. Sure, the fuel saving isn’t that great. But all it takes, is everyone, or most people to turn off the light when they leave the room, or not to leave their TV on standby.

            @matt90 It’s a collective effort, and if we all do something small, it will pay off. There are ads on TV about turning off lights etc. sure, small impact but these margins will come in to play one day. I just don’t see how no-one is getting this!

          3. @timi, the difference is that F1 isn’t really a necessity, so arguing about how F1, which has marginal impact on the environment from the engines themselves anyway, is fruitless as you may as well argue for stopping it completely, or finding the other areas in F1 where greater savings can be made- design and manufacturing processes and less fly-away races or better ordered schedule. Also, F1 is such a tiny part of the problem that heavily campaigning just for that is akin to heavily campaigning for one town in the entire world to turn off their lights, and not bother anywhere else.

            The real reasons are political, the fact that this reopens engine development (always fundamental to F1), and that it might set some kind of example to the wider world. Also that it might encourage the development of technologies that can trickle back to road cars, which is where the biggest F1-related environmental gains are to be found.

            Also, arguing that the benefit of the engines lies purely in fuel saving in actual F1 cars ignores the fact that the change is probably more polluting overall- the requirement of new design and development processes, and that these will be constantly changing due to the re-introduced development will probably be more polluting than sticking with the current engines, even if you factor in the direct emissions from both.

        3. Also, the computing power alone used to develop new engines would probably cause more environmental damage than just using the old engines. Not to mention new production facilities and methods.

          1. It’s not the actual fuel burnt that is the issue. F1 has traditionally been a development category, where car manufacture’s would test ideas that would eventually make it to road cars. The current state of environmental concern means that V8s are a thing of the past, and have no relevance to future technology. If F1 wants to maintain its image of being at the forefront of technology it can’t continue to use dinosaurs to power the cars, it sends all the wrong messages.

            The new engine formula was originally meant to be 4 cylinder Turbos; which would have been much more relevant. However the compromise was 6 cylinder turbos.

          2. Exactly, that’s one of the reasons for the change, whereas timi thought the fuel burnt by the cars was a big issue.

        4. That’s a PR stunt sponsored by top engine manufacturers. There’s no how 24 cars can cause much harm on earth in 20 GPs!

          Maybe ban road cars in India would make the world a bigger favour. It’s nonsense placing F1 in the centre of the “war on pollution”.

          1. A great example is a hybrid car, the carbon footprint on one of these vehicles far outways the benefits of its low emissions.

          2. @Funkyf1
            Carbon footprint is just the start of it.
            The batteries used in hybrid cars are Lithium Polymer Ion tech. I used to used these in model aviation. They are quite nasty things, Ive seen them explode and burn. It is recommended to keep them in a fireproof container when charging.

            These things are particularly hard to recycle, are highly toxic and remain so for a very very long time.

            Yeay Environmentalism…
            Shun the Gasoline in favor of Lithium – Check
            Save all pretty animals, but let the ugly ones be exploited – Check
            Fur is Murder, but Leather is ok – Check
            I love it…

          3. Unlike javlinsharp says Lithium Polymer batteries do not explode. They do burn when misused but they simply do not explode. What he probably has seen exploding is nihm and nicd batteries. Those do in fact literally explode without any fore warning while lipos just burn.

            Which one would you hold in your hand javlinsharp? A damaged lipo battery or damaged nihm battery? I’d take the lipo battery. When and if it starts to burn I just drop it off from my hand and take some steps away from it and watch it burn peacefully. The nihm battery on the other hand explodes without forewarning and will probably take hand, fingers or eyes with it when it does explode.

          4. @socksolid
            They do explode if they are not vented. As most were not in the early days of LIPO. The burning process expends gases, that (when not vented) cause the packaging to burst, creating an exploding effect.

            My point is that no battery is really safe, and all of them are hard to deal with when they are expended. Even trusty old Lead-Acid can still cause a chemical burn, and is full of nastiness that is hard to recycle safely.

          5. @javlinsharp
            Lipo explosions:

            Actual explosion:

            I know it is nit picking but lipos do not explode. Fire is not an explosion.

        5. Let’s ban airplanes and we’re done.

          1. Why don’t we just ban electricity, dammit!?

    3. Bringing a new technology will always be expensive. But after a while, it’ll get cheaper.

      So it’s good for the sport to move on. They’ve been racing this V8s for 6 years, and they are gonna go for 2 more years using the same powerplant designed in 2006. For the “pinnacle of technology” that’s pretty lame.

      I’d not have waited this long to introduce new engines. But well, that’s the FIA. They must have a reason… and surely in the years of constant development, engines were a lot more expensive.

      1. Its interesting that’s exactly what Haug said in canada, its even in the same article @fer-no65, wonder why Benson did not pick up on that more (does not fit in with his headline?). To me that one is a clear sign that all of this is just negotiation over price.

        1. @bascb that’s because I’m Norbert Haugh. :P

          Totally agree. The whole affair about prices is just moaning from the teams and a battle with the FIA about it. If they want, they can. But they don’t want to move resources again… it’s obvious, really. No one wants to spend money.

      2. You move on when you have money. I’d love to change my 2006 car for 2012 one, but where’s the money?

        There’s a world around F1 and it’s not healthy.

      3. It wont be long before t v6’s will be old hat.The future is hydrogen guys and its coming fast Visit

        1. Sorry

          1. Hydrogen requires too much energy to produce at the moment unfortunately. It certainly isn’t coming fast.

    4. I think the issue there to consider is this, @thecollarboys: Will Mercedes and Renault be interested in selling these engines to teams for the current price for a long time? What is in it for them? Its not as if they sell engines, just like that, its a decision based on wanting or not wanting to promote oneself with the sport.

      Renault has clearly indicated, that for them the way is to go smaller capacity turbo combined with hybrid. That is what the Red Bull – infinity deal is about too. I understand its much the same for Mercedes.
      And while Ferrari might be happy with it, and Cosworth will probably happily supply those engines for another couple of years, is that a good way to go for F1?

      1. ah, forgot about the dots – @thecollarboys

      2. ehm, sorry seem to have forgotten how to type! @thecollaroyboys

      3. Mmm, good angle. Hybrid? Really?

        1. Just look at all those infinity cars with some electrical engines in them (as does toyota), and sportscars producers now looking at 4wd where an electrical engine does one axle.

    5. I think you have just hit on the motivation for Luca’s comment.

      1. Ferrari itself is far from short of money, so it’s obvious that cost cutting for Ferrari itself isn’t the motivation. Secondly, we know from past experience that Luca is not good at putting the rest of F1’s interests in front of his own. So it can’t be concern for other teams.

        The only reason I can’t think for his comments, is Luca being strongly against the new engines. Which he has vocally opposed in the past. The engines of course being the biggest new cost that will effect the teams in the next few years. It’s not hard to put two and two together and see that this is his grievance. This is a very underhanded way to make his point

    6. They still spend a fortune on messing with the engines and devices around it. They can save that money and invest it in a new engine.

  3. “The new engines are being pushed strongly by governing body the FIA and have the support of the key manufacturers in Formula 1. But there are fears they will be much more expensive than the current 2.4-litre V8s and that the teams – the engine manufacturers’ customers to a large degree – will not be able to afford them.”

    Sounds like scaremongering to me.

    “Established in 1992, The Lorenzo Bandini Trophy is a prize awarded in memory of Italian race car driver Lorenzo Bandini by his hometown of Brisighella, near Imola. Bruno is the 19th recipient of this prestigious award, with past winners including former Williams F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, current Williams F1 driver mentor Alex Wurz, and past World Champions Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher.”

    Did Lorenzo Bandini crash into the Wall of Champions at some point?

    Because that’s probably the only thing of note that Bruno Senna has done of late.

  4. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq)
    13th June 2012, 0:25

    Don’t know if anyone has seen it already, but here it goes:

    Nice tribute, hein?

    1. That’s a really nice tribute. Now his name will live forever

  5. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
    13th June 2012, 0:49

    I’m curious to see how they’re going to approach really rolling out F1 here in the States. That interview with poor Vettel (who I’m generally pretty neutral on, both on and off-track) on Letterman was pretty painful. He certainly tried his best, but Letterman barely let him get in a word edgewise. Also, trying to get a driver to explain DRS to an American audience in a 10 minute interview was… probably not the best idea I’ve seen tried. Then again, I’ve really never been a fan of Letterman.

    I’d love to see F1 take off in the States, I really would (for one thing, I’d maybe finally have some fans living anywhere near me to talk to!), but I have such a hard time picturing it happening. I really want to see footage of Vettel’s lap around the streets they’re building the NJ circuit on, since that’s a race I’m going to try my best to make it out to, despite living on the wrong coast. Hopefully the Austin race goes well and paves the way for NJ to do so too, and perhaps create at least a somewhat larger audience out here. Only time will tell.

    1. Letterman is in the business of promoting Letterman – the guests are just a foil to his (cough, choke) … humour and inflated sense of self importance. That was a particularly painful interview even by his standards and far from a good advert for F1. Lame, lame, lame.

      1. I think Vettel was really doing his best (got Letterman stunned a while with he big balls comment!), but I would have been happy to have been shown a bit of that NJ ride instead.

        On the other hand, when we take in account that Sauber and Marussia were present at the Foto forum, and Sauber had some promotion on times square, while Red Bull and Infinity were at the NJ presentation, it does give me some hope that at least this time the teams in F1 are really making a it of effort of promoting the sport in the runup to Austin.

        1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
          13th June 2012, 7:32

          That was my thinking as well, and to be honest I wasn’t expecting the New York-based promotion to begin this early. Not that that’s a complaint, mind you! I have a feeling America may be very slow to warm to F1 again, so the sooner they start rolling any sort of promo out, the better.

          1. Indeed, after years of all but complete absence in the USA, it will take quite an effort @leucocyrstal

          2. They only came to do the promotion because they were right around the corner in Montreal and had a 2 week break before the next race…

        2. The big balls comment put Letterman of and got a laugh from the Audience… That’s what he needed to do.

    2. @leucocrystal It was a strange interview. Clearly the angle taken was to give the US an idea of what to expect from F1 before the circus rolls into town but it was pretty poorly executed. Chat shows really should be about the person, not so much the profession.

    3. I agree Eleanore, that interview was painful and it was all Letterman being his typical arrogant self. It was kind of embarrassing…

  6. xeroxpt (@)
    13th June 2012, 1:15

    Bad joke incoming……. Why did Bruno won the Lorenzo Bandini trophy? I guess it’s because he keeps crashing and burning.

    1. The thing I really don’t understand is that he got that for last year, despite not doing a lot. Certainly less than Di Resta, Sutil, Kovalainen, Glock, Perez and Kobayashi (who aren’t past winners, so I assume would be eligible).

    2. Borderline offensive… But yeah, Bruno actually did a great job last year apart from that one little mistake in Belgium (after a pretty astonishing qualifying performance). He came in half-way through the year with next to no experience and started outperforming his team-mate in a way even quick Nick wasn’t managing. There were plenty of impressive drivers, but Bruno wasn’t exactly bad.

      And on the subject of crashing, how often have you seen Bruno make mistakes that cost him his race? He was running in a position to score strong points in Spain before being taken out, and he had a collision with Massa over which no driver could really be blamed. He spun on lap 1 in Malaysia but on that occasion, he more than made up for it with his pace and scored a big haul of points.

      He’s certainly been doing better than many are giving him credit for. And I really wish the Bruno-Ayrton comparisons would stop. That’s just plain mean. Ayrton’s death is actually the reason Bruno couldn’t follow his passion for a large portion of his life, and despite that, he’s still in F1 and doing a fine job.

      1. xeroxpt (@)
        13th June 2012, 16:25

        great job c’mon everyone wants it to happen but he has had far too many chances in F1, his time should be over after this season.

    3. He didn’t “win” the trophy. He was awarded the trophy. In my opinion there’s a big difference. You win something if genuinely beat your opposition, if you are better. You get an award if the judges like you more. At least that’s how I see it. That’s why I don’t like when people say that someone “won an Oscar”, because “getting an Oscar” seems more accurate to me.

      1. xeroxpt (@)
        13th June 2012, 16:26

        Semantics, why are arguing semantics when the point remains on Bruno’s not too shabby performances.

  7. The most important story today is the headline story. In current financial times it must be hard even for Ferrari to justify the huge expenditure of a race team while sales of supercars are falling. The biggest single expense in F1 is the revenue Bernie sold to CVC, this money were it returned to the teams would massively reduce the cost of competing in F1. Time for the teams to get together on the Concorde agreement and screw Bernie and CVC as hard as Bernie screwed them before.

    1. Are supercar sales falling though? They might be in Europe, but China is a huge emerging market. I’d have thought their global sales would still be increasing, particularly with the constant new models coming out.

      1. @matt90, I thought about that and not knowing the answer decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good theory, just like businessmen and politicians. There are reports of the Chinese economy slowing so I expect Ferrari sales might be slowing there also. Please lets concentrate on what affects F1 most, and that is all the revenue the teams do not share in.

        1. You based your point on Supercar sales falling…..

      2. Spanish banks, such as Santander, are falling. Their sponsorship deal with Ferrari should have another 2 years to run at around 40 million euros/year. Just imagine the machinations of German pressure on Spanish banks to stop sponsoring an Italian F1 team. More realistically, Ferrari should be looking ahead to their available funds when that deal expires, whether from sponsorship or car sales. Their car sales are also part of the much larger Fiat group which could probably use a bunch of cash itself as it tries to extend it’s market penetration in the US as well as in China. Ferrari F1 performance won’t help Fiat sales.

    2. The biggest single expense in F1 is the revenue Bernie sold to CVC, this money were it returned to the teams would massively reduce the cost of competing in F1.

      When Bernie first got together with CVC, he borrowed $100 million. That’s pretty much the minimum amount a team needs to spend in one year just to be competitive. How, exactly, does this fix anything? It doesn’t “massively reduce the cost of competing” at all.

      Time for the teams to get together on the Concorde agreement and screw Bernie and CVC as hard as Bernie screwed them before.

      Yes, because we all know that is going to end well for everyone.

      You seem to be under the mistaken belief that because you like the teams and because you dislike Bernie, the teams dislike Bernie. This is not true at all – the teams actually get along with Bernie pretty well.

      How, exactly, can the teams “get together … and screw Bernie”? Half of them have already agreed to the terms for the new Concorde, and the other half have no choice because they have no real power (I’m talking about the likes of Marussia here). Add to that the way FOTA is deeply divided, with Ferrari, Red Bull, Sauber, Toro Rosso and HRT having nothing to do with the association. Mercedes is (widely believed to be) the only hold-out on Concorde negotiations, and even they have gone quiet of late, which leads me to believe there might have been an agreement of some kind.

      Once again, you demonstrate just how little you know about the business side of Formula 1. You’ve boiled it down to “Bernie bad, teams good”, and assumed that rule can be applied to any situation, which is untrue.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, last time you gave us this story about Bernie borrowing money to promote F1, I direct you to CVC’s website so you could read for yourself how Bernie sold the F1 business to CVC, annual revenues are about $1.9 Billion of which the teams used to get half, but exactly how much they get now is a secret so Bernie can play them of against each other by promising each one a better deal. Total staff of the various businesses CVC own relating to F1, including, travel agencies, catering, website and advertising as well as the actual racing and broadcasting comes to about 200 persons, a lot less than a single team yet taking as much money out of the sport as all the teams combined get. Bernie bad? definitely, teams good? F1 would (will) survive without Bernie, but F1 is nothing without the teams.
        Just because Bernie has already divided and conquered the teams does not mean it would not be much better for F1 if they had the balls to stand together and demand a better deal. It is you PM who do not understand the business of F1, all you have to do is read the CVC website, so don’t come back with one of your totally innacurate comments re Bernie and CVC again.

    3. xeroxpt (@)
      13th June 2012, 16:29

      Ferrari actually sold more cars in 2011 than in 2010, maybe not as much as they were hoping for, but the biggest issue here is inflation that’s why they are so worried about cost savings.

  8. The second most important story, and they are interconnected is the engine story. The FIA is correct in assuming that manufacturers will only come into F1 if they can see a benefit to their whole operation in the research involved in developing the engines, they must keep this in mind when placing limits on development, companies will want to demonstrate their ability to develop innovative and superior solutions, not just a bog-standard race engine identical to the others.

    1. To me the part where Benson mentions that circuit organisation as another means to put pressure on the FIA made a piece of the puzzle fit (I had been wondering about Bernie buddy Ron Walker heading that organisation) @hohum

      Off course the whole thing (engine cost, go forward/stay stalwart with engine development, cost cutting, amount of races per year, rulebook, etc.) have been about the negotiations for the pot of money, as you mention in your post above, there’s enough of it to go round, but far too big a portion is flowing out to CVC et all.

      I am fully with you on those engines, there really is no reason for Renault to want to sell those same old engines for another 8-10 years. And probably the same for Mercedes, not to mention no car company in their right mind would want to get in now (leaving Cosworth and Ferrari to supply engines?).

  9. Matt (@agentmulder)
    13th June 2012, 2:06

    Ferrari to English translation:

    “We aren’t doing as well as the front teams, our car started the season poorly, we had poor strategy in Canada, and comparing Bruno to Massa, that award makes a slight bit of sense (actually it doesn’t, but we’re Ferrari, **** logic!

    So it is only for the good of the sport that the other 11 teams pay less. We say all, but God help the poor soul who tries to cut our spending. I will send some angry Sicilians to Woking faster than you can say ‘Fernando is faster…'”

    1. That was hilarious :D

  10. Nick.UK (@)
    13th June 2012, 2:25

    I think Formula.1 needed the outcome of the Canadian race. It might at last show teams that a ‘conservation of tyres’ strategy is not always going to work and can just make you look stupid. The sooner teams ditch the slow paced conservation approach to racing the better the racing will be. Giving the drivers the ability to push harder by making an extra stop or two is what is going to improve ‘the show’, as they call it. I think the attitude of the teams in the last few races to try and make as few stops as possible and be all conservative with the tyres is what is making Pirelli take some flack. It gives the false impression that it is the only way you use them effectively. Lewis has proved otherwise on two notable occassions now. China 2011 and Canada 2012!

    As I side not, I personally can’t stand how everyone calls it a ‘show’! It’s not! It’s a sport and I want to be entertained by genuine competition. It really annoys me how I feel patronized by the powers that be. They seem to think I have the attention span of a goldfish. I don’t need to see 50 passes a race, all I want is to see even just one that makes my jaw hit the floor! I can’t say DRS or tyre degradation dissadvantage has produced many of those…

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      13th June 2012, 2:29

      And just to name some actually from this year. Vettel on Rosberg in Melbourne stunned me the most so far. Webber on Vettel on the penultimate lap in China and of course, Hamilton on both Toro Rossos in Spain. There have been others too, but these are my 3 best so far this season. I’m probably forgetting a really obvious one though lol.

    2. @nick-uk,

      The sooner teams ditch the slow paced conservation approach to racing the better the racing will be.

      I totally agree! I also think that many people, including the teams, often underestimate how much time you can win by bolting a new set of tyres on towards the end of the race. In Spain, for example, everyone was quick to laud Hamilton for what was indeed an impressively long final stint, but the price of Lewis’s tyre conservation was that he was slower than the leaders (Alonso, Maldonado) at about a second per lap; and Kimi, on even fresher tyres, was reeling the leaders in at about 1 second a lap in turn!

      At a place like Monaco, it’s understandable that you don’t want to sacrifice track position for fresher tyres, but elsewhere, I hope teams will start to let drivers push more, and let them overtake the ‘conservationists’ on track.

    3. Yes, I hope teams pick up on it and start trying a tad more aggressive strategies on those tyres.

    4. During Canada I thought this also. I think with 10-15 laps to go, if you are in a comfortable 3rd place or similar, teams should start to think “Is it worth a Banzai pitstop to try and steal a win”

      At the end, Lewis was lapping 2-3 seconds quicker (as was Grosjean and Perez) than Alonso.
      It has to be worth a pop at that rate. Obviously the track surface at Canada does play into this a lot, its quite harsh on tyres.

    5. I agree. It was refreshing to see a bit more ‘racing’, after Hamilton final stop at least. Once they knew they could get to the end Grosjean and Perez pushing and Hamilton had to push as hard as they dared to get the lead back, along with Vettel also having to fight back to minimise the effect of the ‘too late’ second stop, made it one if now the best races of the year. Without DRS as you can overtake in Canada it would have been just about perfect.

      1. Yes, we didn’t really get to see what Grosjean and Perez are made of – they didn’t have to outbrake Alonso, just blasted by on the straight as if they were lapping him. We saw some of Alonso’s defensive skills at work when Hamilton had a couple of goes elsewhere on the track – a few more laps of that would have been great. DRS on the pit straight instead (as a few of us were suggesting) might do the trick.

        I hope there are more 1-2 stop races this year, they encourage racing on the track as well as during pit stops and out-laps . So it’s encouraging that Pirelli are working on their hard tyres.

    6. @nick-uk I guess it really boils down to how much faster you can be on fresher tyres vs. the amount of time you lose pitting for them. Fortunately you don’t lose much time in the pits in Canada so that worked out quite well. No one wants to be the first to take a bold, potentially risky move, plus a lot depends on the drivers skills with the tyres and how comfortable they are with the circuit and many other factors. If you push, push, push all the time you are more likely to make a mistake that will cost you all your points, instead of maybe just a few.

      I do strongly agree with your view on the ‘show’. Most sports respect and listen to their fans and F1 is no different, however, sometimes it goes too far. If the sport talks about itself like a ‘show’ then it dilutes the sporting essence of it. I’m not tuning in for a show. Sometimes I’m just watching cars fly around the track in a procession, other times I’m watching the most competitive drivers and teams in the world argue over a few tenths, it’s swings and roundabouts. After a dull race the fans start to attack the sport and say that F1 isn’t what it used to be blah blah blah and all that rubbish. As far as I’m concerned they do not ‘get’ F1. If we have a season like that, fair enough, voice your concerns, but this is a sport and as a result is subject to all sorts from the thrilling to the mundane. THAT’s what’s exciting.

      1. @andrewtanner its hitting on an important fact here; the pit lane in Canada costs very little time compared to other tracks!

        1. Nick.UK (@)
          13th June 2012, 15:54

          @satchelcharge Yes, but not by much really, when you factor in that drivers were between 1-4 seconds a lap faster than the leaders.


          After a dull race the fans start to attack the sport and say that F1 isn’t what it used to be blah blah blah and all that rubbish. As far as I’m concerned they do not ‘get’ F1. If we have a season like that, fair enough, voice your concerns, but this is a sport and as a result is subject to all sorts from the thrilling to the mundane. THAT’s what’s exciting.

          Summed it up perfectly. The racing is what it is. Don’t try and force it. That’s my opinion at least. So much of what I value in the sport and what makes me love it is all the behind the scenes, off track stuff anyway. It all blends together to make the sport what it is.

    7. One big problems is that they don’t have enough tyres though. Most are already pretty well used.

  11. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
    13th June 2012, 2:53

    Think Di Resta or Perez deserved the Bandini trophy more than Senna.

    1. Absolutely. I don’t know what Senna has done to deserve it.

  12. Montezemolo demands “urgent” action on cost-cutting… how about we introduce 3 car teams!

    1. …. to read it another way Montezemolo demands that they keep their favoured V8’s. Kind of ironic that he said that people should not push in directions to promote their best interests.

      1. Does Ferrari have any experience in building V6 racing engines?

        1. Yes but many years ago.

  13. I’m yet to clearly figure out Ron Denis strategy to find a financially sustainable deal with Hamilton. IMHO, Hamilton is their best driver and has the appeal sponsors like, so unless Jenson finds his mojo back or Ron has found a faster and available driver, McLaren’s best call is still offer him a new contract but their bankers might be warning them that pay raises are not suitable with current economic environment.

    1. to be honest, I think the most sensible place to start assumptions is that Hamilton may already be on more money than Button, so the team can’t put him higher without taking an impact. Lewis has probably already been told this from the team, so my guess is they’re telling the media not to expect record breaking contracts.

      1. @bendana, the thing is, though, that since last year’s contract extension, Jenson now earns the same as Lewis, as far as we know:

        (the website looks a bit dodgy but these numbers can be found elsewhere as well, including a discussion on the F1Fanatic forum).

        It would be a bit galling if Lewis would have to accept a contract in which he earns less than his struggling team mate. All those years ago, Damon Hill may have been wrong going to Arrows, but he was right when he said a driver’s salary is a measure of how much a team values its driver. So unless McLaren are really struggling to make ends meet, I suspect it will be difficult for Lewis to accept a pay cut.

      2. I think Button’s recent deal is costing McLaren to reach a fair “bad times” deal with Lewis. We’ve seen “overpaid” stars not only in F1 accepting pay cuts in order to pursuit their sportive interests in a team they believe suits better for his goals, but a cut making him get less money more than Jenson is very unlikely.

        Renault worked a deal with Alonso to cut his pay years ago for the sake of their whole operation, maybe Hamilton is not that greed and his “love” for McLaren will speak louder.

        1. *less money more than Jenson

  14. Amazing COTD, why bother posting if you have no idea whats going on?


    1. Well I do have an idea.

  15. Has anybody else noticed that Ferrari have only started calling for cost-cutting measures after they cut what is believed to be a very good deal with Bernie?

    FOTA was formed in 2008, with Ferrari as a key member. Luca di Montezemolo was President at the time the breakaway series was established in 2009. But then, just as a new Concorde Agreement needs to be negotiated, Ferrari very publicly leave the association. They get a great deal with Bernie, which is believed to include a share in the sport. And now that they have signed it, Luca is calling for emergency cost-cutting measures. They will have maximised their income, slashed their expenses and made a killing in profits.

    And people think Bernie is the greedy one …

    1. Thanks for sharing. I figured Ferrari’s outcry wasn’t to be taken at face value.

    2. Agreed. Very two-faced if you ask me, but not unsurprising

  16. I thought part of the new engines would be that other formula’s and racing series would be able to take the base engine re-tune it to a new rev limit / fuel flow rate, add a lower / different Turbo and remove KERS/ERS or adjust accordingly thus allowing engine manufactures to sell to more series and spread their costs reducing every series and racing costs,
    Would also make progression through the lower formula a bit better as they would experience a similar engine (though lower powered) and make them a bit more relevant as a learning for both teams, drivers and suppliers, thus people like Lotus / Caterham who have lower formula teams may find some synergies in their teams, it could make other F1 teams look at the lower formulas as a proper learning area / test bed and invest themselves.

    1. I know that’s kind of the way NASCAR does it here in the states. The Cup, Nationwide & Truck Series all use the same engine just de-tuned a bit for the Nationwide & a bit more the the Truck series. Not only does it help with costs for the builder/suppliers but lower budget Nationwide & Truck teams can buy used Cup engines and tune them for their series.

      If I remember reading something correctly the other week aren’t these new F1 engines supposed to be pretty close to the engine specs that Indycar has adopted for this season & I think Le Mans is looking at adopting within a few years too.

      1. i recall something about Le Mans looking at this as an option and again this is exactly what Cosworth and the likes shoudl be looking at to make this as viable as possible for them,

        I will confess my ignorance of the American Truck racing series, but i had not considered the second hand market, though i am not sure about ownership of the actual engines by the F1 teams, i thought they all ended up back with manufacturer.

        1. yes, @mooph it was announced a week ago, or something, that these engines would be allowed to be used from 2013 onwards (so they could be used in endurance even as a testbed for F1)

  17. There’s always some complaints when a new engine formula comes in, Then after the 1st season they die down.

    I remember when we went to the current V8 formula in 2006 there were grumblings through 2005 about high cost’s Etc…. yet by the end of the year & into 2007 & beyond that all died down.
    Initial development cost’s are always going to be higher, However once manufacturing gets optimised & initial development/testing ends the cost’s always come down.

    I for one am looking forward to the new formula, Will be nice to see a change & perhaps a change in the order. Mercedes are said to have the most powerfull V8 but its possible someone else will build a better V6 Turbo. Indycar have a similar engine formula for this year & I think they sound great & look fun to drive.

    We have had the current V8’s since 2006 & everyone has a decent handle on them, Will be great to see new engine’s come in which have new challenges.

  18. Regarding the COTD, I think he seems more interested in Formula 1 as a show rather than being passionate about the sport itself. Otherwise it’s not possible for a true fan to leave Formula 1 just because it has the “fake” overtaking moves.

    1. Otherwise it’s not possible for a true fan to leave Formula 1 just because it has the “fake” overtaking moves.

      Not necisarily true.

      If you watch Formula 1 to see good racing & real overtaking, Truly exciting overtaking & you don’t find the current formula to be producing that excitement then why would you continue watching?

      In the DRS/Pirelli era I’ve found myself turning off the TV more than once after having to sit through a couple easy & boring DRS passes. Thats not the sort of racing/passing that intrest’s me & when I see a lot of it I simply stop watching.

      I’ve been a fan of Formula 1 for about 40 years, Have attended several hundred Races (F1 & other events), I love this sport & am passionate about this sport.

      1. I don’t like the term ‘true fan’ but I do think that F1 should have some more support from long-time fans with regards to the current formula. I tune in to a race for a million and one reasons. If I just tuned in for the on-track action and over-taking I’d probably be pretty vexed at times, however, rough with the smooth!

    2. It’s exactly the opposite. I didn’t like the sport being turned into a show. Granted some random elements can make things more “entertaining”, but I don’t like it.

      Just can’t help it but I found the races were boring to watch. No matter how many cars drove past each other.

      Probably I’m weird because I’ve had races where i was on the edge of my seat all race and then other people complained it was boring because there was no overtaking. I remember a race where Button and Barrichello (driving for BrawnGP) were on a different strategy. Loved that race even though they didn’t actually overtake each other on track.

      Admittedly I often had other things to do with my kid growing up and going to sports on the weekends too. So I often just couldn’t watch the races (or just a part of it).

  19. Crikey, these old guys are starting to lose it!

    So Montezemolo wants to save on costs but is happy to go for further testing and would like the idea of a third car?

    Ecclestone vehemently trying to get rid of the new engines as well? Sure, he may be sticking up for the little guy in all this but times move on, deal with it. I for one am really looking forward to the new engines, some new challenges and a massive shake-up for the grid as a whole. I do expect the costs will be quite high but I also expect they will come down in time. As Lowdon says, it’s a cash flow issue more than anything so that’s what needs to be addresses, no ditching the engines because they’re too expensive.

  20. My thoughts on cost-cutting: How about more standardized parts? Performance recently is generally limited to aero, engine and suspension. So non-critical, non-visible parts such as fuel-tanks, radiators, engine ancilliaries etc could be standardized to cut costs with minimal effect on any deserved advantage gleaned from pure hard-work and innovation. Sharing technology through open-source concordes would also be beneficial, such pitwall tech, telemetry-gathering equipment and so on. The problem with cutting costs is that whilst it makes smaller teams more viable, the larger teams that already have a (relative) surfeit of cash can spend more money on their already well-developed cars, thus widening the performance differential from one end of the grid to the other. Some very clever rule making would be required here (mandatory minimum drag co-ef anyone?). Small teams at the back running four, five or six seconds off the pace don’t generate sponsorship, however low the costs may be.

    And on engine changes: MotoGP has had problems in this area, with the development of new engines that were reliable (to meet rules regarding number of engines allowed for the year) has cost as much as, if not more than, the cost of manufacturing many engines of lower longevity. Development costs outweigh manufacturing costs, it seems (ironic given the reason these rules were introduced). Perhaps allowing more engines, lower penalties (or none) for engine changes in the first years turbo engines are adopted might help lower costs until manufacturers have a handle on them.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to turbos. I like the idea of a mid-field team turning the wick up on them for a glory run in quali, then bunching everyone up behind them in the race. Or turning the boost up to pass someone, but running low on fuel later on and being caught. It could even mean the end of DRS…

    1. @splittimes Nah, the appeal for F1 is that it is a true non-spec series. Only a few parts like the engine, ECU, cameras are controlled. Things like fuel tanks, radiators all have impacts on performance and in particular aero. One of the reasons why RBR use the Renault engine is that it is compact and allows for better flexibility with aero packaging, hence their success. That’s just one example.

    2. @splittimes
      I call heresy ;-) For me, F1 is 50% about the engineering. “… a car of your own design and build” etc. Even the standard ECU makes me cringe. The more standard parts there are, the less possible it will be to innovate. I would bet $100 that Mercedes GP had to make some radiator changes in order for that Blown Fron Wing/DRS to work.

      To quote an old addage, “How do you make a small fortune in F1? Start with a big one.”
      F1 Racing is expensive. If one doesnt like it, or cant afford, go find another venue. That said, I understand the wisdom of avoiding a spending war.

      1. I like the standard ECU on the basis that EBD are not really in the interests of an even competition.

        1. @mike
          Not sure I understand your connection between ECU and Exhaust Blown Diffuser

    3. @javlinsharp @AndrewTanner
      Fair enough. I understand that everything has an impact (fuel tank : centre of gravity, packaging etc). I agree that the sport should be the pinnacle of technological achievement. But I don’t think designing a really nice throttle pedal, or seatbelt mounting point, or driveshaft boot is the pinnacle of technology. The teams don’t manufactur their own spark plugs, or HT leads. There must be other things which make less than 1% difference to the performance of the car. If Mercedes weren’t allowed to modify a radiator, I’m sure they wouldn’t have scrapped the idea. They would have re-innovated. The quality of the technology, for me, is defined not by its uniqueness, but by the creativity and wit involved in its implementation.

      1. Actually the example of the radiators is not the best one @splittimes, as each engine has a different cooling need and there’s a really big influence from radiators to aero-configuration (just think about McLaren’s U shaped sidepods last year).

        But I get the ghist of your comment, and I am pretty sure it would not really have to be hard to find a load of components that could be standardised really to save cost.

        1. In defense of @splittimes, and since we are engaging in uber-specific hairsplitting…
          The engines are all the same spec. They generate the same HP, and would have the same cooling requirements. In a world of standard radiator, the only real design question is “what bodywork would be needed to funnel sufficient air to the enable suffienct cooling?”

          That said, I think it is very dangerous to start limiting what components can be modified and what are standard. We cannot foresee what changes any new innovations may require. Such behavior borders dangerously on “Spec Series”. The second F1 becomes Spec racing is the very same second I will stop caring about it.

          1. The engines are all the same spec.

            The second F1 becomes Spec racing is the very same second I will stop caring about it.

            When I started watching F1 there were almost as many different types of engines as there were teams, from 1.5L V8 Turbo’s to 3L V12’s and several other configurations in between, and many of the current regulations make F1 appear very “spec” already.

      2. @splittimes
        You make a good point. Innovation is still innovation even when it is constrained by external factors; this is indeed the type of innovation we have today.

        Please excuse my knee-jerk reaction to despise all things regulatory in F1. If I had the power, F1 would still allow 6 wheeled Tirrells, huge Turbo’s and SideSkirts. But what do I really know – Arm-chair F1 engineering is a lot easier than the real thing, all one really has to do is complain ;-)

        1. I’m with you on six-wheelers! That’s the real thing to me. The satisfaction an engineer must feel from coming up with an idea like that, or the Lotus double-chassis, must be a million times what they get from designing an aerodynamic wheelnut.

          I think my fear is that such an innovation would be out of reach for all but one or two teams. I know what you mean though about spec racing versus real prototypes though. I love the ethos of the DeltaWing at Le Mans. And anyway, we’re not complaining: we’re suggesting contructive debate!

          1. @splittimes
            I was not implying that anyone other than myself was complaining, apologies if that was unclear, I do enjoy lively debate.

            As far as the costs go. I agree, there are probably tons of things built/designed/executed by the teams that cost lots of money but dont really do anything, and you had mentioned some of those things previously.

            IMHO, the spending wars of the past are not good for the sport, but we cannot deny that F1 is very expensive. The reason behind Spec series (as I understand it) is to place more emphasis on the Drivers, by putting them all in the same car. Since this is against the spirit of F1, there are only 2 other ways I can see. The bit by bit restricion of parts (Radiators, ECUs, Tires, Engines rations, Gearbox rations) OR to level the field in the area of spending, ie. and auditable Spending Cap.
            Let the older teams retain the benefits of their hard won knowledge and experience, but still give the new teams a chance. At the same time, remove all these stupid rules against “Holes in the bottom right portion infront of the rear wheel” or the Super Diffuser, or what have you.

            When I think of F1, I think of this… Take your money, your intelligence, you manufacturing capability, and put it up AGAINST THE ENTIRE OF PLANET EARTH. In my opinion the WCC IS THE best machine(of any type) created by mankind in that year, and the WDC is the best driver of that same year.

            Restriction stifles and cheapens that proposition.

          2. @javlinsharp I like that last statement.

            I’ve just remembered the last time they talked about introducing the budget cap, was their a clause that working to a lower budget allowed greater freedom of design? I like the idea of that: it serves to make the sport easier for young teams, would hopefully close the field, and still allow creativity. The downside, I guess, would be engineers would be less enthusiastic about taking a risk on creative technology, given that they limited resources to develop it (at the expense of some other area of the car). How do you feel about that one?

      3. @splittimes @BasCB @javlinsharp You could indeed get away with standardising many components as far as F1 is concerned. However, as mentioned regarding engines recently the manufactures in particular have road car obligations to meet. Every manufacturers wants to shed weight and promote a fuel light car so using F1 as a testing ground is invaluable. No other sport is as relevant to technology. It’s both fascinating and frustrating for F1.

        1. @andrewtanner
          I think F1 has done alot in the way of “testbed” both in the distant and recent past.
          Hybrid electric/gas systems are in play and im sure sending huge data to consumer manufacturers. Williams even developed that Flywheel system that seemed pretty neat.

          However, it is safe to say that there are no REAL consumer manufactures in F1 anymore.
          Ferrari – I would not exactly call their products “consumer grade”
          Mercedes – Still a high end brand, and they dont really NEED F1 as a testbed, more for the prestige. LeMan, DTM, or MANY other series would serve the same purpose at much lower cost.
          Mclaren – I guess, they do produce a few consumer cars every few decades or so…
          Lotus – Maybe have a case there…

          RBR, Caterham, Force India, Marussia, Williams, HRT, ToroRosso, (ie, the vast majority) dont make consumer vehicles, and therefore, dont add improvements in the spectrum of consumer vehicles.

          Similarly, no teams are freely sharing their information with the public or anyone else outside their parent organization.

          The story might have been different when Honda, Toyota and BMW were in the game, but at this point, it can be said that the Consumer impact of F1 is probably at the low-water mark.

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