Start, Interlagos, 2013

“Formula One is too expensive” – Todt

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Interlagos, 2013In the round-up: Newly re-elected FIA president Jean Todt says costs are too high in Formula One but the FIA does not have support to bring them down.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Motorsport Chief Faces Tough Gradient (The Wall Street Journal)

“I really feel that Formula One is too expensive. But it’s a triangular agreement. We did not have the support.”

Hamilton: I lied over ??17m deal (The Telegraph)

Anthony Hamilton: “It was obviously a scam. Only in fiction do drivers who have made no name for themselves get offered a ??21 million deal. But I had an obligation on behalf of my client to pursue it. I was under huge pressure.”

Ex-Formula One driver Robert Kubica awarded inaugural FIA ‘Personality of the Year’ after comeback from near-fatal crash (The Independent)

“Kubica saw off rivals on a shortlist of 10 that included Red Bull’s quadruple Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel, world rally champion Sebastien Ogier and Red Bull principal Christian Horner.”

Alonso runner up with pride and style (Ferrari)

“Mark [Webber] and I have been together in Formula 1 for twelve year and we have shared many fantastic moments and we will miss him next year.”

Ferrari: 2013 title bid went awry in Canada (Autosport)

Technical director Pat Fry: “There was a different top body we took to Canada that we were unsure of, and then that gave us a few issues trying to understand that.”

David Ward congratulates FIA President Jean Todt (David Ward and Team)

“As the recently published report by ‘I Trust Sport’ shows, quite simple steps such as publishing an annual financial report and applying international accounting standards would raise the FIA?s governance to the same level as FIFA and the IOC.”

Video – FIA Prize-Giving Gala 2013 highlights (F1)

Video from the FIA Gala prize-giving.


Comment of the day

There were several great suggestions for the last Mark Webber Caption Competition including those from Gaz, Bobbi F and Baldry00. But my favourite was this one from @Bullfrog:

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2013

At the press conference for the six most charismatic F1 drivers…

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Gfasulo, James_Mc, Joey-Poey, Koper, Rick Denatale and Webbercanwin94!

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

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Interlagos, 2011One of the more unusual rows in recent F1 history began three years ago today.

The Lotus name had already returned to the sport courtesy of Tony Fernandes’ team at the beginning of 2010 and they had signed a deal to use Renault engines in 2011. But they were set on a collision course with the Renault team who agreed a sponsorship deal with Lotus Cars for 2011.

On the FIA entry list the Lotus constructor remained Lotus and Renault remained Renault. But both became locked in dispute over the right to use the name.

A court eventually ruled in favour of the first ‘new Lotus’, who later came to an arrangement with their rivals to switch names. In 2012 Lotus became Caterham and Renault became Lotus.

The upshot is three distinct teams have used the constructor name ‘Lotus’ in different periods of F1 history: the original Lotus team from 1958 to 1994, the Lotus which is now known as Caterham from 2010 to 2011, and the current Lotus since then, who are persisting with the name despite having lost their Lotus Cars sponsorship at the beginning of last year.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

70 comments on ““Formula One is too expensive” – Todt”

  1. Jean Todt won the award for most obvious statement of the year at the TIA Gala then.

    1. And to make it even more expensive he increased the teams entry fee to $3.6 million p.a.

    2. The lack of notable sponsors for many teams (ones that aren’t directly affiliated with drivers\owners such as Red Bull\Total) is sad, considering F1’s supposed viewing figures.

    3. The politicians have no idea, born on a gold cradle they think they deserve to what in their minds is fair but in our minds is stealing. How can someone pouch more money for the FIA and complaint of the ones that gave him the money and the increase in power.

    4. And the fia changes the rules like a teenager changes their mind.

  2. He also said that builders who had installed a security system at his new home in Hertfordshire had “regularly changed the times and dates” on his iPad as he was accused for a third day running of falsifying evidence.

    That’s very weird…

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who finds that odd. Looks like A. Hamilton is on a slippery slope, his claims seem to get sketchier by the day.

      1. Maybe, but you can´t argue with this one:

        “Only in fiction do drivers who have made no name for themselves get offered a €21 million deal. But I had an obligation on behalf of my client to pursue it. I was under huge pressure.”

        1. Maldonado?

          1. he is a sponsor driver for his country… I guess is not the same with a comercial deal

        2. Dont bite the hand that feeds you. Sounds like Hamilton senior is on shakey ground to me.

      2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        8th December 2013, 8:36

        I keep on having to remind myself that it’s Hamilton who is the one pursuing legal action against DiResta.

        1. It’s difficult to believe this court case is helping him to attract drivers to manage. If I were an up and coming driver, I wouldn’t touch him with a bargepole following these claims.

    2. @fer-no65 @dpod What’s weird about that? Most CCTV security systems nowadays can connect to your pc, iPad, smartphone, etc.

      If there’s something suspicious is that it happened at the exact time he was sending those emails.

      1. I must avoid his “builders” in future. Tampering with iPad dates and taking boxes of evidence…

        “He suggested that perhaps one of the builders who helped him with the move had mistakenly taken the box. “I suggest to you that you now need to change your story to explain why you didn’t [make a claim or file a police report],” Downes said.”

      2. Yes, these systems can be connected, its one of the things security system installers are fully into nowadays. And there is some logic to that changing times in his equipment (having them all aligned to a single time to cooperate flawlessly).

        But as you already mention, its highly unlikely they would be doing that the moment Mr. Hamilton is working on those devices and writing an e-mail.

        1. Agreed. The thing that is concerning is that at first it was stated the laptops and blackberry’s with evidence were lost. Of course it’s plausible, but it seems that what could go wrong did go wrong to the point where it’s just too much. As Hamilton is the one suing Di Resta, he just seems to have a bunch of excuses.

        2. William Jones
          8th December 2013, 16:43

          Dates and times in emails are set by the server. If you have a gmail account, the date and time placed into the email is the date and time of the google owned server, not the computer the email was written on. Hotmail, it’s the Microsoft owned server etc etc.

          Unless Anthony Hamilton ran his own email server, and for some reason decided the perfect hardware to run if from was an iPad…. (The iPad is the worst piece of hardware to run an email server from, you’d have better luck running it from a fresh dog turd)

    3. I would say “weird” is a very friendly way of expressing what I think this is @fer-no65, I seriously doubt a court will believe Mr. Hamilton.

      1. @bascb yup, I didn’t want to make a stronger statement, tbh, but it all smells…

  3. Just to add to the controversy of the Lotus, they both wanted to use the black and gold livery

  4. In all honesty, I think that Jean Todt was a great team boss but a horrible FIA president.

    1. Thanks heaven Ferrari had that veto that everyone is complaining about otherwise next years engines could have been those 1.4L 4 cylinder environment friendly that he was pushing for

      1. @tifoso1989 Bernie said “if it ain’t broke…” Bernie says Ferrari was stupid not to block the V6 thing altogether let alone the 4 cylinder bid. Bernie also said that there was no need to spend more money in F1 because in spite of Honda’s comeback no more manufactures are willing to invest in F1 in the near future even though the FIA that was able to push their way to endurance racing as well tried to make F1 and LeMans ACO powertrain rules similar. To make matters worse the current engine manufactures aren’t accommodating for the costs of the new engines, in short Bernie was trying to protect the teams but in the end the frenchman won, more money for the FIA better publicity for the FIA, and for the current engine makers that profit with the exposure and are able to justify resources for racing funs and powertrain development and they are also going to be enabled to ask for more money from the non-factory teams. Frenchman do such great jobs on international plateaus, just look at Platini or the whole of FIFA. They lie to your face as if they were opera singers. If no one unsettles the dust no ignorants will notice.

        1. Wasn’t it Newey who complained of the 4cyl idea due to it not being able to be a part of the body/structure? At least, that was the first and only time I heard of the 4cyl bid not being supported.

          1. They all complained about 4cyl when VW said no to F1.

        2. @peartree

          Bernie says Ferrari was stupid not to block the V6

          Ferrari could have been very stupid to block the V6, it was the only way to finish this nightmare of Red Bull, the V8 era was the era of Renault,first with Alonso in 2006 and later with Red Bull/Vettel, since 2010 it has been clear that Red Bull were using clever engine mapping for aerodynamic reasons, the V8 Renault is the most advanced engine on the grid even under the engine freeze regime Renault had the opportunity to modified it many times under the FIA approval of course for “reliability issues” (remember the exhaust blown diffusers were also for reliability issues, last year also with Vettel’s problem in Abu Dhabi gp when he was sent to the back of the grid the famous fluid variation system which uses 2 fuel tanks),with the importance of the powertrain and with less aero dependency there is no way Ferrari could veto the 2014 regulations, as for the cost who cares ?? It is obvious that Ferrari , Red Bull & Mercedes want to win at all costs
          I’m 100% with you about the frenchman, how can he be so concerned about costs when he was the team principle that spend the most in the history of this sport, he did also a very good job this year when he was putting pressure on Pirelli just to bring back Michelin

          Frenchman do such great jobs on international plateaus, just look at Platini or the whole of FIFA.

          Good point, i just watched the drama of the world cup draw when Blatter handed Platini a gift just to favour France (the last ranked of the european teams), and i remember how they gifted the euro 2016 , no wonder Ribery is going to win the golden ball over Cristiano this year

          1. @tifoso1989 Looking to things in that perspective staying put was the worst thing Ferrari could do on the other side Ferrari has had some success with the “Dino’s” they think they can make a better turbo V6 than Renault. I hear what you are saying about the engine maps the exhaust technology but Red Bull too thought that after 2006 they needed a renault instead of ferrari they thought the renault powertrain was probably more advanced but Renault lost support after Alonso left so to their disgrace they traded the Ferrari for Toro rosso and got the Renault, they would regret that decision especially in 08 when Toro Rosso was constantly ahead of RedBull as they claimed the Renault was letting them down and they complained until Renault was forced to sign a sponsoring deal with them at the start of 2011 I believe. Before that it was rumored that Red bull wanted Mercedes but Mercedes had just got in F1 again so they denied to supply engines to RedBull. It’s 2013 and no one wants nothing less than the Renault engines so alot. evolved in the freeze era.

  5. It seems everybody in F1 wants the teams to spend less, just not in their department.

  6. “[The Ferrari] has been light on tyres and warm up has been a struggle, and if you get a tyre that is overheating that just helps us out so much more,”
    “That is not a clever bit of design or simulation or anything, that is just the choice of the tyres. And as things changed, we dropped away because of it.”

    So there you go, Ferrari were lucky with the tyres early on and Newey was right all along, I don’t know why some people were annoyed when he said that.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out, I didn’t want to be the one to do so.

    2. @mantresx why do we doubt Newey, he’s not won 10 world championships without knowing a thing or two about car design…

      1. I don’t think many people doubt AN, but depending on how much one bothered to understand his full comment, or the inflection in his voice, one could have taken a base stance from a headline that he was coming off as arrogant and of rubbing salt into the wound, or of being a sore winner, to imply any success anyone had against RBR was pure luck.

        I think the reality is that when they mandate tires such as they did for 2013, especially the ones prior to the change, it often came down to luck if a team was actually able to translate what they learned about setups as related to tire treatment on Friday, all the way through Sunday. If track and air temp changed then so did the behavior of the tires and so many teams fell out of their ideal setups and sometimes they fell into them…or maybe even just for one stint, or part of one.

      2. @vettel1
        Then we don’t have to doubt Brawn either when he said that the Mercedes test was legal, he’s not that far 8 WCC

        1. Of course you mean the Pirelli test I assume.

          1. Yep, the Pirelli test that Mercedes was just involved in it for ecological purposes, just to reduce CO2 emission and things like that

          2. Yeah, that’s the one. The one where Pirelli sought out this test not because the tires were a huge problem and were destined to need changing mid-season as Whiting likely realized, but because they felt the risk was worth it to help Mercedes with their CO2 emission problem, because it was well worth it for Pirelli to go out of their way to favour one team, such would be their gain from that over their competing tire maker.

      3. @Max Jacobson, Newey may be successful but, equally, has occasionally made major errors of judgement too – the CG891 and early season CG901 were both relatively poor cars, or there is the abandoned MP4/18, which he openly states was hugely overambitious and probably ended up costing McLaren both titles in 2003 due to the resources they expended in that failed experiment. Even as recently as 2012, he admitted that the early season aero package for the car was causing handling issues, hence why Vettel used the pre-season aero package in the Chinese GP that year.
        He may be talented, but he is also not entirely without flaws either when it comes to designing cars.

        I think that the reason his comments irritated some observers is the fact that he was implying that all of the other teams had only been competitive because they had “lucked in”, as it were, with the tyres. Perhaps one or two teams might have been fortunate, but to suggest that the entire field lucked in does seem to be straining credulity a little.

  7. @Bullfrog

    That’s a class caption, mate. Well worthy of CotD! :D

      1. i was going down the list, kinda going “thats not as good as mine; thats a bit long”; good job i didnt see this though as it blew mine out the water.

  8. Pat Fry commenting on the upper body update that didn’t work illustrates the 2 edged sword of the testing ban, by the time they realised that the update was not working in practice as theory suggested 6 weeks of work by 150 people and their $60 million wind-tunnel had also been wasted. How frustrating for Ferarri when they have a test track at their doorstep and test drivers longing for a real drive but only driving their mega-million dollar simulator, which simulates exactly the theoretical benefits programmed into it, not the actual reality.
    I am apparently the only person in the whole world who thinks it would be cheaper in reality for the teams to have the unrestricted right to track-test parts at their local track than it is for them to do all their development in supercomputers and not have any testing until 48hrs. before the next GP.

    1. The trouble with F1 is twofold in that (a) you can’t uninvent stuff and (b) if teams have spare cash they’ll find other ways of spending it. So if allow track testing again the teams will continue to use track testing along with simulators and wind tunnels meaning the cost problem will still be there.

      1. Maybe it would lower the amount of time spent in simulators and wind tunnels though. I’m not arguing it would reduce costs, I doubt it, but it’s lame “the pinnacle of motorsport” bans things such as testing.

    2. i ask: do all the teams have racing tracks in their backyard like ferrari? if no, then the testing ban is pretty fair, isnt it?

      1. That’s a bad point. Sports arent fair, the best one is supposed to win, just like RB has for the last four years, Ferrari in the early 2000s, Williams and McLaren in the 90s. Not all teams have star drivers, not all teams can develop like RB, not all teams have Ferrari budget, none of this is fair, but such is the nature of all sports.

      2. If only teams could hire Silverstone for a few days, just like they did in the 90s…

      3. Yes, it probably *is* fair, but F1 – being a highly complex and technical sport – is the only one in the world where your ability to practice outside of the event is so heavily restricted.

      4. It is not about what you have or what you don’t have but it’s about what is good for the sport, with your logic i ask do all the teams have simulators like Mclaren & Red Bull ?? Then the ban is not fair, Fiorano circuit has been there since 1972 and Ferrari has experienced a long drought in both WDC & WCC until Shumacher came, teams like Brabham,Mclaren,Williams & Benetton didn’t either have private test track but they dominated simply because they have designed the fastest cars, the ban of testing is something absolutely ridiculous in F1 but what i find more ridiculous is that some people are trying to convince them selves that it is good for cost cutting, Ferrari pay something like 15/20 million euro a year to just rent the Toyota wind tunnel, i don’t know for how many days you can rent a circuit ????

        1. i don’t know for how many days you can rent a circuit with that money ??

      5. Actually all teams do have a current or ex Grand Prix circuit near them. All the British teams except for McLaren are very close to Silverstone. Toro Rosso is next door to Imola. Hell, even Sauber are 3 hours away from Monza or Hockenheim.

    3. They did an AB comparison some time ago and the cost of live testing was ludicrous, in terms of logistics, parts, engines. tyres a whole parallel testing team and test drivers. To some teams it was 50% of their whole budget. There is no doubt that Ferrari’s private track netted them the ability to win multiple championships. Regretfully, as has been said, hardly anyone else enjoys such an advantage, (Honda do!) and remember also that noise restrictions would not permit unlimited F1 testing in many European tracks these days. I would, however, support increased general in-season testing days within the various geographical zones they find themselves in each year.

      1. @baron, you are comparing the official testing format where the whole team flies to Spain or the UAE for a week or two, I am talking about putting a car on the truck with the test driver and a couple of engineers, some Flo-Vis and cameras, and driving 30 mins. to the nearest motorsport track to see if the airflow really does what the theory says it should.

    4. They get 4 days of testing per year or they can swap the days for full windtunnel, not the 50% ones they have.
      I 100% agree with you about testing, Mclaren would’ve been competent by atleast mid-season had testing been allowed, but whatever extra cash the big teams have, is being wasted instead of being utilised for proper testing.
      They should atleast allow 10-12 days of restricted testing after a race weekend, which would be cost-effective instead of what we have now.

      1. I can’t claim to have an answer to the high costs but to agree with Horner about customer cars, or that if they went the way of Indy and had a much more spec car that would reduce costs too, although of course it would take away from what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing, of engineering, and design and innovation and is likely not a solution in reality.

        What I think I can say quite confidently is that FIA/FOM would have known at the time of instigating much more restricted testing, that teams would just spend their money on wind tunnels and simulators to make up for it. So I don’t have a lot of faith that this test restriction was ever a real solution to the fact that the have teams have money and will spend it and will overshadow the have not teams no matter what spanner they try to throw into the mix.

        I also think it is too bad that it is almost being taken as a given that if the teams’ budgets were capped they would just figure out ways to funnel moneys through funds under the guise of entities such as ‘domestic car development’ or what have you.

        This is about the lesser teams not the bigger ones, and their ability to enter and survive in F1 long enough to build themselves up into something, thus attracting new players, not repelling them. If that is actually a real problem in F1 then they will be highly motivated to do SOMETHING, but until they do I guess it’s not that serious to them and the trend will continue to promote pay driver’s who are not the best possible racers in the ‘pinnacle of racing’, to be on teams destined to fail at producing cars that don’t drastically limit new drivers from showing their stuff.

        1. @robbie, it is the lesser teams that I believe would most benefit from this kind of unrestricted informal testing.

  9. What great caption!

    And what fantastic, logic-defying, brain-melting doublespeak from Hamilton Sr.

    I would be a dishonest man if I said I had never lied.

    Couldn’t have not said it better myself.

    1. BTW Alonso is a personal friend of both Webber and Kubica

      1. a lot of people know this, that is why I showed the photo here, it is a bittersweet photo, Kubica possibly to never return to f1, and webber now finished in f1, still great to see the 3 friends back together. Kubica and Alonso did many things together like gokart racing and regular poker playing when they were together in f1 – they were best of friends actually in their time together in f1, Alonso visited kubica in hospital as soon as he could after the terrible crash a couple of years ago. Alonso was questioned about Kubica at the FIA gala and made a comment along the lines of “we are awaiting his return to f1”. Alonso is staying positive, Kubicas 29th birthday was on the day of the gala, but next year we should see Kubica become the most successful f1 driver in WRC, as he is set to do a full season in WRC after winning WRC2 this year. WRC is not his first choice, F1 is ofcourse but his disability sees him pursuing rallying, as DTM and other race series below f1 are seen by Kubica as a step back, while in rallying he is learning something new and improving his driving – and possibly lining himself up for a “world championship” effort, which he cant do in series like dtm.

  10. Who would want to use FIFA as their ‘financial’ inspiration? ……correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t they have that world cup bidding scandal? But then again, with World cups popping up in Qatar and Russia, maybe these things go hand in hand.

  11. “…quite simple steps such as publishing an annual financial report and applying international accounting standards would raise the FIA’s governance to the same level as FIFA and the IOC.

    Raising standards to the level of FIFA and IOC shows just how low governance standards in the FIA are.

    1. I gathered! I think ‘baby steps’ as they say, seem a bit too steep for them, which is rather embarrassing.

      1. Baby crawl for now..

  12. FIA Gala announcer: ‘In 2nd place, Fernando Alonso, driving a Ferrari F2013 to two wins this season in China and on home turf’

    For an official FIA Event, that is what I call a fail

    1. @gdewilde could be worse: Autosport misspelled Vettel’s first name. It’s SEBASTIAN, not SABASTIEN

  13. Yet another person saying f1 is to expensive yet doing nothing about it. What a surprise

  14. The problem isn’t how expensive F1 is. Being costly is part and parcel to being the planet’s premier motor racing venue.

    The problem is how much cream CVC and the FOG skim off the top. And how incompetently (wastefully) the sport is managed.

    Bernie finances his indigent daughters’ Beverly Hills excesses from the fat of the F1 land. And earlier this year, the same week Marussia posted losses of more than £50M. McLaren lost £3.1M, despite having six race wins to its credit, and despite coming third in the WCC. CVC, OTOH, posted total earnings from all F1-related ventures of just shy of £2Bn.

    FOG have control of every aspect of circuit testing and racing weekends, from the airlines to the freighting company to hotel accommodations to publicity media, and they attach a heavy surcharge to everything the teams have need of. In the end, the FOM (i.e., Bernie’s daughters) make a tidy profit directly from the teams for every breath they take.

    And the sport continues to enforce expensive provisions that do exactly nothing to improve the quality of the racing, such as KERS and the entire 2014 hybrid engine scheme (and its €21M leases). Customer cars could substantially reduce the cost of competing in F1, but that will never happen so long as Ferrari have veto power over such a manoeuver. And Maranello will never permit it so long as the word “garagistas” sits sour on their tongue.

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