€1m whistleblowers for Ecclestone’s cost cap plan

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Start, Korea International Circuit, 2013In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone proposes enforcing a cost cap by offering ?����?�1 million (?�?�830,000) to anyone who provides accurate information about a team breaking the rule.


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Bernie Ecclestone offers huge reward for evidence of F1 rule breakers (Daily Express)

Ecclestone: “The plan under consideration is to give ?����?�1?�����?million to any whistleblower whose knowledge is proved to be accurate. We will then say to the team that the following year you will lose three of the maximum points you have scored. Then let?������s see if they want to cheat.”

Caterham: Lotus drive hurt Kovalainen (Autosport)

Tony Fernandes: “It was a whole mixture of a lot of things but in any decision there are pros and cons.”


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Pat Symons, Felipe Massa, Williams, Jerez, 2014

OK Felipe. Lap 14, turn 17. Understand?

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On this day in F1

On this day in 1993 a bomb exploded outside the London home of then-Benetton team principal Flavio Briatore.

Some contemporary reports said the Irish Republican Army later claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was not uncommon at the time. However reliable details about this alarming incident linked to one of F1′s most controversial figures are hard to come by.

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107 comments on €1m whistleblowers for Ecclestone’s cost cap plan

  1. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 10th February 2014, 9:42

    And by suggesting this idea, Bernie has admitted, inadvertently, that a cost cap will be impossible to police. Why rely on whilsteblowers, if you can monitor what is going on anyway? Obviously you can’t so you rely on people grassing the teams up!

  2. JCost (@jcost) said on 10th February 2014, 9:50


    The Russian government has employed huge resources – human and financial – to protect Winter Olympic games in Sochi from a real threat of terrorist attacks. The region is being called the safest place in Russia but I can’t help but ask whether it will be case by the time Russian hosts its first ever Formula 1 GP later this year.

    Being the second most important sport event in the country in 2014, I expect extraordinary measures to guarantee nothing bad happens but I’m still concerned that significant scaling down of security measures in place for the Olympics may expose F1 GP to real security risks. On the other hand, the ongoing Olympic games should help Russian authorities fine tune their security apparatus and make it more effective down the road and F1 GP could actually be better guarded, in terms of efficiency, than Sochi 2014…

  3. @keithcollantine

    Dear Keith,
    Can we have the following features in the comments section, it would make life a lot easier:

    1. Option to edit one’s post (with an optional justification) – This will save lot of unnecessary posts to clarify on mis-spelled words etc

    2. Vote up / Vote down or Like/Dislike or Agree/Disagree : This would provide a perspective on the best comment, which can be provided as a sorting option to the readers. This would also reduce many +1 posts

    3. A small button to recommend for COTD, this would make it easier to identify a possible COTD

    4. Badges system, for example a gold badge whenever your comment is made as COTD, or a silver one if you get 1000 agree or likes on your post.

    Overall, these features can be used to crown the best commentator of the year or any thing like that. Hope others have similar ideas and can add to this.

    All these features above can then also be

    • All these features above can then also be

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th February 2014, 10:01

      @noob Thanks for the suggestions, however please keep in mind any further development on the site requires time and effort (and usually money). Furthermore something which may be fairly straightforward from a technical point of view, such as allowing editing of comments, would create further complications in other areas, such as comment moderation. There’s more detail on this on the forum but obviously that’s not available at the moment, which brings me back to my original point about site developments taking time and effort!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2014, 10:32

      I really do not think those features are necessary or desirable @noob.

      To allow edits to a post makes sensible discussion much harder (because one can change the original argument after reactions have come). Making edits possible would have to be with mandatory explanation of what was altered, or allow people to see the previous version.
      Instead it would be better if we all just learned to both proofread our own comments and on the other hand, and more importantly, be far more tolerant of inevitable mistakes made (especially because of people using touch screens and predictive spelling!)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2014, 10:36

      Reacting to the part about “voting” a comment up or down or even recommending it for COTD seperately, as this would be a bit of a change of focus rather than making life easier.

      I would actually be interested in hearing the arguments pro-/contra such a system from people. Personally I am not a fan of making popularity of a comment decide on its prominence, or even see people make comments to feel good for the “likes” it generates. On the other hand, it does offer an interesting feedback if you see how many people reacted to your comment that way – it wouldn’t even have to be visible for others then though.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 10th February 2014, 12:33

      @noob I’m against it, we need high-quality discussion instead of popularity contest, just like we need high-quality racing instead of DRS and double points.

      The concept of the COTD works so well exactly because @KeithCollantine doesn’t always choose popular opinions, he sometimes picks controversial statements or seemingly unimportant bits and pieces, which then often lead to good discussions.

    • @bascb

      Most of my suggestions are based on the experience here in F1F. How many times do we see people posting comments, just to clarify what they said or to spell correct.
      My suggestions also come from my various experience of other popular forums (not related to F1) and I would have loved that comments here get to experience the same. If anyone is familiar with http://stackexchange.com/ they would know how good the experience it.
      Edits can be controlled and moderated, and technology will also allow users to see what was modified.

      Even though you deny endorsing comment popularity, wouldn’t you have ever put a word saying you agreed to what somebody said. Voting / Likes can also be a tool for many ‘noobs’ like me, who may not do much value addition by way of a technical comment, but can find it easy to connect themselves with someone else’s comment.

      Also, I did not suggest the COTD be decided based on votes, but voting can be some kind of indicator to a comment, and as always it is upto @keithcollantine to decide which becomes a COTD. Again, don’t we see comments after comments on how people feel a comment should be a COTD!

      @girts Please don’t take my suggestions as DRS / DP system, but as improvement for televised graphics of onboard systems / telemetry by FOM, and I didn’t say vote will decide COTD, but it will just be an additional indicator of what fanatics say.

      Finally, in this high tech age, as F1 is becoming more tech relevant, lets embrace the same at F1F and not be stuck in the roaring eras of V12 and V10.

      Sorry for such a long post.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th February 2014, 12:28

        No need to apologize for the length of the post there @noob, it was an interesting contribution to the discussion to read more about what you propose and why. I deliberately gave my view in 2 posts, as the editing part is more of a technical issue and the like/COTD button more towards the purpose and functioning of the comments section as such in my view

        I am glad that we can leave picking the COTD to Keith without that indicator, as mentioned I think such an indicator or like function, if having it at all, should be directed at the poster only, to give feedback. However I still value comments with substance as to why one likes, or indeed disagrees with the view expresses far more. After all, this is a comments section to debate things, not to boost our egos, even though most likely all of us sometimes get their ego boosted (or pulled down to earth) again!

  4. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 10th February 2014, 10:34

    A very Ecclestonian approach to tackling the cost cap… it’s certainly better than nothing.

  5. Matthew Abbott said on 10th February 2014, 11:59

    It really bothers me that HK has been permanently Friendzoned by Caterham. I rate him as a driver, he has good consistency and experience, but ever since he lost his drive with Caterham originally, Fernandes has kept him sweet, dangling that carrot that he’d get another drive, so HK does what any besotted man would do and stick by, even though in his heart of hearts, he knows he’s not getting anywhere. He just keeps holding on in the hope that they’d pick up his option again.

    The truth is, Caterham wanted pay drivers, and that was always going to be the case. What Fernandes should have done was be clear – you want to drive, you need money. It’s a sad state of affair, but in the current reward structure and economy, not to mention the team’s last place finish in 2013 – this cannot be helped.

    I personally don’t think the Lotus drive did any harm, in fact, it gave him good exposure to a 2013 car, and although the rules have been reset this year, having recent racing experience can only be a good thing.

    Sounds like Fernandes is just using the Lotus drive as an excuse to cut the ties.

  6. @keithcollantine

    Thanks for CoTD, although i think a lot of people made the same joke in different ways ;)

  7. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 10th February 2014, 14:03

    Realistically, Formula 1 will have to impose a budget cap of sorts within the next 5 years. There will be endless negotiations about start-up teams unfeasibility to run and construct wind tunnels etc on one years budget, but it must happen sooner rather than later. Whilst I’d argue it is unenforceable at the minute, I can not see F1 prospering under the current set-up. If Mercedes or Materschitz lost interest tomorrow, F1 would be in big, big trouble. The sponsor-less cars this year should be testament to the fact the financial model is archaic and broken.

    The solution, in my eyes, is to reward the fans. I am aware Bernie has a desire to keep the sport ‘exclusive’ but this is apparently a dead end. F1 is not like football or rugby or tennis where there are an infinite number of games per year.Formula 1 has at most 20 events to showcase per annum. Allow fans to access content from years gone by and you will interest sponsors as they are getting more exposure. Employ a financial system which teams with no sponsorship can survive and sponsorship is rewarded. In elite motor racing atm, drivers loaded with sponsorship has become the norm but instead of complaining about ‘unworthy’ drivers, set a limit to sponsorship that drivers can bring to a team’s budget, say £15 million.

    Overall, the top teams are simply too good for private entrants to come in and challenge straight away, which is acceptable, however for Catherham and Marussia to be the same distance from Williams as Williams were to Red Bull is a joke after 4 seasons. No wonder they struggle to attract sponsors. Set a high budget cap of £250m for 2018 reduced by £50m every 2 years until we reach a limit of £100m excluding sponsorship and drivers salaries and the field immediately closes up and new entrants and therefore sponsors are attracted.

    A budget cap is a win-win for the teams, the sport and the fans, tbh why have the powers that be not gresped this sooner?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th February 2014, 15:48

      Sounds reasonable until you realise the end result will be just another racing formula with only obscure differences to the cars that only a laser measurement would reveal.

      • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 10th February 2014, 15:57

        @hohum No-one asks for a spec series. But at the minute we will have no series at all in ten years. F1 is unsustainable in the current model and the only solution other than a cost cap is the dreaded customer cars. When that happens, not even a laser will be able to differentiate between half of the grid.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th February 2014, 18:17

          @rbalonso, without a development budget the only development that will take place will be the copying of the most successful car which inevitably will lead to a de facto spec car, and an outdated one at that.
          F1s problem is not that it doesn’t earn enough money to continue, the problem is that so much of the money the teams earn is taken away from them as a result of the sweetheart deal between Max and Bernie, that gave Bernie the revenue to distribute or not as he liked.

          • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 10th February 2014, 18:30

            @hohum. I agree but once Bernie is out of the way the revenue will, almost certainly, be split more fairly and evenly. I disagree however, that the cars will all tend to the leader. When Virgin joined the sport from zero, their car was developed only using CAD software. Now whilst they were off the pace they were still competing within the 107% rule. CAD is almost negligible in an f1 teams costs, the money is spent on ridiculous simulators and wind tunnels.

            I’d also let new teams have a bursary or allowance to develop their own wind tunnel. £100m is not a small amount of money, many teams on the grid can survive and be very competitive in that format. Williams, a winner in 2012 can’t surely be spending much more than that and Sauber, aside from their excellent BMW-paid-for wind tunnel can not have costs much greater either and they produce a lot of the best designs on the grid.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th February 2014, 20:39

            @rbalonso, I wish I had your optimism, some quick points to consider
            1. Zimbabwe is still waiting for Mugabe to die
            2. CVC have already made several hundred percent return on the money they paid to buy Bernies rights to F1 earnings and they don’t show any sign of returning more money to the teams, in fact they want to sell to new investors before they come under any more pressure to help the teams.
            3. In the recent era of restricted design, every time the rule stays stable for a few years the tailend teams become more competitive by following the design lead of the top car, I don’t expect that to change in the future with even more restrictive design regulations.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th February 2014, 20:48

            And further, if F1 was being run properly with an eye to reducing costs then FOM could have set up an independent wind tunnel for use by all teams financed initially by FOM and thereafter by user fees, but Bernie prefers the teams to be financially unstable, it makes it easier for him to keep them under his thumb.

  8. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 10th February 2014, 15:59

    Am I the only one to be confused by the Fernandes quote: “Lotus drive hurt Kovalainen” – I completely forgot for a moment that Lotus is now Caterham and thought Fernandes was referring to 2010 to 2012.

  9. I see, so the two 14ths hurt Kovalainens’ chances? Two 14ths isn’t bad, I mean, he hadn’t driven in an F1 race for a whole season (almost)!

  10. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 10th February 2014, 18:55

    I think so, this idea doesn’t work.

  11. Paul A (@paul-a) said on 11th February 2014, 23:16

    Most of the “safety” rules were enshrined years ago (a good thing apart from most Tilke ideas.) All other rules have only served to intrinsically slow the cars down. So what happens? The “richer” teams spend inordinate amounts of money to find loopholes in the rules. This has nothing to do with developing proper race cars, it’s all become an expensive lawyer’s wet dream. Colin Chapman must be turning in his grave.

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