Start, Korea International Circuit, 2013

€1m whistleblowers for Ecclestone’s cost cap plan

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.

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

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  1. @keithcollantine

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

  2. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. @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.

        1. @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.

          1. @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.

          2. @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.

          3. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)!

  5. I think so, this idea doesn’t work.

  6. 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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