I’m surprised this topic is not doing the rounds in the forum here. Marussia do not have a contract with CVC, they’re trying to gather passes to let their engineers in the paddock, and they will be competing for free this weekend.
Looks like Bernie back-doored them.
I find this situation very strange, but I suppose it’s a logical result of Bernie doing individual deals with teams. If Marussia is unhappy with the deal on the table, what are they going to do, sue CVC?
There is this line in the article (also from before the Australian GP already) “It’s vital for Bernie because he won’t be able to film us without it”, but it turns out he can film them and not pay them, judging by the Australian GP. I think it’s sad that teams have not formed a front to negotiate with Bernie, but then they were too busy arguing in FOTA over the Resource Restriction Agreement.
I hope we don’t get to see Marussia going bust because they don’t get any money from CVC and can’t attract any sponsors, though it might be interesting to see the feeble protestations of the other teams. Recently somebody brought up the boiling frog anecdote in the context of the ever-expanding reach of pay TV, but it seems equally applicable to this scenario. No contract for Marussia in 2013, so Caterham will be the next to receive a poor offer from CVC when their current contract is up.
In the good old days there used to be drivers’ strikes (and this time Adrian Sutil could play the piano), but maybe the time is ripe for a team principal strike.