the recent stories about Brabham, and the fact i finally finished reading ‘Bernie’ – (an awesome read for anyone interested in the history of F1, not just about Bernie’s life) got me thinking.
Will we ever see another team that is setup by an ex driver?
I know there are plenty of teams with F1 drivers as advisers/test drivers, and team principles who have some sort of racing background in their early years, but I was wondering will we ever see a f1 driver/privateer team with a name such as ‘Schumi GP’, ‘Button Racing’, ‘Lucozade Webber F1 Team’ in the future? – picked those names as the last two would be retired within the next ~5 years ?
We’ve had a couple named (and run by) ex-drivers in the late 90s – Prost and Stewart. The former rose from the ashes of Ligier, only to crash into obscurity. The latter was started from scratch, but was run well, and (Ford’s attempt to run it into the ground notwithstanding), eventually became Red Bull.
What I’m saying is, such teams are a mixed bag for ex-drivers, but more often than not, it just tarnishes a driver’s reputation (Prost, Fittipaldi, Surtees) rather than enhances it (Stewart).
Well Jacques Villeneuve tried to enter a team for 2011 so it could still be a possibility. I don’t think Schumacher would do it because I’m almost certain I remember him saying he’s not attracted to the idea but I can see Webber becoming a team owner.
Its possible, just unlikely in the current era of F1. Theres too much financial risk, few drivers have the money to start a team in F1, let alone continue it. Who do you ask? It has to be someone with enough financial and business clout, whose a known face (for sponsors to get behind) and have the history to make it credible, namely a WDC.
I’d love to see it, racers-turned-team owners are the best sort as they’re racers at heart and will have the sports best interest. I think they are more likely to give a damn about F1 when the leeches are taking more money from the profits the sport provides.