In Force India’s case, it had been reborn due to a very smart, and very affluent racing daddy. Looking back today on the debacle of mid summer 2018, it shows just how the fickle hand of fate can punch a Formula 1 team in the financial nut sack.
Together with owner Vijay Mallya having enormous concerns in his native India, it had been blessed that yet another billionaire,” Lawrence Stroll, was about the scene to bail from the Silverstone-based team. Then, it turned into a saga, and demanded a enormous scramble behindthescenes that involved the sport’s governing body’so assistance!
Together with its own financial future now assured as ‘Racing Point’ — or whatever name it chooses to embrace — it’s clear it’s merely a question of time before attention will turn to another team that’s anguish monetary hardship.
Yes, even one of the best teams that our sport has ever known — that the third-most race-winning team ever sold, a group with a great history that motivated Jones, Rosberg, Piquet, Mansell, Prost, Hill and Villeneuve to the ultimate of glories. But fast forward to the present day and, as Force India demonstrated, you’ll be able to have the very best engine to the grid but still be in danger of running aground.
Here’s that the stark reality: Sir Frank’s team has ever lost its chief Bacardi Group (Martini) sponsorship for 20-19. Pay motorist Sergey Sirotkin has been finished , and that’s his SMP Bank rubles, Asis Lance Stroll along with his father’s bankrolling. I’m not aware of the exact amounts, but that’s must be in the ballpark of $50million, and afterward that you have to factor in the lack of its own upcoming trophy money income as it fell out of fifth in 20 17 to last place in 2018 — that’s a relatively good deficit.
Up to now, we’t only had fresh sponsorship from PKN Orlen announced — as it nails its colours to Robert Kubica’s comeback — with conversation of this being worth $10m. But this ’s still a 40m black hole to fill.
Behind the scenes, Williams’s commercial department is working hard to tackle this. And I need them the absolute best of chance, as nobody wants to find this illustrious team under threat — especially together with its adventurous motorist choices for 20-19, which additionally must be applauded.
That said, Williams is not exactly coming from the position of strength entering 20-19, given last year’s results along with miserly haul of just seven factors …
Williams is also the only real publicly-traded f 1 team on the grid, together with Sir Frank owning the commanding shares as the total patriarch of the company and his daughter Claire efficiently conducting the group at the course in a deputy team principal role. That means it is quite unique, but f 1 is a results-based business and with no ‘minnow teams’ to the grid any more, the spectre of staying continue the grid cannot be discounted for long.
Since I wrote in August, it needed to jump in and save the day for the Benefit of the sport. F1’s owners were able to scramble through, but is that likely to eventually become the standard? Isn’t even avoidance better than cure?
A funding cap would definitely assist in this scenario, of course if spending was restricted to, say, $150m a year, it would be near to that which Williams already stinks out. But, crucially, it would prevent its opponents out of being able to invest more to further out-develop its own cars, giving Williams the chance to catch up — especially in years with religious changes.
Further complicating its position is the ‘HAAS version ’ yet — where Williams’ American-owned competition has a technical tie up using Ferrari that menus that the cost of many development areas a ‘routine ’ constructor cannot. Or should new teams only be allowed concessions like this for a limited time, once we’t seen in MotoGP?
Since Liberty took over the running of the sport, the revenue that it shared with teams — essentially exactly the prize money — fell instantly by 43million. The principal reason behind this was Liberty spends more money compared to previous owners ever did, basically replacing the one man show of Bernie Ecclestone with, well, regular staff doing ordinary activities including marketing and sales.
From the master plan presented in Bahrain this past year, we understand that Liberty held business against vociferous resistance against the big teams against a strategy to provide small teams a much bigger slice of this f 1 commercial horn out of 2021. The fact that it revealed a willingness to upset people in the way it dealt with the issue has to be followed closely with a upcoming funding cap.
It would be a tragedy to eliminate this wonderful name out of the F1 grid, but once we’t seen with the kind of Brabham and Lotus, this sport is no respecter of reputations once the cash-flow doesn’t even add up after a collapse from aggressive energies. Since Ross Brawn says, the lack of chances for midfield teams to appear on the podium is”unacceptable” and he’d like that the rate of change within the sport to be accelerated.
Therefore come on, Liberty, continue the push to level the economic playing field for your loyal teams, and then create a more viable landscape that will allow some fresh blood into the match — if only to present its high-value and historically-important competitors somebody to beat.