Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor landroni
This series of articles looks in some length at the latest futuristic design proposed by Ferrari and some of the issues surrounding it and F1 more generally. Part III discussed the bad joke. Part IV introduces the bloody emergency room…
What about the minnows of the F1 world? Perhaps Ferrari were trying to provoke them? Glad you asked! Welcome to the bloody Emergency Room, where you wouldn’t spot a scarlet Ferrari design even if you squinted.
As it happens, the bloody ER is one ungodly mess. In one corner you have Caterham, lying still on the bed with no pulse, ready for cremation. In early 2014 they were in dire need of a heart transplant, and awkwardly they were assigned a dentist for the operation (actually, as it later turned out, a whole cartel of Romanian dentists).
Suffice to say, the dentist, Colin Kolles, botched the heart transplant, and rumours are that the dentists tried to use scotched tape instead of sutures to fix the new heart. Predictably there are two hearts and a blood bath on the floor, but Caterham now have some radiating, squeaky white teeth. Still, even their very own janitor… nope, director… nope, owner, Constantin Cojocar, couldn’t deal with the mess.
Let us hope that those invisible Arab-Swiss investors (or is it the other way around?) are happy with the return on the investment they never made…
Marussia, you ask? (Or is it Manor now?) After receiving a knock on the head in Suzuka – by an FIA-approved tractor, no less – and finally succumbing to the suffocating Western sanctions on Russian business interests, they barely managed to present only one Маруся before comrade Putin. For a long time they lost all pulse, but since dear old Bernard prepared for them a pack of freshly squeezed blood for transfusion if they presented themselves alive and kicking in Melbourne, serious CPR and desperate defibrillation attempts have managed to restore the faintest of pulses.
Thank god the dentists weren’t anywhere near!
Now here are two parties utterly uninterested in any scarlet revolutions! When on your deathbed, those pompous Ferrari designs aren’t of much interest, are they? Who else? Let’s take a pick:
Force India: As predicted by TJ13 for a very long time, FI’s
billionaire millionaire Vijay Mallya has been slowly but surely squeezed into not being able to finance his F1 team anymore. After Bob “the builder of fast cars” tried to PR-spin that they were foregoing the 1st pre-season test “strategically”, it quickly transpired that FI were simply broke and managed to only barely appear with their 2015 car at the last Barcelona test, and even that only thanks to Merc paying the bills and heaping Wehrlein onto the hapless Checo and Hulk.
Then FI went cap-in-hand to the poisonous dwarf from Suffolk. Ever since, just like McLaren’s never materializing sponsors and Lotus’ or Caterham’s “new” investors, the VJM08 shows all the telltale signs of never becoming a thing.
Of course Force India have been caught in a “dog eat dog” incident, while trying to lay hands on Marussia’s pack of transfusion blood, while it was still under defibrillation. However my feeling is that they’ve been treated too harshly.
Is it worse when a starved kid tries to steal a loaf of bread to make it through the night? Or when a lavish white-collar type embezzles millions from the poor, the very one who has starved the poor kid, all with a smug grin of entitlement? All in all it seems to me that FI got caught red-handed when trying to take some crumbs, and then all F1 grandees descended with all their girth onto the poor starved lad, kicking it righteously into the ground…
The truth is that hard times require hard choices, and it’s hard to blame FI for trying to do what they can to survive, when starved to death and left with no alternatives. If I had to blame anyone it would start with Bernard, Ferrari and Red Bull for the way revenue is being distributed among teams in F1.
Anyone else left breathing? Oh yes, Sauber!
What a fine mess, Monisha! Aside the mouthwatering prospect of Giedo van der Garde wheeling in Aussie police onto Albert Park to arrest Monisha to enforce his contract with the Swiss team, the prospects of Sauber look dire indeed and the writing was on the wall since a couple of years back.
Still remember Sergey Sirotkin, the Russian 17-year-old teenager who was to steal Maximilian’s limelight and drive for Sauber in 2014? Well, back then Sauber reportedly sold its soul, in desperation, to a consortium of Russian interests. Of course the thing fell to pieces, not least because of Western sanctions against Russian territorial aggression, but the incident was telling nonetheless.
When the promised transfusion blood from Russia failed to materialise (according to reports it got frozen), Monisha hastily—if understandably—switched to blood donations from younger, healthier pay drivers. But what a bloody mess she made of it!
As pointed out by TJ13’s wallowing Fat Hippo, Sauber found itself with seemingly 4 drivers under contract to occupy two seats during one weekend. Half of them found themselves booted out of a race seat by SMS.
As mouthwatering was the prospect of seeing 4 drivers in 2 racing cars, even the prospect of 3 drivers in 2 cars was sufficiently enticing. Giedo van der Garde has seemingly proven in Swiss courts that his contract with Sauber Motorsport AG holds water, and the Australian judicial authorities concurred, and it seems that only a last gasp backroom settlement saved Sauber from ignominy… I said it before, and I’ll say it again: What a fine mess!!
Of course, many shall lambast Monisha just like they’re lambasting Vijay: “How dare they behave in such a shameful manner, dishonouring contracts or stealing crumbs from those on their deathbed?!”
Well, as mentioned above: Hard times require hard choices. When faced with the extinction of a proud history, it’s very hard to blame Monisha for donning a ruthless cap and doing all she can to salvage the Swiss team and keep it afloat.
And I’m not sure that it’s worth wasting too many tears for all those pay-drivers. At the end of the day these guys are very skilled, have a roof on their heads (in many cases a palace and a motorhome) and can’t really complain with how life is treating them.
On the other hand, if Sauber suffer the same fate as Caterham then hundreds of actual, breathing human beings shall find themselves in dire straights to pay mortgages and feed families. I for one can empathise with Monisha.
And again, I’d rather point fingers at FOM’s Bernie Ecclestone, CVC’s Donald Mackenzie, Ferrari and Red Bull for fostering what appears to be an unsustainable business environment with utter disregard for stakeholders (and the FIA, the sport’s nominal regulator, for allowing it to happen), than blaming Sauber or Force India for their current shenanigans.
It shall be fun if either Force India or Sauber find themselves in a Marussia-like position, and simply can’t find the cash to hop onto the grid this season…
Part V will discuss the underlying problem…
Disclaimer: TheJudge13 provides a platform for Formula 1 fans to publish their voice on matters relating to Formula 1. The views expressed in Voice of #F1 Fans are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.