Voice of the F1 Fans: Ferrari’s new Blingmobile Part 4 – The bloody Emergency Room

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…

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How not to run an F1 team

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!

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Putin’s latest prototype design for a mausoleum casing

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.

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Time for a less expensive haircut, eh Vijay?

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.

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How not to treat your human resources

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.


11 responses to “Voice of the F1 Fans: Ferrari’s new Blingmobile Part 4 – The bloody Emergency Room

  1. I find it interesting that you don’t include Mercedes with Red Bull and Ferrari. Is their budget any different, did they find an economical means of producing the killer 2014 and 2015 packages?

    • “you don’t include Mercedes with Red Bull and Ferrari”

      Good point. Mercedes have astronomical budgets and head counts, just like Ferrari and Red Bull. Yet their position is slightly different…

      At the height of FOTA, it was Red Bull and Ferrari who broke ranks, when Bernard offered them astronomical bonuses, and left FOTA and then went on to sign the bilateral agreements. Once this occurred, all other teams fell in line: first Williams, McLaren and Merc; and then all the minnows which were “imposed”—in the words of Monisha—contract terms they couldn’t refuse. It was a take it or leave it situation. And Concorde was dead.

      At the height of the RRA, it was Red Bull who was aggressively flaunting all agreements. Merc, on the other hand, under the guidance of Saint Ross downsized their operation and waited for the others (wink wink Ferrari and Red Bull) to do the same. When this didn’t happen and it was clear that those flaunting RRA would never fall in line, and the Merc board decreed that they wanted to win, Brawn and Lauda went on a hiring spree. Which explains their existing inflated operation.

      From where I sit, Merc benefits from more goodwill than either Red Bull or Ferrari. I never heard Merc (pre-Wolff anyways) proposing radical new designs, pushing for a return to old/new engines, loudly request more testing, flex wings, push the FIA into abolishing fuel-flow meters or else they quit, or push Pirelli into providing all with their preferred tire choices. For a number of years Merc was relatively quietly going on about their business and trying to tame their tire-eating dragons. For years Red Bull was bitching about Pirelli’s tires, and while Merc seems to have been suffering more from them I still can’t recall complaints as loud as those coming from the Styrian Spice Boys.

      Until they’re found guilty of cheating, Merc seem to concentrate on optimizing their package within existing rules, and don’t bother pushing and shoving to make the rules fit their agenda. The same can’t be said of Red Bull and Ferrari, hence my singling them out.

      • I’ll agree with most of that, although you must admit that Merc were probably all too happy to let RB bitch about the tyres for them.

  2. Force India (to like F1) has been in terminal decline since their inception. Vijay’s financial chaos has had a negative influence on the team for at least the last 3 seasons. TBH I’m surprised that they’re still going.
    Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault are all there to sell cars, Williams and McLaren are engineering companies, but I’ve always just considered the likes of Sauber and Force India more as vanity projects for their respective owners. Prob a bit harsh, but then so is the British weather today, and I’m all pumped-up from some early morning tree felling. With an axe, chainsaws are for girls!

    • “Force India (to like F1) has been in terminal decline since their inception. Vijay’s financial chaos has had a negative influence on the team for at least the last 3 seasons.”

      That’s not how I view it. When Vijay took Spyker, it was quite literally the backmarker. It was nowhere, roughly in the same no man’s land occupied recently by HRT, Caterham and Manor. First thing Vijay did was to ditch Colin Kolles, which after Caterham we know was a wise move. Then after a year or two rebuilding hte team Force India became a serious midfield contestant capable of points-finishes. Under him FI even managed a pole at Spa, and a podium there (and another one with Perez last year in Bahrain). These achievements are unheard of for Spyker…

      “t I’ve always just considered the likes of Sauber and Force India more as vanity projects for their respective owners.”

      Indeed, not false. Vijay, Tony, even Peter to a degree are here for vanity panels. Nothing wrong with that. But we know that when CVC and Bernard have sucked all the disposable cash flows, these types simply peter out as there isn’t much left to do in F1 land. It shall be sad to see Sauber go, though…

  3. A well reasoned article, which highlights and explains the current dire situation the smaller teams find themselves in. Well done. 🙂

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