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 IV introduced the bloody emergency room. Part V discusses the underlying problem…
And then there is Lotus… Enstone was actually the first to highlight the dire straights of F1’s minnow teams. While being pretty much the only ones taking the fight to Red Bull in 2013, they were bleeding cash by the gallons. The tragicomedy of Mansoor Ijaz is very well documented, and all those cheques lost in the mail never quite got to Enstone. As a result Enstone had downsized considerably over the winter of 2013 as we witnessed the biggest exodus of F1 brains in recent history.
This included the team principal – Eric the Believable, star driver Kimi Raikkonen and star designer James Allison. Coupled with the melting fondue provided by Renault and the resulting fridge of a chassis, Lotus was screwed for 2014. As pointed recently on TJ13, “Lotus were late to get to Jerez and to begin their testing, though in the race to be the next most bankrupt team – they appear to be well ahead of Vijay Mallya’s Force India.”
But things aren’t looking rosy for Enstone, and as TJ13 elegantly put recently: “After Gerard Lopez dared to call bovine excrement on the Emperor for his lack of attire and was by miracle not blackmailed out of the sport, another critical voice is sounding from the trenches in
France England with deputy team manager Frederico Gastaldi stating the obvious in an interview with Brazil Globo by saying that F1’s business model is unsustainable.”
“We have lost count of how often we met with Bernie Ecclestone and the other teams,” Gastaldi explains. “Over the course of the last year we didn’t even manage to step forward an inch in regards to changes, which we think are not only important for us, but the sport as a whole. It’s a world of giant egos. They [the big teams] have their own interests in mind, but fail to see that we are are also important for them.”
Gastaldi identifies the inequitable distribution of money as the main problem.
“Those that already have the most, nab the lion share of what the show earns. Those who have not so much get less and less. That’s really annoying. It’s a model that doesn’t work.”
(Let us highlight the above for all those blind, deaf and senseless fools out there, not realising that they’re pricing themselves out of an entire sport…)
To highlight the teams’ economic despair, the minnows recently came with the ridiculously desperate idea of becoming co-constructors by pooling their resources. As per TJ13, “As we have already reported in yesterday’s test reports (see links at the top of the page), the three midfield teams Sauber, Force India and Lotus have come up with the idea of becoming co-constructors by pooling their resources.” But, “Lo and behold – the big teams nixed it.”
And, of course, Toro Rosso. Toro Rosso is the only one sitting tight and pretty in the waiting room, browsing the latest copy of Vogue. They accomplish with gusto their main task of changing diapers to test-tube prodigies harvested by the big Bulls, and disposing of the frozen body parts once Herr Marko has decided that the harvest wasn’t genetically fit and has put the chainsaws on them. As long as the fizzy drinks csar, Dieter Mateschitz, hasn’t tired of F1, they’ll be doing just fine.
So there you have it, folks. In a month that has witnessed “dog eat dog” incidents and “how to fit 3 in 2” charades by starved and strangled F1 teams and in a year which has seen most of the F1 minnows wheeled into the Emergency Room, which has quickly become a bloody swimming pool, you have Ferrari’s very own Chief Marketing Officer, Marlboro Man—with the gravitas of Duffman and the happiness of Krusty the Clown—, merrily provoking teams to adopt cost-busting and rules-rewriting designs that would no doubt see to the death of those faint-hearted minnows… It’s like getting kicked in the nuts when you’re already starved, dehydrated and suffocating…
A crash-course in expressing your feelings, Home Alone style…
Thankfully Marlboro Man knows how to spend his time usefully, for the good of the sport of course, and was seen lately protesting against the oh so harsh treatment of VIPs, with restrictions on F1 paddock passes the biggest worry of it all. The poor lads and lassies! Makes your heart weep… At least Marlboro Man found some good use for Esteban Gutierrez—who was literally sacked by Sauber for bad performance but then recruited by Maranello in a head-scratching affair—, and started waving the Mexican driver on the grandstands in protest.
Part VI will look into who is running the asylum…
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.