Voice of the F1 Fans: Ferrari’s new Blingmobile Part 5 – The problem

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.”


How not to seek serious investors

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…)

sauber vdg - B_512dWWUAAMiFq

How not to organise a sport or treat its stakeholders

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.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

Marlboro Man: F1’s chief provocateur

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.

16 responses to “Voice of the F1 Fans: Ferrari’s new Blingmobile Part 5 – The problem

  1. While I thought the previous installment had merit, this again comes off as more anti Ferrari bitching. You have read way too much into that rendering.

    • For years Ferrari, for strictly selfish and self-serving reasons (think Red Bull), keeps focusing the public and steering Strategy Group discussions towards issues that have no relevance to the viability of the sport. More testing, engine noise, a return to the V8s, wider tires, restrictions on paddock passes, and now… this design, which has no relevance to F1 cars or current regulations (and goes against the very DNA of F1: open-wheel racing). The design is simply the weighted average between an F1 car and a Ferrari road car… and as such fails at its basic, stated intent of providing a vision for the future… This design has more to do with Ferrari wanting to sell road cars and push for regulation changes that would advantage themselves, than with F1 or its future.

      I believe that this was worth pointing out. Especially given the current plight afflicting more than half of the grid in F1 (including Williams now), and the above-average uncertainty hovering over the very existence of F1 in the near future…

      • Ferraris objective is to sell more cars. It’s as simple as that. everybody thinks about themselves first. Why would ferrari be different.

        • Oh, I have no problems there! All teams—big and small—do and say things for their selfish and self-serving reasons.

          And since Ferrari is no different, we should label things for what they really are. By this token Ferrari’s Blingmobile release—by virtue of its substance, timing and context—has very little to do with the future design of F1 cars, but is no doubt one shrewd piece of politicking… And as Our Honor put it, simply a “PR stunt”.

        • @Bruznic
          ‘Assolutamente’ Sales, Sales and Sales. The CAD drawing was probably from a grad student, from the stylist course at Issam in Modena. I thought it looked it very good.

  2. Verbosity.
    Mr. Landroni needs to pass his work through the mind of a competent editor before publication. The interesting content (there is some) gets lost in the striving for effect.

    • Like a lot of the blog, there is a lot of Clarkson/Balckadderisms in there. The citation to a previous TJ13 article with the ‘bovine excrement’ in is a classic example; if you layer your argument with too many puns, tongue in cheek elements, or layered witiicisms, the actual point you are making gets lost. The ‘editor in chief’, ha we know really, is part of the problem here too. It does work sometimes and is genuinely funny, but a lot of times not; the same as the scripted elements of the podcast… can be a bit stilted.

    • Oh, rest assured: Der Management persistently tried to reason me, and put me on the path of the righteous man. It didn’t work out very well, did it? 🙂

      Anyways… Verbosity was by choice. Sometimes to make a point and drive it home you need to exaggerate things. Of course the downside is that some people will get offended, while others will take you for a fool. With hindsight I could have made my point more efficiently in considerably less space. But ‘advance hindsight’ would be a wonderful thing if it existed, wouldn’t it?

      Either way, at the time of Ferrari’s Blingmobile release, the thing felt so eye-catchingly absurd… that I felt such a harsh and long-winded perspective on Ferrari’s move was warranted. I did my best to correct this and present the points more clearly and without unnecessary effects in the comments.

  3. Although I think some of the arguments over this series are a little wide of the mark, thanks for yr efforts, Mr Landroni. T’was good to get my blood pumping over the last few mornings! And you sparked a fair few tasty comments. And take most of the criticism as constructive. T’internet is a much harsher proving ground for fledgling journalists than the local paper.
    Looking forward to your next feature. : )

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