In the digital age in which we live, the shifting sands of F1 politicking seems to be played out in almost a daily fashion. Who’s in bed with who this week, is not difficult to understand as we see the F1 accredited media give internet ink columns to anyone who is prepared to be quoted.
It’s not just on track that Ferrari have been under going a revolution, the Maranello business as a whole is being re-engineered by the Automotive guru that is Sergio Marchionne.
As Chairman of the Fiat Chrysler Group, Sergio is committed to selling of the Ferrari automotive division and this may have significant implications for the Scuderia racing team.
For years Ferrari road cars have funded the vast amounts of cash spent on the Ferrari Formula One team, but those days may well now be numbered.
$500m a year has been spent without a blink of an eye in Maranello, in an attempt to keep the prancing horse brand at the head of the F1 field. Unfortunately, this plan failed for years, but with a Ferrari resurgence on the cards this year, will it be a case of money well spent?
Times are changing for Ferrari, with new owners on the horizon, it could well be that the ‘new’ Ferrari view will eventually mean retaining more of that company profit currently being spent on the frivolities of racing fast cars.
And so, maybe just maybe, for the first time in living memory – Ferrari may have an interest in reducing the amount they spend on Formula One.
Max Mosley offered a proposition this week to make F1 less expensive. This was a little surprising give the ex-FIA president has previously maintained he would not reveal his ideas for the future of Formula One – and “do Jean Todt’s job for him.”
The Moseley big idea was to allow a greater freedom of the technical regulations for manufacturers prepared to sign up for a budget cap.
Ferrari need to reduce the exorbitant amount of money they budget for their race team, in the medium term So suddenly some kind of spending restraint is now expedient for the red team.
So it is no surprise that Ferrari engine customer team principal, Monisha Kaltenborn, has now come out in support of Max Moseley’s proposal.
“As a team we have always said that a budget cap is the only sensible way ahead,” said Kaltenborn. “It brings you into a healthy region of how much you should be spending.
“With Max’s idea, he has done the most he can to bring out the technical and engineering challenge.
“I don’t think there is any other concept out there that would allow you to maximise this part – which is the essence of F1.
“F1 is about racing primarily, but it’s also about engineering.”
Remember, a budget cap alone with no reduction in engine costs or redistribution of revenue – does not help the Sauber cause one jot.
Whether this will be enough to see some kind of tri-party agreement between FOM, the teams and the FIA reinstated – is anyone’s guess – and it will require the FIA to do more than vote with the majority.
Bernie Ecclestone made clear his disdain for the way Jean Todt operates in his recent interview with Eddie Jordan.
“Jean is not Max”, Ecclestone retorted, when asked to compare now with the times he and Moseley knocked heads together to deliver a difficult decision.
The Ferrari customer team principal exhorts all to embrace Max Mosley’s budget cap proposition, stating: “Max has expressed an interesting and good idea here – and you need visions today in F1,” Kaltenborn said.
“This kind of vision for me shows that maybe you need some kind of French Revolution in the sport, because that was at the time also about freedom and equality.
“Maybe it’s time for a French revolution.”
Wow. Just wow.
Monisha may as well have said. “wake up you lazy, self obsessed aristocrats in the place de Concorde. Do you not understand your own history?”
Of course all analogies are lacking in some way. However, Jean Todt’s non-interventionist policy does appear to have undertones of “let them eat cake”.
And even though Moseley has little chance of returning to Formula One, the fact he is being invoked, means even in spirit alone – F1 Max is back!