F1’s new look future imminent


Despite F1 living in nigh on perpetual crisis for years, the signs are that matters are coming to a head and F1’s future should be clear in just a few weeks.

In the past week, Sauber and Force India have reported F1 to the European Commission most likely for restrictive practices, a direct commercial influence/conflict of interest in the governance of the sport and inequitable funding disbursements.

This could see the F1 strategy group scrapped, which perversely would delight one of its architects – Bernie Ecclestone, though for most observers the FIA are not fit for purpose to regulate the sport in a better fashion.

FIA F1 delegates have for years failed to enforce the regulations of the sport properly never mind frame the regulations properly in the first place.

Prime examples of this are the failure to enforce and police the double yellow flags properly for time and memorial and the omission of a homologation date for the engines in 2015 is laughable.

One other intriguing outcome would be if the 10% of FOM’s annual operating profit paid to ‘historic teams’ and manufacturers be ordered to be returned. This would cost Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren and Williams over half a billion dollars since the agreement was struck.

The scrapping of historic payments may finish off Renault’s interest who are still negotiating will Ecclestone over the amount they should receive as a ‘historic team’ if they buy Lotus and become again manufacturer ‘works’ outfit.

The scrapping of the ‘historic/manufacturers’ payments would most likely see Dietrich Mateschitz lose interest in F1 and fold his two Red Bull teams given the loss of $500 million in budget for Red Bull between now and 2020.

Formula One with no Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso cars, means the already depleted grid from F1’s heyday would have just 16 cars in the sport’s present two-car team format.

It is therefore no surprise that Bernie Ecclestone is once again this week talking about 3 car teams and that “people would rather see a third Ferrari than a car that is not competitive”.

Ecclestone claims three car teams will be decided upon in November, though Renault and Lotus have until December 7th before they are required to return to the London court and agree a way forward with the HMRC debt.

F1 is hurtling toward a very new looking future – and the 11th hour is well and truly under way.

18 responses to “F1’s new look future imminent

    • While WWII did destroyed two enemy dictators some had been left to flourish on home ground, as for us sports following fans we call them the cancer of formula on, one half is gone, the other half still flourishes, when God permits F1 gets rid of the onhalfthecancerofF1 left sucking it’s blood, formula one will start to flourish again.

  1. If the decision for 3 car teams is in november is there enough time to build 3 cars for the teams that are supposed to?

    From what I can see that still only brings in 3 extra cars, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren. And right now it is debatable that an extra McLaren would be better than 2 new cars at the back of the grid… so maybe no McLaren 3rd car?

        • Of the remaining teams, they would have the biggest budget, behind Merc, Ferrari and McLaren. Lotus, SFI, Sauber, Manor definitely could not.

          Maybe Renault might like to, if Williams would not, in return for something from Bernie..

          I wonder why they are against 3 cars (well, as it hurts the smaller teams). Maybe customer cars instead?

          They started as a customer team and used to sell customer cars once they were on top.

          PS. Williams once entered 3 cars – 1983 Brands. But Laffite DNQ’d, so only 2 raced (Rosberg & Palmer).

  2. 3 car teams will mean that the future of Formula 1 gets worse and worse, because midfield teams will have less chances to score points and end up leaving F1 eventually, because it is not affordable or accountable any more, which leaves only a couple of teams on the grid. This continues until the F1 is turned into a single spec series as everybody wants the best chassis and engine. And then it’s not F1 any more, but just another spec series like GP2, GP3, F3, FR 3,5, IndyCar.

    You only have to look at the CART/IndyCar series about 15/20 years ago who went the same way and they are still struggling to become a major series again.

  3. If FIA/Bernie allows 3rd cars to score team points then F1 really is doomed. The mid field teams will automatically get pushed back well that is if McHonda make some progress.
    I think Bernie is just using a bit of publicity to negotiate with Renault and Red Bull. He is resisting being held over a barrel.
    Bernie would love the EU to say the management/business practices were non lawful/anti competitive. He would get the historic money back and , in comparison pay a small fine. Problem is I think Williams would go under, but Bernie could fix that!
    My guess is that Red Bull/TR will be running 2016 engines next year (no works spec but customer spec), Renault will buy Lotus and bring a reasonable engine (New wastegate rules so new free turbo and more tokens to use), Honda will also make a big step improvement with the free turbo change and thus extra tokens.

    Always look on the bright side of life 🙂

    • not to mention the exponential increase in consipiracy theories over engine performance inequality and other mysterious things that might happen to a third car.

  4. I don’t see how CVC Capital would get the money returned.There is an agreed percentage that goes to the teams, it is from here that the historic payments are carved.
    The most equitable thing would for it to be redistributed to the general fund of the “ten” which is divided equally. A more likely distribution is that it would be divided 50-50 with half going to the general fund, and half to the constructors’ payout.

    I also have the impression that he would prefer to deal with a few teams of three than ten or twelve teams of two.

    • Because their success happened to coincide with the powers that be talking to the ‘successful’ teams about cash flows. ‘Historic’ is just a term they used to cloak those payments with a little more class and gravitas than what was really the case…

  5. this is a perfect example of how over several years, the saying “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile” holds absolutely true.

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