News updated 12:10
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Alonso assures everyone he is in for the Long Haul
Fernando Alonso was “100%” sure he will be staying at Mclaren for the next two years when confronted about it at the Thursday Press Conference in Sochi.
“I have a contract for another two years and as I always say on the subject of rumours and to ensure calm, what I want is to continue for the necessary years.”
“Let’s see if that can happen, but for the next two years at least, there is no problem.”
Whoops, sorry folks. Those were Fernando’s words on Sept 2, 2014 on Ferrari’s official website, (since deleted).
Here are Fernando’s words in 2015:
100 per cent you’ll be with McLaren, 2016 on the grid?
FA: And ’17.
Once again Fernando’s future is in question, and the last time he was so adamant that he was staying, well, we all know what happened.
David Couthard told Marca.com that he “thinks it might happen” in regards to Alonso walking away. If true it is no wonder Mclaren was so suddenly motivated to sign Button for 2016.
Will Lotus miss the next 3 races?
The loss of several teams at the end of the 2014 season gave us a small peak into the secret contracts the teams have with Bernie Ecclestone. We learned that as part of the bi-latteral agreements, a team is allowed to miss up to 3 races without breaking their contract. This of course didn’t help Manor or Caterham, but it might help put Lotus in a slightly stronger negotiating position.
There are 5 races left in the 2016 season. The next is Russia, which is controlled by Bernie’s favourite global despot, who regards the Sochi F1 race as a merit badge he wears on his lapel.
There is no chance Lotus will miss this race because Bernie controls the shipping company that the teams use to get to and from races. So everyone will make it for inspection by Putin on Sunday.
None-payment for freight…? Mr E will just withhold anything Lotus owes him from the winnings they are still being paid from 2014 – month by month.
The rouble may have collapsed since the West ostracised Russia for their lapse into a Soveit style land grab of Crimea, whivh makes it even more important that Russian’s get paid their dues.
So Lotus were locked out of their hospitality unit again in Sochi. Yet this was for just a few hours on Wednesday, as it wouldn’t be great PR if the paddock talk all weekend was about Lotus’ money problems.
So Bernie will get his full grid on Sunday, but this gives no succour to Lotus fans who are concerned over their long term future.
However, the remaining flyaway races will be expensive for a team with no cash. Even beyond shipping costs and hospitality, there are the team members travel expenses, flights, hotels, work visas, local transportations, Per Diems, which all adds up fast, and immigration in the US doesn’t take IOU’s.
From a financial perspective, it makes no sense for Lotus to go to all the remaining overseas races. The possibility of Romain continuing his points streak could see Lotus overtake Force India in the constructors standing, but FI is about to finally bring complete their b-spec car to bear. So the odds of Lotus catching F1 are decreasing.
If Lotus do not run in three of the remaining races, it is also likely that Toro Rosso will overtake them in the constructors standings, but if the current Enstone owners really are looking to sell, then the extra few million doesn’t really matter to them, because they may never see it.
Were Lotus to miss races, it would be the next three given the travel schedule. USA, Mexico and Brazil.
They would then have to rock up in the desert for the Abu Dhabi GP for their contract to race in F1 to remain valid. It could be that if Genii threaten to boycott this race too – it may just hurry up the sale to Renault.
F1 not really for sale
“I said there are three people that are interested in buying. They have been talking a little bit, but now they are a lot more interested. If the shareholders want to sell, they will sell. I am not selling. That is what the problem is. Mr McKenzie, who is the controlling shareholder, also doesn’t want to sell. If someone wants to buy and someone doesn’t want to sell it is difficult.”
“Anyone that does follow F1 will know we have been here a million times.”
“I don’t need to leave it at the moment. But the three people who are interested in buying it asked me to sign a contract to make sure I stay with them.”
So Bernie doesn’t want to sell, but he has signed a contract with the 3 potential buyers already to keep running the sport? How does that work?
This is obviously a bargaining tactic. If there really are potential buyers, the seller will always claim he doesn’t want to sell. The problem is that bernie and CVC may have to sell. The looming EU investigation could do major damage to the sport. A sale to new invetsors may be enough to supress an ongoing investigation, yet allow Bernie to continue to run things. At a certain point it becomes less about money and more about power. Bernie is a power junkie, staying in control until he dies is all that matters now.
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