user icon

F1 in crisis? Absolute nonsense - Bernie Ecclestone

  • Published on 10 Nov 2014 09:52
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
A week after the boycott threats of Austin, struggling teams Lotus, Force India and Sauber travelled to Brazil apparently close to a 'fighting fund' bailout that would secure their future. Vijay Mallya, for one, was denying he ever threatened to sit out races. "Why would we (boycott)?" the Force India supremo told reporters. "I may as well have stayed in England and saved all the expense."

But a meeting at Interlagos late on Saturday broke with no solution in place. "He (Bernie Ecclestone) just said 'I'll talk to Donald next week and get back to you'," a frustrated Mallya reported. He is referring to Donald Mackenzie, the chairman of F1's majority owner CVC, who had been in direct talks in the past few days with Lotus' Gerard Lopez.

But Ecclestone, the F1 chief executive, told BBC television on Saturday that CVC is only "the shareholder", and any decisions would have to be made by "Formula One Management". So with Caterham and Marussia out of business, the next endangered teams are restless. Writing in the Financial Mail on Sunday, F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said Force India's ability to continue "as a going concern" is now in doubt amid millions in losses.

But Ecclestone told reporters on Saturday that he has little sympathy for teams like Marussia and Caterham who sunk themselves under unsustainable debt. "People say F1 is in crisis," he said. "Absolute nonsense. We've had a couple of teams in crisis. People come and go. They (the teams) need to know how much is coming in and how much is going out."

So Saturday's meeting ended with no promises of a handout, and Ecclestone advising teams to spend less rather than "hope somebody is going to subsidise you". It seems plenty, however, was discussed during the meeting, including perhaps the idea of using the collapsed Marussia's $40 million in unclaimed prize money for finishing ninth in the championship and redistributing it.

Even Niki Lauda, the team chairman at dominant and powerful Mercedes, has a proposal. "In difficult economic times like these, where sponsors are hard to find, we need to help the small teams -- this is also in our interest because they also need to spend money on tyres and engines," he told German television RTL.

Ecclestone has said contracts forbid him from simply giving more to the small teams, but Lauda proposed: "We should lend them a certain amount until they are in a position to give it back." But Ecclestone declined to guarantee that the three nervous privateers - Lotus, Force India and Sauber - will all still be on the grid in 2015. "I wouldn't say that. I hope they are," he said. (GMM)

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar