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 2022

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

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 - 2023

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
3 - Mar 5
Bahrain
17 - Mar 19
Saudi Arabia
31 - Apr 2
Australia
28 - Apr 30
Azerbaijan
5 - May 7
United States of America
19 - May 21
Italy
26 - May 28
Monaco
2 - Jun 4
Spain
16 - Jun 18
Canada
30 - Jul 2
Austria
7 - Jul 9
United Kingdom
21 - Jul 23
Hungary
28 - Jul 30
Belgium
25 - Aug 27
Netherlands
1 - Sep 3
Italy
15 - Sep 17
Singapore
22 - Sep 24
Japan
20 - Oct 22
United States of America
27 - Oct 29
Mexico
3 - Nov 5
Brazil
17 - Nov 19
United States of America
24 - Nov 26
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2023

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
3 - Mar 5
17 - Mar 19
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
31 - Apr 2
Australia Albert Park
28 - Apr 30
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
5 - May 7
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
19 - May 21
26 - May 28
Monaco Monte Carlo
2 - Jun 4
16 - Jun 18
30 - Jul 2
Austria Red Bull Ring
7 - Jul 9
United Kingdom Silverstone
21 - Jul 23
Hungary Hungaroring
28 - Jul 30
25 - Aug 27
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
1 - Sep 3
Italy Monza
15 - Sep 17
22 - Sep 24
20 - Oct 22
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
27 - Oct 29
3 - Nov 5
Brazil Interlagos
17 - Nov 19
United States of America Las Vegas Street Circuit
24 - Nov 26
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar