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Kaltenborn: There is some agenda here

NEWS STORY
10/11/2014

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn believes that F1's powers-that-be have an agenda to rid the sport of smaller manufacturers.

The Swiss claims that the sport no longer wants smaller constructors building their own chassis but instead wants teams buying packages from the bigger outfits.

As the 2014 world championship title heads down to the wire in Abu Dhabi in two weeks it is the fate of Sauber, Lotus and force India that is causing concern in a week that saw Marussia finally go under and Caterham resort to crowd funding.

Numerous meetings involving the teams, engine manufacturers and Bernie Ecclestone resolved nothing, the F1 supremo admitting that those involved couldn't even agree on when the next meeting should be held. Interestingly, he also dismissed claims that the sport is in crisis, just seven days after he said it is and that it was his fault.

Moments before the start of today's race, various parties could be seen deep in conversation, and it was clear they were not talking set-up or race strategy.

"The agenda seems to be that people are looking at four or five names to remain," Kaltenborn told reporters this evening. "Looking at the proposals which have been made, we have to believe there is some agenda here.

"When ideas are offered to us of a year-old chassis or engines which maybe are a different specification or whatever, a different series, there must be an agenda," she added.

"We don't know whose agenda it is," she admitted, "but the fact is it cannot go on like this. It's not the way we want to work or can work. Those ideas are ideas. But that tells you where it is going, the more these ideas are coming up, the more we three get the feeling that maybe some people don't want us to be around and maybe the sport is supposed to be changed in a very different way."

Amidst claims that Ferrari and Red Bull have said they are willing to provide a third car in 2015, others believe there is a clear drive to see the sport go forward with five constructor teams and five customer teams. Not so, argued Cristian Horner.

"Red Bull's position is we want to see a full grid of two-car teams," said the Red Bull boss.

Asked about the claims that his team has already accepted the idea of providing a third car in 2015, he replied: "The numbers haven't dropped significantly low enough and we haven't been requested by the promoter to run a third car. Our preference is we have at least 10 healthy competing two-car teams."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nealio, 11/11/2014 18:31

"We'll see how f1 fares when it only has manufacturer teams come to play. This is a totally unfair mess and therefore meaningless as a sport. Mercedes wins the prize for spending lots of money better than Renault & Ferrrari and for hobbling the competitive efforts of all the other participants in the game, who cares? Today's F1 is simply an orgy of conspicuous dissipation and dick-waving by the elephants of the auto culture. This is not and can never be Grand Prix racing. It can't even be defined as a sport."

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2. Posted by oldbiker100, 11/11/2014 17:38

"Carl Haas must be looking at this and seriously wondering what he is getting into. Maybe the "sport" that is F1 has to go through this, to emerge a better product, and that's all it is now.

Sorry, but having watched and been involved in the sport since the 1960's I weary of the rapists that have reduced the sport......."

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3. Posted by Jonno, 11/11/2014 9:16

"Bernie doesn't want teams running around with a begging bowl. He doesn't have a problem with circuit owners having to beg from their governments to keep F1. It used to be his annual mantra that the UK government should be putting money into Silverstone. Fortunately, when they worked out where their (our) money was going (Bernie's pocket), they soon put a block on the idea.
"

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 10/11/2014 23:02

"We're all doomed. Doomed I say!

Well probably anyway. All those billions spent, but it's still dying. "

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5. Posted by Tommy Tipper, 10/11/2014 21:01

"On a slightly different note. I for one get absolutely bored with the support races at GPs.
Porsches - all the same : GP2 - all the same : GP3 - all the same.
Even a few years ago at the British GP we used to have an historic race as the final race of the day, even that's gone now.
Actually I remember being at Spa some years back and they had a bloody Mini race - riveting not"

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6. Posted by GordonW, 10/11/2014 17:45

"One of the most important rules of F1 is (or maybe used to be) that teams could NOT have customer cars.

To enter the championship, a team has to build its own chassis and this may not be sold on to other teams. So either this rule has been / is being changed or is being ignored.

I have followed F1 since 1968 and we have had three-car teams in the past (I remember Marlboro BRM as one example) as well as top teams running a third car when appropriate (usually financially appropriate).

If this is the way that Bernie wants to take F1 then that's up to Bernie - but look at the VAST drop in TV audiences just here in the UK since SKY got involved.

Plus the disinterest in Germany since Schumacher retired (I hope he keeps recovering from his ski accident)....

F1 is not football - there are not billions of gullible people around the world who will pay whatever it takes to watch their football team.

F1 fans tend to be more restrained - and financially savvy.....

Bernie - stop the top teams (i.e. the global car manufacturers) from throwing money at the sport to the extent that other (well-sponsored) teams cannot compete.

All you will do is turn off an even bigger proportion of your audience and so Formula 1 TM will simply curl up and die. And stop syphoning off so much of the revenue - you've got quite enough money already!"

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7. Posted by nonickname, 10/11/2014 15:22

"There used to be only 2 types of sport, F1 and bull fighting.
If the bulls had to have rubber horns and soft shoes and the matadors had to wear flack jackets and helmets bull fighting would disappear. .... a harsh but true fact of life. People come to watch the blood and thunder and the wishy-washy sport that we now have is boring. Sky news has more drama."

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8. Posted by Hondawho?, 10/11/2014 12:28

"If you look at the support for F1 within the fan base who is it? Ferrari fans, possibly the largest;why? McLaren yes but why? Lotus yes (has dwindled over the past decads).Then there are the new kids on the block, Mercedes, is there any support? Possibly a bit but mainly the for the drivers Why? Do you see much support for Red Bull or Toros Rosso or Force India or Suber? Maybe for the drivers but why not the team?

F1 was an inspirational sport, we all wanted a Ferrari or a McLaren or even a Lotus. Can we drive a Force India ? NO. We can drive a Mercedes but these are now common and not really inspirational any longer.
There needs to be a reason for wanting to watch F1 and those reasons over the past few years have dwindled. Bring back the desire and F1 will thrive again, but as for the interest, are there any longer desires to own a Ferrari or McLaren or even a Lotus? It's a big question."

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9. Posted by kiwi2wheels, 10/11/2014 12:26

"I forgot to add that Kaltenborn is the perfect example..............and a lawyer to boot !

The rot starts at the top."

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10. Posted by kiwi2wheels, 10/11/2014 12:23

"Sauber have one of the best facilities and in one of the most technologically advanced countries.

Their problem has always been a managerial one; i.e. a " human remains " department that has NO idea of the quality of the people that are needed to compete at the sharp end and manage the infrastructure.

And that's from ex-employees. The exact same reason that Toyota were such a total clusterfcuk.

The " N I H (not invented here) " syndrome is the kiss of death to ANY race team."

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11. Posted by Darvi, 10/11/2014 9:54

"It isn't clear how healthy the big teams are. McLaren have failed to secure a title sponsor in over a year, Williams have one and are still losing money, Red Bull is funding two teams but has already tried to offload Torro Rosso on a couple of occasions and Ferrari is about to be floated off and therefore may not have access to the same level of funding.... indeed, it isn't clear what Philip Morris really gains from their existing sponsorship of Ferrari.

I guess the Red Bull/Torro Rosso model could work where the "major team" designs most of the components and the "minor team" adapts them and develops its own IP around the main components....... but is it really Formula 1?

Here's an idea, get rid of Bernie and get someone in to work with the FIA to establish a long term plan for F1 which is aimed at getting back to 12 healthy and competitive teams, and at the same time sorts out the relationship between F1 and the fans that are getting very little at the moment which is why they are leaving in droves."

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12. Posted by Hondawho?, 10/11/2014 7:33

""What goes around comes around" as is said. The issues are, the big teams which are here today started as small ones (Mercedes excepted) so nothing is new. The show must go on and move forward so however that can happen then so be it. The big issue may be; is there as much or in fact any interest in the sport any longer?

No doubt to run as a show requires money, lots of money and the show from a spectator's angle needs to be more exciting IMHO. The build up is and has been for a number of years more exciting than the two hour event on the day. Even Mr E has said in the past "once the lights go out my job is done". That about sums it up for me. "

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13. Posted by scf1fan, 10/11/2014 2:59

"From their driver contracts, it already sounds like Sauber wants to run four cars next year. Just saying . . . "

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14. Posted by marltoro, 10/11/2014 2:10

"I think the mood Monisha is picking up is an undercurrent from a group of people who have probably decided that 'the three' agitators are likely to be too much trouble and it would be better to be rid of them.
To keep numbers up then the top four or five could supply packages to another four of five who wouldn't be eligible for constructors points. this means the revenue pool would be controlled by the top five with five lesser satellite or 'private' teams running for a secondary lesser championship within the races.
This would still be within Horner's statement "Red Bull prefers a grid of two-car teams....""

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