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Renault, McLaren and Williams to block Force India deal?

NEWS STORY
30/07/2018

Auto Motor und Sport's Michael Schmidt claims that the proposed sale of Force India, which went into administration on Friday, could be thwarted by three rival teams, Renault, Williams and McLaren.

With an eye on the fact that the Silverstone-based outfit might well change hands over the summer break, over the course of the Hungaroring weekend F1 boss Chase Carey sought agreement from all the teams that when changing hands, Force India could continue, albeit with a new name, and thereby still receive its share of the TV revenue and prize money.

However, Schmidt alleges that Renault, Williams and McLaren all refused to agree, which would mean that any new owner would need to register the outfit as a brand new team and would therefore not only be ineligible for Force India's prize money, estimated to be worth $150m, but would not be entitled to its own share of the prize pot for its first couple of seasons.

Such a move would be catastrophic, and according to Schmidt could stymie the sale of the team, leading to the 400 employees being made redundant and leaving the 2019 grid with only nine teams.

While it is unclear exactly what McLaren and Williams motives might be, it isn't that difficult to take a guess, what with both teams admitting that they are anxiously waiting on Liberty Media's proposed budget cap and redistribution of the prize fund.

Renault, on the other hand, according to Schmidt, is seeking to send a clear message to Liberty, concerned at the power wielded by Mercedes and Ferrari, particularly with regard to their so-called B-teams.

Ironically, Gene Haas, whose team has been constantly criticised by Force India for its close ties with Ferrari, was among the first to give his approval to Chase Carey.

While such a move seems almost unthinkable, self-interest has always been one of the sport's biggest problems.

However, as Schmidt argues, financially both McLaren and Williams are far better funded that Force India, the difference being that in recent years the Silverstone-based outfit has done a far, far better job in spending what little it does have wisely.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by geoffm, 31/07/2018 7:34

"if williams block the deal, maybe they should suffer the same fate if and when frank passes ( god forbid ).
whats good for 1 team good for another."

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2. Posted by Spartacus, 30/07/2018 20:33

"Yeah, this is all about McLaren, Renault and Williams' spot on the grid and how much $$ they can wring out of it.
They (McLaren, Renault and Williams) have been outperformed, so of course they are going to have a big problem with the new team absorbing the previous teams winnings. If you buy something don't you take on the debt as well as the team's assets (Prize money)? It is up to them (New management) to sort out. "

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3. Posted by JClark-Monza1967, 30/07/2018 19:26

"That is equal parts sad, worrisome and pathetic. It's particularly hypocritical coming from Williams, who always trumpets what a brave *independent* team they are, fighting against the big teams how fund and support their junior teams.

If those three teams actually go through with blocking the sale, I suggest that as fans who care about F1, we make some kind of statement that will get the attention of Renault, Williams & MClaren. Maybe start a campaign to refuse to patronize any of their sponsors or loudly boo them at the track or start online petitions or something. "

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4. Posted by Canuck, 30/07/2018 19:05

"Why do the teams have a say in about this. This prize money was earned by a team called Force India. The fact that the money is distributed later than it should be is a problem of the organizers not of the participating team. What if the team said I will pay my membership fees when you pay me for my results?"

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5. Posted by Ro, 30/07/2018 17:54

"Absolutey selfish attitude by these three teams, who, by the way are struggling. The only reason they object is that they would get a bigger slice of the pot. At Force India all that will change are the owners, not the engineers, technicians drivers etc. Shame on you Williams, McLaren and Renault. Bad sportsmen ? YES"

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6. Posted by Batman, 30/07/2018 17:16

"It's always good to see who is who in F1 and what people think versus what people do when they're to be called to speak about others life and do about their own life. I suspect that we, fans do not appreciate this kind of behavor. It's just a suspiction."

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7. Posted by YuppieScum, 30/07/2018 14:29

"The prize fund allocation is based on the core registered company of a team - when ownership of that company transfers, so does the "prize history." This has been key in other team failures in the past, and why the administrators are keen to prevent a "winding-up order" forcibly closing this core company. Other teams cannot object to this transfer of ownership.

What other teams *can* object to - and have done in the past - is the mid-season renaming of a team, which in turn would reduce the brand/marketing value of a team to a new buyer.

If true, this is "unbelievably selfish and unsporting" as stated below, as well as spectacularly short-sighted of Williams, who might need similar support some time soon..."

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8. Posted by Fambank, 30/07/2018 14:20

"Wolff: Potential Force India buyers have "deep pockets"

Scared ? Well if the potential buyer is Mr. Stroll they may not have to worry.
It's not that he is a "professional teamowner""

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9. Posted by LukeP, 30/07/2018 12:26

"If true that is unbelievably selfish and unsporting. Yes the owners of the team would change, but the "team" (i.e. the people, facilities, etc.) would remain and should be entitled to the prize money for their success as a race team."

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