D he dispute over Force India continues to smolder. The team is saved, but now it's about the money. All teams have agreed to the downgrade of Force India to zero points ahead of the Belgian GP. No wonder, because some will benefit if Force India is now placed further back.
The prize money will be paid out depending on the place in the constructors' championship. In addition, there is the attendance bonus of currently 33 million dollars, which every team receives that has made it into the top ten twice in the past three years. So everyone.
HaasF1 wants to dispute this money from the revived Force India. With the argument that Racing Point Force India is now competing with a new license and is therefore legally a new team.
Team owner Gene Haas told ESPN: “I'm a little frustrated. You can't blame Lawrence Stroll for sure, because he got a fantastic deal off the ground in a very short time. He saved a team, saved many jobs, and yet that's no reason why he should be treated differently from the rest of the world in legal terms. As a new team, we didn't get the same rights as him. ”
Renault , McLaren and Williams agree
Lawrence Stroll invited all the other team bosses to Spa on Friday to explain the special situation at Force India. Actually, the takeover of the team is just a normal change of ownership. Force India would not even have lost the prize money.
But because a standard sale was not possible due to the demands of the Indian banks, a legal pull-up was needed. The team went into bankruptcy and was passed on to the new owners. They only bought the contents without the case. The teams learned on this occasion that this Plan B alone had cost $ 25 million more than the initially planned takeover.
But it was also the only chance to save Force India. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says: “We have to weigh up what we prefer. Ride around on principles or keep a team that is now solidly financed. ”
Renault sports director Cyril Abiteboul, who signed a first vote for fear of a new Mercedes B team, made a similar statement has refused: “Renault will not stand in the way of rescuing a team.Ten teams are the minimum for a healthy Formula 1. The Formula 1 management has assured us that the problem of the B teams will be addressed. ”
Similar tones were heard from McLaren. A team spokesman: “For us, it's just about not creating more B-teams in the future that are technically, politically and athletically dependent on their work partner. We have nothing against Force India. ”
Williams finally gave in because Stroll will meet his contractual obligations. That means. There is a severance payment for the Grove racing team. That will ensure Williams' survival at least until the end of next season.
And then the third oldest racing team in Formula 1 could face the same problem as Force India before the sale. Who knows, but maybe Claire Williams will need the voices of her colleagues one day. Better not make any problems now.
Force India believes in 6th place
HaasF1, on the other hand, wants to stay tough. Gene Haas puts it in conciliatory words: “We have to see how it turns out now. Things moved very quickly, and I don't think all aspects have been given enough time. The Stroll team may not be a real new team, but from a legal standpoint it seems to be. ”HaasF1 is afraid that this takeover process will catch on. And that in the future, newcomers will demand the same treatment as Racing Point Force India.
The new Force India team boss Otmar Szafnauer argues against this: “HaasF1 was not discriminated against us. They benefited from a rule that allowed them to buy a large part of the car from Ferrari. They only had to hire 220 people. When Force India got into Formula 1, we were forced to build a machine that could develop and build its entire car ourselves. That is why we have 400 employees today. HaasF1 may not have received the Pillar 1 money, but financially they benefited from a softening of the Formula 1 principlesbenefits. ”
It was also heard that the US racing team received the transport subsidy a year earlier than usual. The payment came from a budget that the F1 management had saved after the Manor bankruptcy.
Chase Carey and Ross Brawn therefore do not have much sympathy for ricochets. For them, too, the relief that they were able to keep the field of 20 cars and that a previously sick team has been put on a serious financial basis prevails. One said: 'It cannot be that teams decide who has to get how much money.'
Even if Force India gets the 33 million dollars, the payouts in 2019 will be lower than this year. It all depends on where the World Cup fourth from 2016 and 2017 will be this time. In a normal season, 5th place would have been realistic. After a good foundation stone was laid with 18 points at Spa, Force India could still overtake Toro Rosso, who are currently 30 points, in the remaining eight races. The difference between 5th and 7th place is around 13 million dollars.
Szafnauer still believes in the miracle: 'If everything goes well, we could catch McLaren and land in 6th place.' That would be the loss reduce to 5th place to three million dollars. McLaren currently has 52 points.