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The mistakes of Formula 1: Right to have a say kills Formula 1

The mistakes of formula 1
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E It was a long run until Formula 1 faced its greatest crisis. Strictly speaking, she was born at the turn of the millennium. When tobacco advertising came on the index, Bernie Ecclestone and his partner Max Mosley saw the salvation of sport in automakers. They should bring the money that the cigarette industry could no longer deposit. The regulations gave the manufacturers gifts to lure them into the sport.

But when they finally took a bite, you couldn't get the ghosts you called back into the bottle. With the automobile companies, the costs rose. And a sport became a business model. Losing was no longer allowed.

At some point, manufacturers also needed more money because they could no longer justify their expensive defeats. They wanted to sell motorsport internally for free. The car bosses looked for money from Bernie Ecclestone, but bit on granite. So they threatened those who once laid out the red carpet for them.

Nobody gets down into Formula 1 and nobody gets up

The attempt to develop your own racing series went terribly in the pants. It stayed with the paper tiger because Ecclestone removed the main actors from the manufacturing community with his old tactics. First Ferrari, then Williams, finally Renault. The 'Formula Gold' was dead before it was born.

But the costs remained. The teams were forced to adapt. 50 million euros were just enough to survive. Today there are 100 million. The technology was so removed that new teams could not move up. Because the know-how, the tools and the entry fee were missing.

Formula 1 had sealed itself off from the outside world. If a team went bankrupt or ceased operations for other reasons, one had to hope for a buyer. Red Bull took over Jaguar, BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso Minardi and Midland /Spyker Jordan.

Former FIA President Max Mosley recognized the danger early on: 'In football, one rises when another is relegated. With us nobody can move up because the smaller categories are far too far away from Formula 1. '

Only Mosley saw the crisis coming

As in 2008 and 2009 with Honda, BMW, Toyota and Renault pulled the rip cord from four manufacturers, the sport faced the same problem as it had three years earlier. Who should fill the gaps?

Honda became Brawn GP, ​​BMW again Sauber, Renault Lotus, Spyker Force India. Toyota fell through the rust without replacement. Again 5Years later, the rescuers of yore are faced with a pile of broken glass. Lotus, Force India and Sauber are fighting for existence. And Brawn GP would too, had it not been for the outrageous luck of selling to Mercedes.

Max Mosley saw the crisis rolling in. As the only one. Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren were blind. They overthrew the president, who spoke of budget caps and emergency plans. Because it hurt their own interests. Instead, they merged into FOTA, which from today's perspective was an own goal.

In a final official act, Mosley recruited three new teams with Hispania, Lotus F1 and Virgin and the independent engine manufacturer Cosworth. He lured her into Formula 1 with promises that he could no longer keep. The teams lacked the foresight to understand the necessity of this measure.

No upper limit for engine leasing

Today are the newcomers gone. And Cosworth gone. Formula 1 hangs on the umbilical cord of three car companies that supply all teams with their engines and thus have the sport in their hands. There is no safety net, no way out of dependency. Again, the FIA ​​made the mistake of offering manufacturers the technology they wanted for their self-promotion.

This is where the next mistake was made, as Mosley explains: 'You should have made sure that at least one was independent The engine builder is there, the rules are tailored to their business model and the engines are affordable. Cosworth should have set the framework for the effort and the price. If the manufacturers then absolutely want to spend more, that's up to them. '

Ecclestone's old peasant trick

History is repeating itself right now. There was no Concorde agreement in 2008 either. Mosley delayed his signature because he did not know the financial terms in it. All he knew was that this part of the contract was no longer written down on 7, but on 150 pages.

At a World Council meeting there was an open dispute between Mosley and Ecclestone. The Formula 1 boss did not want to disclose the distribution key. Mosley insisted because he wanted to check whether they complied with the FIA ​​statutes and the agreements with the EU Commission of 2001. The former FIA boss never saw the paper.

When FOTA was founded, it only lasted for a short time. The team's community of interests was a real threat to Ecclestone. He went back to his old scam and it worked again. He lured Ferrari, then Red Bull, then Williams and finally McLaren out of the club by promising them special payments until 2020. In addition, a special say in the regulations.

The strategy group was introduced. At first it was only open to deserters.Mercedes, on the other hand, played the FOTA card for a long time. And had to pay for it. Only tough negotiations with Niki Lauda made it possible for Mercedes to climb into the privileged circle.

Toro Rosso is Red Bull's laboratory mouse

Formula 1 is closing precisely this co-determination today an immovable tanker. The teams with the most money make the rules. One can definitely speak of a cartel, even if Bernie Ecclestone denies it.

The fact that the small racing teams are represented in the Formula 1 commission is a fig leaf. You have to vote there for the motions of those from whom you purchase engines or transmissions. And they, in turn, sit in the strategy group.

The top teams want to keep the group of players as small as possible. 'I would, too,' says Mosley: 'I'd rather only fight two opponents than ten.' That is why Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and, to a certain extent, McLaren are reluctant to have cost caps or a fairer distribution of income. You rely on customer teams or third-party cars. Because it solves their own problems. In the short term.

This is the chance for the rebels. Even the big ones are not green. The third car is much more expensive for the teams than expected. Red Bull has between 35 and 40 million euros a year. The money should flow from Ecclestone's cash register. What they don't want to pay for.

Fewer customers means less refinancing for engine manufacturers. Customer cars are not a solution either. They too are rapidly increasing budgets. And the model is not viable.

Just look at the example of Toro Rosso this year. Red Bull's B-Team has a noticeably high amount of engine damage and has already had to go back to the grid three times to install new engines. Why? Because Toro Rosso has to play the laboratory mouse for Renault and Red Bull. There new types of fuel are tested. Many apparently at risk of piston damage. If you count the number of damage to the drive train at Sauber, one suspects that Ferrari is playing the same game with its Swiss customer.

Only a new beginning can break the vicious circle

Above everything is a set of rules that nobody understands anymore. The establishment reacts to every criticism from the outside, tries to artificially breath tension into a sport that can no longer offer tension on a broad basis. The difference between rich and poor is too big for that.

Williams is not the counterexample, as many believe. The third oldest Formula 1 team is fortunate to have a Mercedes engine in the rear. One of the Mercedes customers had to build the best car. If it hadn’t been Williams, it would have been McLaren or Force India.

The many artificial elements, the actionism and its withdrawal cost fans every day. It is oneMessing around without looking at the big picture. Formula 1 can only escape this vicious circle if it starts again from scratch. With an association that sets the rules. The teams can then decide whether they want to join in or stay at home.

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