Force India rescued from administration
Force India has been recused from administration led Lawrence Stroll who has agreed on a deal with the administrators to save the team. The British based team entered administration at the Hungarian Grand Prix, in an effort to force the sale of the team.
Last night a group of investors led by Stroll, and backed by ‘senior management’ agreed to a deal which will allow the team to continue racing as well as saving four hundred jobs. All of the team’s creditors will also be paid in full, with ‘ongoing funding guaranteed’.
The consortium includes Canadian entrepreneur Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, fashion business leader John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jr, financial expert Michael de Picciotto, and Stroll’s business partner Silas Chou.
Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said “This outcome secures the future of the Force India team in Formula 1 and will allow our team of racers to compete to our full potential.”
“I am delighted that we have the support of a consortium of investors who believe in us as a team and who see the considerable business potential that Force India has within F1 now and in the future.”
Administrator Geoff Rowley added: “All creditors will be paid in full, all jobs will be preserved, and the team will have significant funding to invest in its future.”
“Funding to support the team will be made available from today, and significantly more will be available once the company emerges from administration, which we expect within the next two to three weeks.”
F1 profits fall in Q2
Formula One’s revenue fell in the second quarter of the year, meaning that all of the teams will see a drop in prize money this season. Revenue at the F1 Group fell five percent between April and June compared to 2017, from $616m to $588m.
$616m to $588m. The slice of the pie shared by the 10 teams fell 7% from $330m to $307m, between them they earned $23m less over that quarter. F1’s operating income was down 69% from $45m to $14m.
There was no change in the number of races held in the quarter, with both 2017 and 2018 featuring seven grand prix’s. However, Liberty says that one reason for the revenue fall is that last year the quarter’s share of broadcasting fees represented a 7/20 share of the annual total, while this year, with an extra race, it is 7/21.
In Q2 last year there was an extra flyway race, but Liberty says that was are typically more lucrative than races reaches by road. However, that was “partially offset by fee inflation in underlying contracts.”
Liberty says income was boosted by a change in the way revenues from official partners and suppliers are recorded.
It noted that “these fee elements were previously recognized pro-rata with the race calendar, but the majority are now being recognised evenly over the calendar year, and others over a smaller number of specific events. This change provided a modest tailwind to advertising and sponsorship revenue in the second quarter of 2018 but will be neutral on a full calendar year basis.”
Also, F1 paid ofgf $125m in debt, reducing the total debt to S354m. But also says profit was impacted by the increase in spending on marketing and R&D.
Ferrari and Mercedes have different edges – Allison
Mercedes technical director James Allison believes that there are clear areas where Ferrari has the edge over Mercedes and Mercedes have the edge over Ferrari.
Surprise wins at Hockenheim and in Budapest has allowed the German manufacturer to go into the summer break leading both the drivers and constructors championship. This season, it has been a tight battle between the two, with them both leading at various points.
Allison believes that there are some areas technically where Mercedes has the advantage over Ferrari, but admits there are other areas where Ferrari are ahead.
“It tends to vary a little bit track to track and race to race as the development race has ebbed and flowed through the season, but there are a few patterns that are relatively constant,” he said in a Mercedes YouTube video.
“Certainly for a few races now we have been missing just a few horsepower to a Ferrari that has had a very impressive rate of development through the year.
“We are probably on average better through the corners than Ferrari on most tracks, sometimes they take a bit from us in the low-speed but medium- and high-speed we normally prosper relative to them. I would say they have tended to be a wee bit stronger than us at tracks that have tended to be strongly rear limited, but we are talking small margins, and us the opposite.”
Despite that, Allison still believes that the championship is close enough that it will be determined by a development race in the remaining races. Saying that small margins exist and while Mercedes is accepted to have the faster car, it has only won in head to head battles five times.
He also says it has been a very intriguing year with these small differences and that the outcome would be decided by whoever makes the least mistakes.
Lauda days or weeks from death
Doctors in Vienna treating the Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda say that the three times champion was days or weeks away from death without the double lung transplant.
The Austrian fell ill on holiday, and underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. Marco Idzko, head of AHK Vienna hospital’s division of pulmonology, explained: “Mr Lauda suffered from a so-called haemorrhagic alveolitis. This is an inflammation of the alveoli [air sacs inside the lungs], which has been accompanied by bleeding into the pulmonary tissue and respiratory tract.”
Lauda received immunosuppressive therapy, which led to “a significant improvement in the respiratory situation”, but the 69-year-old was then affected by acute lung disease.
He explained that the condition could have led to the destruction and loss of the functional tissue, leading to the loss of absorption of oxygen. This could have proved fatal.
Lauda was fitted with a new donor lung that his physicians say has settled well into his body. “The lung has an excellent primary function so that we were able to remove the circulatory support, the ECMO, in the operating theatre,” explained Hotzenecker.
“The graft lung has taken over its function well.”
Cardiology director Christian Hengstenberg added: “We can state that the patient survived it excellently and could already be extubated after 24 hours. That means, the tube in the lung could be removed and the patient could breathe spontaneously.”
Patients normally are discharged from hospital two or three weeks after surgery, however this could be longer in Lauda’s case as he was in ITU longer.
He is receiving an intensive physiotherapeutic and respiratory programme, and numerous drugs, but has been given a good prognosis for recovery