Reopened talks in Red Bull saga
Ferrari has re-opened discussions with Red Bull as they continue to search for an engine supplier. It was believed that the Italian manufacturer was unwilling to supply the Austrian team.
However it was understood that they were only going to supply 2015 spec engines to Red Bull’s junior team. But a similar arrangement may be on the cards for both teams. Speaking at Finali Mondiali Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said “The possibility of cooperating with Red Bull remains an option but not in the context of them having an engine equivalent to what is used by Ferrari.”
Marchionne seams to suggest that the arrangement would be a “different project” altogether, involving the Bernie Ecclestone-led Formula One Management.
He said Ecclestone has been informed and Ferrari “ are ready to implement, not only to Red Bull but other teams, but not with the unit that we (Ferrari) use.”
He also slammed criticism by the governing body the FIA for using there veto to block the capping of prices to engine customer teams. He said “To take on the obligation and the financial burden to fund other teams is an absolutely obscene concept.”
The obscene concept – Marchionne
The obscene concept Sergio Marchionne was talking about was the plans by Bernie Ecclestone to introduce cost limits on engines.
The idea was approved by a majority by a vote to cap current customer engines at €12 million (£85,421,640.72) but the plan was dropped after Ferrari vetoed the plan. The FIA President and Former team principal Jean Todt has been frustrated by the veto.
Marchionne told the same event “Thinking that the FIA and FOM can pass to the engine manufacturer the obligation and the financial responsibility to finance (subsidise) their engines to other teams, I consider it an obscene concept.”
The Ferrari boss thinks it is wrong for manufacturers to help ensure that the smaller teams on the grid can survive. Saying the former team boss is looking for a solution they cannot agree to.
“the idea that we could have a moral obligation to provide the engines… it’s on the limit. And the same goes for imposing price limits on those power units.” He said
Losses at McLaren
The McLaren group has posted a loss of $24.6 million after earlier saying they had made a profit pf $19 million. The loss is slightly down on last year.
Over the last few years the team have struggled with the F1 Team following the departure of Lewis Hamilton. The group has ventured out into other businesses with them holding stakes in other businesses. These include motorsport electronics firm, catering company Absolute Taste, an applied technology business and 3.7% of supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive.
Also they had to pay a $54 million few to Mercedes when they switched ti Honda. The fall in profits comes as the team has been suffering there worse season in there 49 seasons in the sport. The F1 team itself made a loss of $277.6 million.
Jonathan Neal said this was because “predominantly due to decreased prize monies and sponsorship.” The team will also see a fall in prise money due to their ninth place in the championship. It has been a difficult two years with no wins or podiums.
Mistakes in 2014 regulations – Todt
The FIA president Jean Todt believes mistakes were made with the rules governing engine deals in Formula 1 when new regulations were introduced for 2014.
The supply cost has rocketed to €20 million to customer’s since the introduction of the 1.6-litre V6 engines in 2014. As we already mentioned last month Ferrari vetoed plans to reduce the cost. Mercedes say they could lose a “substantial” amount of money on supply deals.
On engine prices todt said “No limit was proposed which was probably a mistake. It doesn’t mean a cost limit would have been accepted as we proposed for six years some cost limitations and unfortunately it has never been accepted.”
Adding “That is why we are always looking at how can we implement measures which make F1 more affordable.” Todt says the FIA made a mistake in not writing into the rules that engine manufacturers must supply a minimum amount of teams if there is demand.
The current limit for supply is three per engine manufacturer can supply excluding themselves and if they wish to supply more.
Return to Zandvoort
The Dutch circuit at Zandvoort which last held a Grand Prix in 1985 is interested in a return to the sport.
A local councillor told Fox Sport “It is a historic circuit, it would be so nice if we could get back on the calendar. I realize that it will cost tens of millions of Euros to bring back Formula One, but we should certainly explore the possibilities.”
The circuit however will requires modernisation and bringing up to modern F1 standard. The councillor Jerry Kramer says it will need new investment as it is currently unsafe for a race.
However in a newspaper he admitted the plan isn’t viable without state financial support. He said “Governments are not keen on financing Formula One in western Europe. I know every Formula One race makes a loss.”
Zandvoort director Erik Weijers added: “There is a lot of money involved, but this is a first step. Should it come to a concrete plan it will take some time, perhaps in 2019 or 2020.”