Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, 2015

EU lawsuit threat from smaller teams ‘not going away’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, 2015In the round-up: Formula One’s smaller teams are preparing to bring an antitrust complaint against the managers of Formula One with the European Union.

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Smaller F1 teams rev up for legal manoeuvre (FT - registration required)

"While details of the complaint have not been finalised, those involved said it would probably be sent to (EU competition commissioner Margrethe) Vestager within a month. 'There’s a head of steam now. This isn’t a problem that’s going away,' said one."

F1 teams push on with new 'franchise' car plan (Motorsport)

"Customer cars are something I've supported for a few years now. It's to offer an alternative if teams really get themselves into trouble. They can focus on being a race team."

F1 rejects refuelling return plan (Autosport)

"With not one team in favour the idea is now simply set to disappear."

F1 teams fail to agree on revised 2016 tyre rules (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"Plans for revised tyre rules in 2016 remain in limbo after the F1 teams were unable to decide on the details in a meeting on Thursday night."

Wet running was ‘not necessary’ - Hamilton (F1i)

"It wasn’t my call to go out, and not necessary. We collectively don’t think it was necessary to go out but at the end of the day it didn’t affect our running."

Nico Rosberg admits 'Ferrari looked pretty close' in Canada practice (Sky)

"I haven't spoken to the engineers yet to know what their real pace is relative to us because we always know what their fuel amount, how much they were turning up their engine, we can see all that. So that means much more than the actual times."

Ricciardo worried Red Bull ‘not as competitive’ as expected (Crash)

"We will move forward tomorrow but we are not as competitive as we would like to be today. "

Haas team rule out Patrick for 2016 (BBC)

"Team principal Gunther Steiner said Patrick, who has won an IndyCar race, was 'happy' racing in the American NASCAR stock-car racing series."

SJ chats with Jan Tegler: Indy 500, Monaco GP and the FIA Formula Three European Championship (Stefan Johansson)

"I think Mercedes’ mistake sums up the mindset in F1 right now. Race craft is a thing of the past, certainly from a driver’s point of view. You don’t need it as a driver. You just listen to your engineers."

F1 offers Ferrari boss food for thought (Reuters)

"I find it extremely boring going out of the track and talking continually about Formula One because we show we are not living in the real world. This is a job and it’s entertainment for the world, but the world is outside. It’s not here."

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Comment of the day

Start, World Endurance Championship, Silverstone, 2015F1 or WEC? Why choose at all?

The F1 versus WEC debate is getting a bit tedious – the two series could not be more different.

These days, I find that my cup of tea on a given weekend could vary amongst upwards of six different series – and the beauty of the Internet means I can watch them all at will – whenever I want.

For years and years, I pretty much just had F1 versus CART to sample here in the US But there have been a few weekends this year where I found WRC, GP2, or even Formula E to be the best entertainment. And next weekend, for sure it will be Le Mans!

Who says we have to pick one? They’re all pretty good if you ask me.
Minardi (@gitanes)

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  • 34 comments on “EU lawsuit threat from smaller teams ‘not going away’”

    1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      6th June 2015, 1:47

      Thank the lord they’ve said no to refueling.

      1. @weeniebeenie That’s your opinion. I have the opposite. The big teams want something F1 needs to ignore it and do the opposite. We are going to return to the days of the pole sitter under fuelling strategy. People have really forgotten about the bad details from the non refuelling era.

        1. @peartree

          People have really forgotten about the bad details from the non refuelling era.

          Same could be said with regards to refueling.

          I remember when we had refueling everyone was complaining constantly about the lack of on-track action, how all the passing was been done in the pits & how fuel strategy was more important than what was going on out on track.

          I just don’t get the fascination with refueling & just don’t see what it added to the racing… Sure there was the whole strategy thing but that did nothing for the racing (It actually hurt it). F1 was better before refueling & its been better since.

        2. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
          6th June 2015, 10:09

          I’m not sure what you mean, we’ve been in a non-refueling era for 5 years now. We know exactly what it’s all about.

        3. “The big teams”. Laughable. Not a single team said yes to refueling.

    2. Montoya’s retweet is funny, I’m guessing that was him in the williams in 01.

      1. And on his way for his first victory no less! And you’d never guess what Verstappen claimed afterwards. Tip: like father like son.

    3. I don’t understand the unanimous opposition to refuelling, not even the fans are up for it. I see many benefits.

      Refuelling alone would make the cars 4 secs faster.
      Refuelling would allow the current PU’s to ensue, and still achieve the “5 or 6 secs quicker idea”
      Refuelling would actually be the least expensive method of making F1 “5 or 6 secs quicker”.
      Refuelling would end under-fuelling strategies (highlight RBR 2010-2013) that further monopolize the pole sitter.
      Refuelling would shorten the car’s wheelbase enhancing the car’s outlook.
      Refuelling would put more pressure into the top teams, as any pit mistake, weather change or safety car period could cost them the race and perhaps benefit an unlikely winner.
      Refuelling adds one more variable for teams to work with.
      Refuelling removes some of the stress from the drivers and PU manufacturers.

      Drawbacks

      It’s more costly than not having refuelling.
      It can potentially be more dangerous to pit crew. (Safety rules could fix this)
      It can shift the racing to the pit lane rather than the track, although this situation is still true with the “undercutting rule” (this effect can be rendered irrelevant if the tyres stay as degradable as they are).

      1. Refuelling alone would make the cars 4 secs faster.

        At the start of races yes, But beyond that it would make little difference.

        Refuelling would actually be the least expensive method of making F1 “5 or 6 secs quicker”.

        Not necessarily.

        Refuelling would shorten the car’s wheelbase enhancing the car’s outlook.

        Tanks wouldn’t be that much smaller so I doubt people would notice any difference.

        Refuelling would put more pressure into the top teams, as any pit mistake, weather change or safety car period could cost them the race and perhaps benefit an unlikely winner.

        Yes because having races ruined in the pits is so good.

        Refuelling removes some of the stress from the drivers and PU manufacturers.

        Not really.

        ————————————————————–

        It can shift the racing to the pit lane rather than the track, although this situation is still true with the “undercutting rule” (this effect can be rendered irrelevant if the tyres stay as degradable as they are).

        And thats the biggest negative, Overtaking declined when we had refueling because most of the racing ended up been done in the pits because the ‘overcut’ was way more effective than the ‘undercut’ we now have.

        There was nothing that good about the refueling era, The racing was worse, There was a lot less overtaking, A lot less close racing, It was more expensive & a lot more dangerous in the pit lane.

        If you want strategy done in the pits to be way more important than on-track racing with pit-passing & fuel strategy dominant then by all means lets bring back refueling.
        But if you want racing done on track with more overtaking & more emphasis towards on track action then keep it banned.

        I personally hated refueling, I hated what it did to the racing, I hated how it changed the racing & I hated how it hurt far more races than it helped (I don’t believe it actually made a single race better).

        The racing was better before refueling & its been better since it was banned… It should stay banned & never be brought back!

        1. Michael Brown
          6th June 2015, 15:04

          One of the races people point to when support refuelling is France 2004. Schumacher actually didn’t have to overtake on track to take the lead; it was all done in the pits. It made Schumacher’s race look more like a time trial than racing.

      2. Refuelling would end under-fuelling strategies (highlight RBR 2010-2013) that further monopolize the pole sitter.

        Not even that, the 100kg of fuel per race rule was always going to stay regardless of in-race refueling.

        1. @chriju0411, furthermore, even during the refuelling era it wasn’t unheard of for teams to urge a driver to try to save fuel in order to lengthen a stint by a lap or two.

      3. The cars wouldn’t be any faster in ultimate pace though, which is all that matters. Who cares if the cars go a bit slower in the race because they have fuel? People want the cars to be capable of going faster apparently- adding re-fuelling won’t make the cars any faster in qualifying or the final tyre stint of races. I (and a lot of others) don’t care if the cars go slower at the start of the race just because they have fuel. If the cars are being driven hard throughout the race and are capable of fast lap times, I don’t care.

      4. Refuelling alone would make the cars 4 secs faster.

        Why does the speed the cars go matter? I don’t get this. I have enjoyed F1 during all the eras since the early 80’s and the speed has never been a factor for me. To me when there was re-fueling and the cars were the fastest was when the cars were absolutely on rails. I watch on-boards of that era and they don’t seem to really have to do anything with the wheel. I move my wheel more playing iracing. The cars move around and seem more difficult to drive now than at any time in the 35 years I have been watching. I watch vids of ’04 and just see passing in the pits. I don’t see drivers ‘on edge, pushing all the time’. Far from it actually.

        1. @darryn I don’t think you can go by what it looks like to you from TV/on boards. F1 should be the fastest cars by far…not just barely faster than it’s feeder series, if for no other reason than it is touted as the pinnacle of Motorsport. With higher speeds come the sense that drivers are doing something special, including handling greater G forces (your ‘on rails’ comment) while keeping their mental concentration intact throughout the entire race as their physical side is taxed more and more as the race proceeds. With higher speeds also come the need for faster physical reaction times, as well as mental. And the cars and tracks can certainly handle faster cars from a safety standpoint. So while I agree that it is hard to relate to speeds via TV, I do think it would help in the perception of what F1 is all about if the speeds were greater than ever while safety has also been greater than ever. We need to feel that these are gladiators duking it out on the track, not passengers monitoring systems all day long and rarely actually being able to push the car or need to push themselves to any enthralling limit.

      5. I see fire.Ask Steve Matchet if he thinks refueling is a good idea.

      6. Drawbacks

        It can potentially be more dangerous to pit crew. (Safety rules could fix this)

        I’d ask Jos Verstappen or Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Räikkönen about that if I were you.

        Personally, I hated the refuelling era more than any other.

    4. Webber is warming up for Le Mans at Erzberg, the best one day hard enduro, in the world. Seriously though, Erzberg and Canada in the same weekend, love it!

    5. “Wet running was not necessary”

      Although I bet Mercedes are very competent in other areas, I’m starting to think that, in strategy terms, they are, race by race, morphing into the corporate and robotic disaster that was/is McLaren: full of confidence in the ‘algorithm’; every area contaminated with that boring, useless and technical RonSpeak; and lacking that tiny fraction of sense that makes difference and comes with guys like Ross Brawn.

      Ferrari seems more sharpen on this field at the moment…

    6. pxcmerc (@)
      6th June 2015, 3:27

      maybe they can vote to ban the fuel restriction.

    7. Neil (@neilosjames)
      6th June 2015, 4:35

      “Customer cars are something I’ve supported for a few years now. It’s to offer an alternative if teams really get themselves into trouble. They can focus on being a race team.”

      Love how Horner makes it sound like he’s doing it for their sake, not his/Red Bull’s…

    8. The idea of bringing back refuelling was always a ridiculous idea that was never going to gain traction (imho). At a time where costs are at the top of the agenda, to bring in something that in no way guarantees en enhanced spectacle is nothing short of insanity. This issue once again exposes the ineffective idea creation and decision making process that currently exists in F1. What we need is a platform that engages and involves the fans much more. Something that Robin Chase talks about in her book Peers Inc where it is all about taking the best from people power and combining with the best of corporate power. That is the future and unless F1 wakes up and gets with the program, we will continue to witness the self destruction of the sport that has been very close to my heart for nearly 40 years.

      1. pxcmerc (@)
        6th June 2015, 7:34

        the problem is that F1 is more of a production than a competition, there is no real diversity in F1, just people who figure it out, write the rules and keep the rest from winning. That’s how it is like in real life btw. WEC is a far superior spectacle even if it has less competitive entries. F1 could learn a lot from the example WEC sets, where you are not forced to run a certain type of motor, or a certain make of tires, and the fuel restrictions are much more measured.

        F1 needs competition, opportunities, risk, and teams have to accept the risk that they will fail, and not elect a system that is based on hand outs/welfare. The guys at the top are too heavy, and the guys at the bottom are being squeezed out because of over regulation.

        1. pxcmerc (@)
          6th June 2015, 7:37

          *teams must accept the the possibility of failure,

          potential requires a differential, and that differential is very narrow in F1 right now. Very little room/opportunity for change.

        2. pxcmerc (@)
          6th June 2015, 7:40

          btw, there is a lot of stupid money in F1, costs are massively inflated, across the board. This is because there is very little competition. Things like licensing, over regulation and politics keeping new entries from playing play a roll in this effect. You can see the same thing if you look at the health care industry in the US.

        3. LMP1 top teams are all manufacturers with budget. Problem is F1 has little teams as well that are not getting enough support. To let teams figure the best engine out will cost too much so you would only have manufacturer teams with maybe some customer teams. It’s one or the other. WEC is dominated by manufacturers and most other cars that make up the field are forms of customer cars.

    9. Franchise, creative. So the rich teams are working on a solution the ‘hope’ will not be needed, instead of working to solve the problem itself.

      A franchise holder is usually making the most money from it for relatively little work, compared to the licensee who has to work and pay for the right,so as a solution this is indeed quite apt a name.

    10. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th June 2015, 9:35

      As much as I’m against politics stepping into sports, I expect a fairer outcome from an EU review than the four privileged teams deciding what the small teams should/can do!

    11. Robert McKay
      6th June 2015, 9:49

      Looks like we can put “bring back refuelling” and “open tyre compound choice” on the list of “rule changes announced that were shot down, either almost immediately or ultimately some time later”.

      It’s become a STUPIDLY long list over the last few seasons.

      What does this leave from the big FIA announcement recently (mid-May)? Some vague wording about making the cars faster and more aggressive? If even the “well-formulated” (read: not totally vague) ideas/proposals aren’t getting through, I’ve no idea how “we’ll do something about this, we’re not sure what” is ever expected to get through.

      What a sorry mess the sport is turning into in terms of governance and direction.

    12. cutomer cars for single car teams should be allowed too imo moto gp style

      1. 2 teams running 1 car each would cost more than 1 team running 2 cars. As much as I love motoGP and think F1 could learn a few things from the series, not everything is transferable.
        Wet races aside, motoGP doesn’t have pit stops so it makes no difference to the small teams that they only get half the space of the regular teams in the pit lane, an F1 team wouldn’t be able to pit safely if they only had half a garage.

    13. When no one gets out when it’s raining we here all these complains that it’s not fair to the fans. Now where they did go out at Mercedes and Hamilton crashed there is this ‘unnecessary’ badge stuck to them.
      i actually think that it’s quite weird that there was no Manor or any other ‘low cash’ team out there. That would be probably the best chance to them to actually get some coverage time. You don’t need to even push it.

    14. Hear, hear for the COTD. We humans can get a bit unnecessary at times. We still get tribal and defensive about things which don’t require it.

    15. I hope they’re not using Sauber’s lawyers from Melbourne…

    Comments are closed.