Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore, 2014

F1 better without Caterham, says Ecclestone

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Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore, 2014In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says he would prefer to see Caterham collapse, which would leave F1 with just ten teams.


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Bernie Ecclestone: Caterham should move on (The Sun, subscription required)

“I think it’s better they go. I don’t want people going around with begging bowls.”

Caterham F1 future in fresh doubt (BBC)

“Fernandes told BBC Sport the statement was ‘garbage’. The Malaysian businessman, who announced he had sold the team in July, added that his lawyers would respond on Thursday.”

Ravetto says Fernandes back in control (Crash)

“Asked if he expects the team to race in United States, Ravetto replied: ‘This I cannot say because we have been keeping the normal race preparations until today. What happens from tomorrow onwards is not under my control any more.'”

Michael quits as McLaren director (The Telegraph)

“Michael, 43, informed Ron Dennis, the McLaren chairman of his plan to resign in March, but it was agreed that he would continue for this season, keeping the news private.”

Lotus expects to keep Grosjean (Autosport)

“Grosjean had been holding out hope of a move to Ferrari following news of Fernando Alonso’s impending departure, but Sebastian Vettel’s decision to leave Red Bull and join the Scuderia has scuppered that plan.”

U.S. tycoon Gene Haas wants to race to billions with Formula One team (CNN)

“I think their biggest problem was trying to get to the grid so fast. For us we want to make sure that before the cars come for practice in January 2016, we will have that chassis hopefully completely assembled by November.”

Mattiacci: Unfreeze needed (Sky)

“We absolutely stick to the principles of these new regulations, we are not asking to change, we are asking for fine-tuning applying the same principles.”


Comment of the day

With Sochi arriving, Baku on the horizon and potentially Madrid to follow, some fans have street circuit fatigue – but not Linda:

I love street circuits, always have since my first visit to Long Beach in 1982 (Always go to the IndyCar races since F1 left).

As a fan there great as you can get much closer to cars/circuit, you tend to get a far greater sensation of speed and with the walls so close there a real challenge for the drivers as a small mistake could end your race.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Manatcna!

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On this day in F1

James Hunt scored his final F1 victory on this day in 1977 at Fuji in Japan, where he had won the world championship 12 months earlier.

However the race also saw a collision between Gilles Villeneuve and Jody Scheckter which claimed the lives of two spectators.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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  • 103 comments on “F1 better without Caterham, says Ecclestone”

    1. This idiot is one of the main reasons this team is in the position it is

      1. Bernie is just blaming Caterham so people can discuss about his choise of words rather than the actual topic: the unhealthy status of F1 brand.

    2. Good old Bernie, let them spend $millions but heaven forbid they should ask for a tiny portion of the profits.

      1. I guess when you can afford to drop a lazy $100m to have a bribery case against you dropped, your definition of going around with begging bowls is a little different from you and me.

      2. @hohum I don’t go to the supermarket with full pocket of air, I think the supermarket doors are open because you would expect people to have money to purchase anything. I think you should reward the best teams in F1. In the “good spirit” of a liberal economic system this should be expected.

        1. Especially for Caterham (Fernandes invested about a hundred million only to get to the grid in 2009) you can hardly say they went to the supermarket with a pocket full of air @peartree.

          Instead we should remember the smaller teams were promised they could buy Aldi but would still be competative because of the regulations allowing them more flexibility in design.

          And its hardly just Caterham going around with a begging bowl. We saw how badly Marussia needs cash in Monza. And Sauber and Lotus “testing” hopeless paydrivers to make ends meet. And then we have Chilton, Ericcson, Maldonado, Sutil, Guttierez, Perez and more or less Grosjean and Massa as well as Bianchi beng financed by sponsors (or engine suppliers for Bianchi).
          Making it only McLaren – who are to proud to go around with that bowl, but end up paying for racing out of their own pocket this year and then Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull who do not need to go round with said bowl.
          And beyond that we have great tracks bleeding to death and fans having to pay more and more to be able to watch their sport.
          But surely Bernie is right. If we can’t pay, we just shouldn’t take part, want races or see races, right?

          1. @bascb I’m relating to the current position.

            1. yeah, well, that will apply exactly to where Haas is likely to be in a year or 3 from now (if we can go on recent experience with new teams) @peartree.

              That is not an argument against Caterham and the “mistakes they made”. Its admittance that more or less any team can end up like this given how its almost impossible to get into the midfield even if you are prepared to heavily invest. Caterham easily beat the other new teams in the first 3 years and was getting closer to the midfield.
              But there the will of Fernandes ended, as he saw no scope to get further on without a more level playing field (RRA, budget cap etc) to be able to really compete.

        2. @peartree, So you are saying farmers should send their produce to the market but it should be given away if it is not the biggest and shiniest produce there. You should try not paying anything for the plain-wrapped chickens and the own-brand cheese because we know the best brands and the organic free-range chickens are better, right ?

          1. @hohum I think people will prefer the better produce, Hohum I was expressively saying that you should have money if you are in F1, that’s expected from the point you make a bid make a deposit and then start racing, I think that’s why Haas was keen on making no comparisons to previous F1 failed ventures, in the end they devalue F1 and more importantly undermine newcomers. NO coldfly all participants don’t get paid on performance on the premiership, although the bad ones do get well paid, which I don’t agree with rewarding failure.

        3. @peartree, F1 is hardly a supermarket but more like the Premiership where all participants get paid based on performance, or compare it to a movie where all actors get paid albeit the successful more than the lesser names (and a lot to the producer).

        4. That is what advertising does: it rewards those who win. You don’t turn on the TV to watch just two cars driving around a track, but that seems to be what some people want. No, you turn on the TV to watch a race, and that means you have competitive cars being driven around a track. Every car is essential to the race, therefore every team should be paid for having a race capable car on the track.

      3. Maybe shutting down is the way to go. I agree with Bernie, I’d use different words though (“going around with begging bowls”)…

        1. The Blade Runner (@)
          23rd October 2014, 10:03

          I think you highlight the quandary:

          Most F1 fans have a genuine dislike of Bernie and the self-serving, egocentric bile that he spouts.

          Many F1 fans are frustrated by the presence of teams such as Caterham, HRT previously and even Marussia as they appear to bring little to the sport by way of competitiveness; literally become an obstacle to navigate on race day and raise safety concerns as their budgets get thinner.

          Caterham et al do however deserve far more respect than is coming from Bernie. Each F1 team embodies a genuine desire to race and to be competitive. You see this in the faces of their team members on race weekends. I would side with these people and their teams over Bernie Ecclestone on any day of the week…

          1. The real problem that Caterham, HRT, Marussia, etc face is they aren’t household names, and the reason they aren’t is because no one watches F1 on TV, and the reason they don’t is because F1 isn’t broadcast on Free to Air TV, where anyone can watch it. You can’t race in F1 unless your car is within a certain percentage of the fastest qualifying car, and these teams meet that requirement, so these are competitive cars.

      4. @hohum – It would seem that Bernie with this latest statement is still pushing for 3 car teams. Wishing for Caterham to be off the grid puts him one step closer to his 3 car teams dream. Maybe Bernie figures it adds to his prestige and bottom line having only large corporate teams that can field 3 cars and that is why he has his foot so hard on the neck of a struggling little team like Caterham.

        1. @bullmello. Yes it is no doubt a rational move from Bernie to avert further pressure to increase the teams share of the income, a team principal recently complained that running a 3rd. car would cost $20m,pa., expensive,? yes but nothing like 50% the cost for a team to design, build, and campaign 2 cars so overall per car expenditure would be reduced and there would be fewer begging bowls for Bernie to fill. 4 car teams next !?

    3. Mean, spiteful comments by Ecclestone about Caterham. They risked everything by entering his precious F1 show, he should show some gratitude they have chosen to compete.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        23rd October 2014, 0:20


        1. Plus two. The man hasn’t a scintilla of decency.

      2. +1000
        Eccelestone is what Making Sport atrocious more and more and saying a Team can go out shows what he think about the Sport he run

      3. Totally agree. That said I also can’t remember hearing Bernie say anything that didn’t start the bile rising so hardly surprising.

      4. He said more or less exactly the same about Marussia for the past 2 years. Its all about saving a bit by not having to pay them / pay for their freight cost.

      5. The current scenario with Caterham is not ideal, but surely even the gnome should realise that the teams make F1. No Teams. No F1.

        1. Indeed – his job is to promote F1 and he spends his time rubbishing the teams competing in the sport that’s made him rich!

        2. RB (@frogmankouki)
          23rd October 2014, 19:12

          I agree, but Bernie now see’s F1 as his personal traveling show. He focuses on new street circuits because the historical circuits can’t afford the outrageous sums he demands to have his traveling show stop by for a visit. We see Bernie is only passionate about money so his daughters can continue to play princess. The truth is F1 needs Bernie out, we need someone to return it to sport and breed competition. F1 needs a leader that loves F1 more than money, when will that happen?

      6. When the poison dwarf utters comments like this, does he even for a moment consider the poor men and woman that work so hard there? I don’t give a monkeys for Fernandes and the nonsense around the sale, it’s the guys on the factory floor who matter.

      7. @junior-pilot They are hurting F1 and the efforts of newcomers and also they are burning the money of other people not theirs.

    4. Why would Bernie worry? He has enough money to not worry about anything ever. The same might not be said about the ordinary staff at Caterham. They, and their families, will be the real losers in all of this.

      Bernie really is not a very nice person at all.

      1. Why should we expect Bernie to be a nice person? In fact, how many busines tycoons could you actually classify as “nice”?

        Businessmen are not in business to a make friends or to make you like them, they’re in it to make money. That is their be all and end all. Ethics and morality are sold to be core values of business, when it hardly is. Business is a dirty game, very similar to politics, which is probably why they both go hand in hand. A successfull businessman is thick skined, and Bernie is just that.

        Sure we’d like to see businessmen who meet our perceived standards, but in truth, they dont care what you and I think, the bank note is their only god. As long as they remain flush, the couldnt care less about anything else.

        1. It sounds like you are making excuses for Bernie or trying to imply that the way many or most business men act is acceptable behavior. It might be accepted and that is because the system and legislation allows it but it’s not acceptable one bit. And I can give many examples of very successful business men who act ethically who have a moral code and who care about their employees. So don’t think that doing business the way Bernie does is the only possible way, because it’s not.

        2. Bill Gates?
          Warren Buffett?

          Both seem pretty decent and not motivated entirely by the almighty dollar, as their philanthropic endeavours indicate.

          1. Not to mention businessmen like Elon Musk and even Richard Branson. After 2008 there should have been a complete shift in the way businesses are regulated, and the way business is conducted. The fact there wasn’t speaks volumes about not only our leaders, but the apathy of the people.

          2. “Seem”.

            That’s very likely one of the purposes of the philanthropic endeavours, to seem like decent and not motivated entirely by the almighty dollar. Not saying that it’s like that for Gates and Buffett but for many rich people and enterprises who do that, it’s just plain PR.

    5. “F1 better without Eccelstone, says F1 fans.”
      “We think it’s better he go. We don’t want him going around with people with WMDs.”

      1. Bernie OUT!! (now please)

      2. @spinmastermic You beat me to it :)

    6. Has Bernie ever thought rationally? I doubt it

      1. Bernie always thinks rationally, everything he does depends on what’s in it for him.

      2. I would say the 2005 US GP tells us that he doesn’t

        1. I didn’t say he was infallible, but you also have to involve FIA (both meanings) in that decision.

    7. Clearly doesn’t care about any of the guys who would lose their jobs either then….

      Is there anything we can do, as fans, to get Ecclestone out of the sport?

      1. Online protests, or if you are in a country / area that hosts a race, lobby governments that you don’t want the race in your country/area as long as Ecclestone is in charge, protest the race itself in person.

        There are more than enough things he’s said/done that proves he is an unsavoury character… But at the same time he “runs the show” and when he was in those legal troubles there were already enough questions about who could do the same. It might sound good in theory for him to be gone but in practice? The house of cards could fall… Or it could be glorious.

        Either way, I doubt the fans would actually do it. We’re much more likely to debate how to go about it on a forum / comment thread etc…

    8. I would rather see Caterham still race than sink. Plus I would rather see more old tracks like Estoril and Old Hockingheim than these crappy street circuits being made.

    9. It will be sad if we lose Caterham, but why should they get money for finishing last? The prize money is structured in a way that you are rewarded if you do well, you shouldn’t be entitled to “winnings” if you lose.
      It should serve as an incentive to do better if you want to earn prize money.
      Bernie has secured 19 high publicised races around the globe, with a big global television audience, its up to the team’s marketing departments to capitalise on that and bring in sponsorship, and the teams management to operate the teams within the means of their budget.

      1. TheLegendOfMart
        23rd October 2014, 9:09

        How exactly are they meant to compete then?

        The best teams with the most money can buy the best staff to design the best cars, when you are scrapping at the back of the pack with no money to develop the car what are they supposed to do?

        Who would sponsor a back of the pack team if they have the money to put their logo on a car that wins races?

      2. Even the team that finishes bottom in the premiership gets £60,000,000. That’s a team like Caterham or Marussia’s budget for the year. There is plenty of money in F1 (and the world). The issue is with people like Bernie hoarding it.

      3. @dan,
        And then FOM grows fat off the effort of others?
        You suggest that someone else pay for your profitability and not your product.
        Then if I must ask, what product does FOM sell and what is their investment in that product?
        The deeper you look into F1, the sooner you’ll realise it is a fraud.
        The suppliers get paid maybe a year later, and then some of them are not paid enough to produce the products they supplier.
        The purchaser of also reserves the rights to the products and sells those brand names to other entities, tv, games etc.
        Now you wan’t sponsors to make more money for FOM and none for the the suppliers of the products?

        1. And historically there was always starting money and prize money.

        2. That is the opposite of what I Ias saying.

    10. socchi is not a street circuit. it’s got pristine smooth tarmac, permanent kerbs, pitlane and grandstands. it’s as wide as Sepang in some places, there are no street markings that I could see. the layout is pre-planned (before the olympic area was planned?), not adapted around existing roads.

      PLEASE stope saying it’s street. monaco is street!

      1. Thank you for mentioning this. You are exactly right. Monaco and Singapore are the only two Street Circuits, with Melbourne and Canada being what I call Park Circuits. I lump Sochi in with Korea International Circuit, both of which are purpose built race circuits with plans to have a city built around them – we need a name for these types of circuit – Disasters of Urban Planning Circuits is what comes to my mind

        1. @formulales Albert Park also considered a street circuit.

    11. In the eight years before Sam Michael became Technical Director at Williams, the team took 29 race victories. In the eight years he held that role, they took just one victory, in his first season. In the three years before he became Sporting Director at McLaren, the team took 12 race victories. In the three seasons he held that role, they took only seven, again in his first season.

      I often read that it takes a year for personnel changes to be fully felt within a team. If that’s the case, his teams didn’t manage a single win while he was directing them. Coincidence or not, he has a pretty bad record. I was surprised when he moved to McLaren in the first place. Now that he’s leaving, perhaps they can turn things around in the way Williams have done recently.

      1. @estesark I agree completely nice stats, I did read this comment before posting my rout of Sam Michael. Sam Michael reminds me of other somewhat perceived highly skilled F1 people, among them in my view are Mike Gascoyne, Coughlan and in my view Barnard who lived of the fact he got his name on the carbon chassis idea, kind of a Steve Jobs figure, he wasn’t technical but he fooled Ferrari.

    12. I don’t like he’s comment.

    13. i feel sorry fot the people working for caterham, and angered about the situation, mosttly because it’s because the unfair tv revenue distribution, on what’s bernie totally accountable. But, that being said, how different is the money on Marussia than Caterham? they don’t seem to be in that big of a problem, right? and, incidentally, on the track i’ll say they’re doing better than Caterham, that’s for sure. Ok, i don’t forget about their terrible bad luck with the villota and now bianchi’s crash, but taken those really bizzarre incidents, i really prefer that slot for a team with less fanfare but much more hard working than Caterham!

    14. Finally McLaren got rid of Sam Michael. Before replying, I’m aware of the terms of his departure, but as anyone that has ever worked knows it’s sometimes very amicable the departure, for instances I also don’t believe that Webber had the nod from RBR to stay but they found him another job and things ended up “well” for both parties.
      Moving on, Michael LOOKED as if he did absolutely nothing on the team even before when he was at Williams but much more noticeable this season, the man was supposed to be Whitmarsh right arm but after he got the boot Michael was left looking stranded at McLaren besides he was never good with the press either.

      1. Whitmarsh and Michael independently being the single reasons for McLaren’s failure, I’m sure they’ll start winning championships now that those two are gone, right?

        1. very likely, dennis is back, Honda is in, alonso is probably in. and the bad people are being shoved out of the team. all looking uphill.

    15. I start to wonder if Bernie doesn’t really care if he has a product at all. If people give him money, he’s happy. He seems like he’d be content just showing up somewhere and being handed a check. If this was a man truly concerned about providing people with something great, he’d have long since lowered the cost to the tracks, which would in turn lower the ticket prices. He’d also have more fairly distributed prizes to the teams, which ensures they continue to be able to line up on the grid and give people a reason to come. He has done neither of these things and instead now relies on the rich who are still wowed by the glitter of F1’s facade to throw money at him to produce sub-par tracks until the few fans who showed up are bled dry/too dissatisfied to return and then hops to the next deep pocket.

    16. I really like how Ferrari say they do not want to change things. But just adjust the rules a bit. Right.

      “We’re a company that produces engines so I think it’s important that innovation is at the centre of this Formula 1. I cannot go back to my fans and say that I cannot perform better in the engine, I need to wait one year. I don’t think this is a fair answer. We absolutely stick to the principles of these new regulations, we are not asking to change, we are asking for fine-tuning applying the same principles.”

      Its pretty clear that when you change during the year its going to be more expensive (and more complicated with several specs of engines being available what with the 5 – or 4 – powertrain components and all). Maybe Ferrari offers not to let their customers pay for it, but is Renault willing to do the same? And Mercedes? Because I doubt either Marussia, Caterham, Sauber, Force India or Lotus is going to be able to cope well with that and even Williams might suffer from extra cost.

      The quoted part above shows the hypocrisy of what Ferrari said. In the last 2 years they were also saying how they were looking forward to the rules agreed upon now (surely expecting to do as good or better a job as Mercedes did), including the limitation on how many changes you can make each year and only being able to do it during the winter. Why didn’t they insist on being able to make some changes during the year then? Exactly. So why now change?
      Its about half of the engine/power train they adjust for next season, let them do the job well this time and catch up.

      1. Oh, let me add that this year did show that despite “not being able to change during the season” both Renault and Ferrari were still able to change quite a bit using the reliability card to make the unit lighter and work better (although arguably Renault did a better job there).

        Honestly, with changes during the season and RBR now starting to push Renault into one direction to better work with their car, I would think its Ferrari that would lose out most, because Mercedes can improve even further form a headstart and RBR seem far more likely to make the right choices in time and apply them if the last 6 years are any indication.

        1. @bascb, correct me if I am wrong butit seems to me that a lot of the improvements came from re-formulating the fuel and re-programming the computerised control unit which would suggest that the dynamometers were not able to thoroughly or realistically test the PUs, hence the factory teams managed to improve faster than the customer teams, particularly RBR.

          1. Well, I guess that is one of the reasons why all (apart from McLaren) Mercedes powered teams ran with Petronas too @hohum.

            Sure enough a lot was done during the season to improve the fuel for extra performance, yes. And especially for Renault improving reliability helped them be able to use more of the engines potential. Those are things that won’t be available next year to as large an extent off course. On the other hand, it seems Ferrari was helped enormously by packaging the exhausts – something first seen on Marussia – because it improved the engines efficiency.

            1. @bascb, I didn’t hear about that, by “packaging” do you mean “insulating”?

            2. Yes, @hohum, they first wrapped the exhausts up (that looked like a bit of improvisation) and the later version was/is an insulating wrapping around the exhausts.

      2. @bascb – I actually agree with the Ferrari argument about innovation. The problem is that they don’t actually believe it themselves!

        Ferrari and Red Bull want the rules changed for the good of their teams – not the good of F1. I can absolutely guarantee that if it was the other way round, they would block any changes being made.

        1. :-) @petebaldwin

          Completely agree with you that both RBR and Ferrari would be almost guaranteed to block any rule change that would limit their advantage/help others catch up if they could.

          I do agree that F1 needs innovation, but I disagree with Ferrari wanting to change it now. Not because I think F1 doesn’t need that, but because the rules all have signed up for already permit changing a lot year on year. Innovation during the year with only 4 units (even lowered from this year) per team really would make each and every unit a unique build, which does not make much sense, and surely would increase cost and complicate matters a lot.

          As for whether the current scope teams/manufacturers have to develop their own ideas on the power train is good, that is a completely different discussion.

    17. Has the time come when F1 would be better off without Bernie?

      1. Before you were born Sunshine.

    18. The question is whether Gene Haas will announce Jose Maria Lopez as one of their drivers.

    19. So Bernie does not like beggars. Why does that not surprise me?

      Basically I will not miss Caterham as such. I believe that people like Fernandes and these new owners do not belong to F1. As for the drivers, Ericsson and Kobayashi are decent but not a very exciting line-up. Other employees could always find jobs at other teams but the problem is that there are no “other teams”, that is, the grid is shrinking and the 80s model where a bunch of small teams could afford to try their luck at F1 stopped working a long time ago.

      So while I basically agree with Ecclestone that paupers have no place in F1, it is his job to find a better solution and a 14-car grid is not an option. I agree with Martin Brundle, who tweeted that “the business model of F1 has to change so that we attract serious and credible investors to ensure a full, competitive + sustainable grid.”

      1. Serious and credible investors will probably take their money elsewhere where there are more chances to get a return on their investment. That could be solved by making F1 more attractive to teams and race promotors (and as a result sponsors and investors), but why change something that works (for Bernie)?

        1. Better return on investment and less tarnished image (Russia, Azerbajian, Bahrain, the Munich-Gribowsky case, etc) @synapseza.

          But Bernie is surely not the guy to strive for that change and I see no indication that CVC feels like making the change either, sadly

    20. Bernie is a miserable scumbag.

    21. Hey Bernie, at least pay them some millions for being part of the SHOW ! They need badly some money too.

    22. Is it just me, or is the fundamental issue with Bernie’s stance somewhat distant from other sporting codes around the world? At the moment, F1 has this “high end” target market, however, I can’t help but feel F1 is akin to a McDonald’s releasing its McCafe branded stores, which entices customers to a perceived higher value product, but is actually a 2nd rate product with frills. In the end these initiatives get melded into the original product and the perceived value is now an expected product with pressures on cost cutting increasing.
      Where other sporting codes are doing better, like NFL in the US and AFL in Australia, is that they support struggling teams, with incentives like priority draft picks and other benefits to help them improve, so that those teams can attract higher end sponsors. Additionally, by having lesser teams climb the ranks, it then raises the overall level of competition and thus these competitions have better match ups whenever a game is on. Imagine if an incentive like 2 Thursday test sessions available to a struggling team like Caterham or Marussia during the course of a normal race weekend. Not only does that help the teams, but it might help pull more crowds on a Thursday to race weekends, which means higher gate ticket sales.

      1. I agree that we need a franchise system, or some other scheme to help struggling teams get a leg up. Extra test sessions will not do it, unless the other teams bear the cost.

        Currently there are proposals to do away with Friday testing to save costs. But under the current structure every ‘cost saving’ move actually allows the rich teams to find a way to improve that the poorer teams can not match.

        The sport was dominated by the manufacturers before the ‘garagistes’ like Williams, McLaren, Lotus and Brabham came along and started beating them by sheer innovation. Now ‘cost saving’ is used as an excuse for tightening the specification, stifling innovation by small teams and putting them at a disadvantage compared to teams which can afford to work around the rules.

        Then of course when they can’t figure out how to make the rules work for them they try to change them (like Ferrari with engine enhancements) and of course rule changes are now decided by the Strategy Group which only allows the rich teams to participate.

        But what do you expect when you put the future of the sport in the hands of billionaires like Ecclestone and Briatore?

    23. Bernie needs to remember where he came from, how much begging he had to do to get back into F1 in the 60’s. He started as a grubby mechanic and only through the goodwill and financial assistance of his “friends” did he embark on his mission to become sole owner of F1 and feed the competing teams a small portion of the profits. What a sanctimonious little b.. oooops will be moderated if I continue. It’s time he was ousted and an owners committee put in place to operate the sport and benefit equally across the board, as in American NFL.

    24. I don’t think F1 would be better without Caterham, but I also don’t think F1 would be any less without Caterham (or Marussia).

      1. No I agree – after several seasons, they are still their own sub-class at the bottom.

        I suppose the problem is that F1 SHOULD be better with Caterham and Marussia. 3 new teams entered the sport and none of them were able to make any sort of impression on the rest of the grid. That’s the problem. The “new team experiment” has shown that entering as a new team doesn’t work so without changes, where do we go from here?

      2. But Sauber? … and Lotus? They are at risk too. How far would you let the attrition go?

    25. Re COTD: Comparing proper street circuits like Monaco and Long Beach to new “street” circuits like Sochi and Valencia is pointless. They are completly different entities.

      You don’t get punished for mistakes at Sochi or Valencia, the fans don’t get to sit that much closer to the track than they do at permanent tracks and you’re left with only the negatives.

      If you’re going to do a street track – at least make it happen in the middle of a city down real streets like Singapore instead of support roads that have been converted into a racetrack like Sochi and Valencia.

    26. The words ‘poison’ and ‘dwarf’spring to mind whenever
      BCE rears his less-than-enchanting head these days.
      So sad. He created it all, including the inevitable decline
      into mediocrity built into the system by his totally
      out-of-date concept of how sport funding works in today’s
      hellishly tough environment.

      It’s time he was quietly shunted into the sidings. The
      proper place for worn-out cranks.

    27. Just read the BBC article re: Bernie and Caterham, he is such 2-faced forked tongue lying hypocrite.

      1. I read another similar article earlier and had the same thought. Someone force the old man into a retirement home already!

    28. It’s funny how at odds Bernie’s comment is with what he told a BBC reporter. He told them ‘we don’t want to lose teams’ and that he’s doing all he can to save Caterham.

      Bernie IS a politician, or at least conducts business like one. As someone rightly commented, he made a near identical statement regarding Marussia a year or 2 ago, with the ulterior motive of having them sign on for another year or agree something within the teams (cant quite recall). Either way it was/is a heavy handed comment, made to ilicit a very specific response from the team, i.e ‘sort it out’.

    29. I just don’t see how 3 car teams is better for racing, there will be less competition at the cost of the under dog teams. This is no way addresses the issue that the business model of the sport is out dated and needs a complete overhaul in order to bring it in line with the modern day and address the fact that the sport is geared up to cannibalise the smaller teams for the good of the larger teams that operate on nigh on unlimited budgets.
      Sad day when 3 car teams become the future of this ” sport “

      1. there will be more competition, 3 drivers fighting for the win instead of 2 like this year :P

    30. Sam Michael, good riddance, when he arrived at Williams, soon after the team went downhill. same thing has happened at Mercedes.

      1. … or rather McLaren.

        1. he has a creepy aura when interviewed too glad ths tool is going,ps ross knows them honda guys=s pretty well

    31. So….what problem has Bernie got at the moment that he’s trying to distract us from by saying that?

    32. In other news, ”F1 better without Ecclestone”, says Caterham and everybody following the sport.

    33. im sure bernie getes off on stiring things, creepy old man

    34. I dunno. People will criticise Ecclestone no matter what he says, but I don’t think hes saying anything here that doesn’t make sense, even if it is delivered in his usual flippant style. No doubt some will point to the unfair distribution of TV money, and the mooted $40m budget cap which never materialised as reasons for Caterham’s failure. But in reality money is probably the one thing the Caterham team has never been short of. They never had the budget of a front running team, of course, but they had plenty of backing. Do you think that moving to Leafield was cheap? They’re a team which always had plenty of cash, but not really much idea how to spend it effectively.

      Tony Fernandes is the problem. Big ideas, big ambitions, but an even bigger ego. Married to a self belief that he would naturally make Caterham (or Team Lotus as it once was, remember) into a successful outfit simply by virtue of his outstanding business acumen. F1 can be a fantastic platform for promoting brands, but the brand Fernandes wanted to promote was not his airline, it was himself. He wanted to show off the power of his entrepreneurial ability, by building a new team and taking it to the top. But he never really had the first idea of how to achieve it, and his ego prevented him from seeking out experts who might point him in the direction. Damningly, he didn’t want to just be successful, he wanted to be demonstrably successful thanks to his own input. But his whole methodology seemed to boil down to looking and operating like one of the big teams, in the assumption that this would naturally lead to similar success. Like in Cool Runnings, where they decide to copy the German team, because they think that counting in German will somehow allow them to assimilate some of the quality of the German team itself. But it doesn’t.

      Superficially you might be tempted to see Marussia and Caterham as being basically the same, yet that couldn’t be any less accurate. Marussia is a small, streamlined outfit, who take small resources and make them work in the best possible way. Caterham by contrast have had plenty of resources, but used them extremely wastefully.

      Ultimately though, the people who will really suffer from this ego trip turned train wreck, will be the people who turned up at Leafield this morning to start another day of work, only to have to get back in their cars and head home again after finding the doors locked. The saddest thing being that it was all so avoidable, had Fernandes just been prepared to acknowledge that he doesn’t know the first thing about running an F1 team, and instead employed a professional to do it for him.

      1. It was actually the Swiss team that one of the Jamaican bobsledders tried to emulate. But your point is well-conceived nonetheless.

    35. Aren’t Ecclestone & Fernandes buddies any more? Surely they were once joint owners of Queens Park Rangers (with that other shining example of morality, Flavio Briatore).

    36. Bernie should care a lot more about Caterham…and Marussia, and Sauber, and Lotus than he does. Am I the only one that has noticed the while F1 is on the verge of losing 3, maybe 4 teams, WEC is ADDING teams left and right? First it was Audi, then Toyota, then Porsche, now Nissan, possibly Ferrari all entering in the top tier of the WEC, all with a lot more road relevance than F1…you tell me which series is the “pinnacle of motorsport”? Bernie, and the “Top 4” are about to drive their series into an irrlevant sideshow with four teams and 12 cars competing.

    37. News break; “F1 better off without Ecclestone, says every F1 fan”

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