ANTS ROUND A HONEY POT? A pit stop for Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel during the 2014 US F1 GP in Austin, Texas - one of the 'big money' teams. Image: AFP / Mark Thompson
AUSTIN, Texas - Formula 1 has failed
its smaller teams and should be ashamed for the way some have been driven out
That’s the view of former team owner
Eddie Jordan as the debacle of folding teams and money crises continues.
"I’m sick of the way F1 is
being run," the Irishman, whose small Jordan team gave Michael Schumacher
his F1 debut in 1991, told Reuters after Sunday's (Nov 2) US GP near Austin,
Texas. "It’s completely unfair... this business is about competition and needs
to be fair and seen to be fair.
“It's none of those things.”
SKEWED REVENUE DIVISION
Jordan, in Austin as a BBC-TV pundit,
added: "Without the small teams you lose the very fabric of F1. The way they are being treated is
Jordan was speaking to the news
media after a weekend dominated by debate about the skewed division of F1
revenue - the bigger teams get bonus payments on top of a substantial slice of
the revenue - and talk of boycotts by teams which fear for their future.
A report in Autosport magazine
claimed that Ferrari received an estimated $166-million in 2013 while Marussia was
paid only $10 million and Caterham $31-million. Both smaller teams went under
financial administration before Austin and did not race.
Each team’s future is in doubt.
An administrator for Caterham said on
the race-weekend Friday (Oct 31) that the team may have to be wound up within two
weeks; Marussia's 200 staff were paid only until the end of October (2014).
COST CAP? WHAT COST CAP?
Each has foundered in a sea of
debt, with the cost of 2014’s new and far more expensive ‘power units’ an
additional burden. They entered the sport in 2010 with the promise of a cost-cap
but it never materialised.
Jordan railed at the system of bonus
payments to top teams on the basis of their historical contribution to the
sport. It was, he said, "completely wrong". "The small teams have been lied
to and misled because the budget (cap) they had been promised... was never
adhered to. Nobody gave it the slightest attention.
"On top of that, how can you
run a business when the principal of the business comes out and says ‘maybe
I'll run three cars each team’?
If any of the smaller teams were
talking to a sponsor, the sponsor would be gone like a shot because they'd say
not much chance of Bernie (Ecclestone) wanting them to be around.
"The blood of these teams is on
a lot of hands and they should be accountable for it. The way we have treated our
colleagues is disgraceful."
MUTATION TO FORCE INDIA
Jordan won four races as a Constructor
and in 1999 and was third overall with1996 champion Damon Hill and Germany's
Heinz-Harald Frentzen as drivers.
Irish Eddie eventually sold after being
helped by commercial supremo Ecclestone, who is still running the sport, with
the team mutating through various guises before being renamed the current (2014) Force
He concluded: "What’s happened
to F1 that it cannot look after its own? Surely there was a mechanism in place
that could have avoided the embarrassment, the empty garages and empty pits
with two races to go.
“Surely to heavens it was possible
to give them a bit of help?"