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Irish Eddie rails at 'disgrace' of F1

2014-11-03 20:52

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

ALAN BALDWIN

AUSTIN, Texas - Formula 1 has failed its smaller teams and should be ashamed for the way some have been driven out of business.

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 disgraceful.”

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 India.

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?"

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Read more on:    marussia  |  force india  |  caterham  |  ferrari  |  texas  |  austin  |  f1  |  formula 1

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