Money makes the world go round, and this holds equally true in Formula 1. Without the folding stuff even the most sophisticated cars would sit silently in garages, devoid of fuel.
While F1 has been cash dependent since its inception, the global economic crisis and voracious commercial rights holders have increasingly throttled independent teams so that now up to 40 per cent of the grid is endangered.
With budget and performance being symbiotic, disparities in finance are evident in the performance span, with the best funded running at the sharp end and cheaper operations bringing up the rear. The middle class is invariably betwixt and between; just as Mike's Mule is unlikely to wow Ascot, so the chances of Marussia winning Austin are zero.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken