Sauber says Formula 1 now 'practically impossible' for new teams

Potential Formula 1 newcomers have been warned it is "practically impossible" to survive without major third-party investment

Sauber says Formula 1 now 'practically impossible' for new teams

The FIA recently opened up a tender process to attract new F1 teams as early as next year, but more realistically for 2017, with a decision due at the end of September.

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As even the smaller F1 teams now operating on annual budgets of £50-60million, it is likely only a major manufacturer or billionaire benefactor could afford to bankroll a new team - reckons Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn.

Two of the last three new F1 entrants - HRT and Caterham - have gone out of business and fellow 2010 arrival Manor had to be brought out of administration to race this year.

"It's practically impossible to survive unless you have any revenues from a third-party business or somewhere else," Kaltenborn told AUTOSPORT.

"You can't make a business plan work if the revenue stream is not changed."

Kaltenborn is concerned that only an alliance with a big team can make F1 viable for a newcomer.

Speculation has linked leading GP2 team with a joint F1 project with McLaren.

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"I don't think that move is good for Formula 1 because it is going down the road of customer cars, and then you get all the issues coming up with how can you finance this team," said Kaltenborn.

"You can say the arrangement with the big team is they put in their driver, they maybe get more money from the commercial rights holder, but that's not the way you should go. You should be there on your own.

"You can have co-operation, as we did with Ferrari as we put their test driver at that time, Felipe Massa, into the car [in 2002 and '04, pictured], but it never went so far that we were considered a B-team of theirs.

"It's about how you co-operate with that team. Are you being told to play a strategic role with that team in a race and all these things?

"I don't think that's the right way. You open up too many issues."

But Kaltenborn still believes F1 has attractions for newcomers.

"F1 is still one of the best platforms for what it represents," she added.

"We have our issues, of course, and maybe we are not offering the best publicity towards the outside, but it's still a fantastic sport and has great challenges.

"I think a new team should come, but they should just make sure they come in with the right expectations, and not to try and fit in somewhere to suit some other teams.

"You should come in here and want to be your own independent team, knowing it is going to be difficult.

"You do at least get more support than you used to. When Sauber first came in we didn't get any prize fund for the first two years if I remember.

"But to attract others into the sport you need to bring the costs down and show them a more attractive revenue stream."

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