Teams' sacrifice 'key' to deal

The British and French Grands Prix look set to be saved after nine of F1's ten teams and Formula One Management principal Bernie Ecclestone agreed to take a financial 'hit' to keep the races on the calendar, at today's (Tuesday's) crunch meeting in the Hilton Hotel at Heathrow Airport

Teams' sacrifice 'key' to deal

The nine teams agreed to bare the brunt of their operating costs for the extra races, which will become the 18th and 19th events on the calendar, for the benefit of the sport. This could cost the top teams as much as £3 million each per extra race.

It is understood that the teams will be given an extra £1m each for the extra races, which is well below what it will cost them to take part at Silverstone and Magny-Cours. For a team like Minardi the shortfall will be about £280,000 per race, but for leading teams like Williams and McLaren the cost could be more than 10 times that.

"We believe agreement was reached today that removes any obvious obstacle for the British and French GPs to take place," said McLaren team principal Ron Dennis. "It is our view that we should have the strongest possible world championship and that view is best served by having those two races on the calendar."

Ferrari did not attend the meeting at Heathrow because no representative was available, however team principal Jean Todt has previously indicated that he would not stand in the way of the British and French GPs being staged.

"The world championship will be 19 races," said Ecclestone who indicated that support is required from both Ferrari and the FIA for the races to take place. "What is important is that we can't do this without Ferrari agreeing.

"The FIA have said that perhaps their costs will go up, which I am sure they will by doing two extra races - we want them to make a contribution by not charging for those extra races. The FOM is making a big sacrifice and the teams are making an enormous sacrifice, so everybody is giving a bit to keep a bloody good world championship."

Ecclestone, who last month called off negotiations for Silverstone to host the British Grand Prix in 2005 with the circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, admitted that a contract had yet to be signed but emerged from the meeting convinced that a resolution will be found.

"Don't worry about Silverstone, we will deal with Silverstone," said Ecclestone. "We have the most difficult part [sorted out], the most important part was getting the teams to agree to go to 19 races. We have taken care of all the teams, they have been wonderful. In all the years I have done F1 I have never been to a meeting that has been so good and nice.

"We haven't got a contract with Silverstone so it could well be that when it comes to putting the contract together they don't agree," he continued. "We can't make them sign. I would be shattered and disappointed if the British GP didn't take place. As would the teams... they have been super, super supportive."

The BRDC welcomed the news although it pointed out in statement that it had yet to be contacted regarding any possible agreement: "The BRDC have not yet been officially informed of any proposal by FOM, but if there is a new proposal to safeguard the British Grand Prix in 2005 which makes financial sense for the sport, the industry, the Club and especially the local economy, it will be seriously considered by the Board of the BRDC."

Ferrari declined to comment on the agreements made at Heathrow.

shares
comments
F1 team's crunch meeting
Previous article

F1 team's crunch meeting

Next article

Teams agree cost-cut package

Teams agree cost-cut package
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023