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F1 politics overshadow Brazilian Grand Prix

On the track the 2014 Formula One World Championship has been an instant classic.

Whilst Mercedes may have dominated the field, Formula One fans the world over have enjoyed excellent racing between two closely matched drivers, with the momentum shifting from race-to-race.

Further down the field we have witnessed action packed Grand Prix with fierce battles for position whether it's 25 points, 50 points or a single point on offer.

But off the track, Formula One has done its level best to put itself in crisis.

During a time of dwindling worldwide viewing figures, petty squabbles over the sound of the new generation of engines has taken the shine off what has actually been a marvel for technical innovation.

The old petrol heads and traditionalists, want to revert back to the engine screaming days of V12 engines, rather than the new breed of V6 Turbo-Hybrid's ignoring the fact that it's a dying technology and doesn't offer anything that the engine manufactures of the sport want to be involved in.

This in fighting has seen Formula One miss its change to showcase what these teams have managed to do.

In Brazil, we saw cars setting new lap records, despite a the loss of a third in fuel and a huge loss in aerodynamic grip, quite staggering performances.

But a bigger worry for Formula One is its apparent need to push the sport to the point of implosion.

Modern day Formula One has been run by supremo Bernie Ecclestone, he has run the sport by a tactic of divide and conquer. Whilst essentially allowing the participants to run the sport, essentially handing over the asylum to the lunatics.

Formula One teams will never run the sport in the sports best interests, they will run the sport in their own interests.

They are competitors and whatever will give them a competitive or financial advantage in the short term, that is what they will push for.

This method of idiocy has already seen Marussia and Caterham all but collapse this season.

The likes of Sauber, Lotus and Force India are also all essentially on the brink, failing to break even financially in a sport which is awash with money [F1 earns an estimated £1.6 billion per year].

Recently the smaller teams have grouped together to make some demands, nothing extraordinary and nothing the casual Formula One fan would think was unfair.

They merely want a larger slice of the commercial rights, so that they can operate a competitive race team without being on the brink of financial crisis, securing the jobs of hundreds of employees.

After the United States Grand Prix it appeared that CVC Capital Partners, Formula One's main shareholder would make the move to create a £100million fighting fund to secure the futures of these smaller teams.

But just one week later, it would appear that this is no longer an option, forcing people to believe that Formula One merely wants to push out the smaller teams and keep the sport to the elite.

A conspiracy theory you may think, but one that Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn thinks is heavily on the agenda.

'The agenda seems to be that people are looking at four or five names to remain [Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams], when ideas are offered to us of a year-old chassis or engines which maybe are a different spec, a different series - there must be an agenda. said Kaltenborn to the BBC.

'We don't know whose agenda it is, but the fact is it cannot go on like this. It's not the way we want to work or can work.

'The more these ideas come up, the more we three [Sauber, Lotus and Force India] get the feeling that maybe some people don't want us to be around and maybe the sport is supposed to be changed in a very different way.'

The different way appears to be in the short term three-car teams before moving into a new era of customer teams in 2016.

Force India deputy team boss Bob Fernley told Sky Sports: “We were given a clear direction there is no money on the table. There is a very clear programme coming in. The goal is to move to customer-car teams and the three cars will be the interim. That would allow them to keep the numbers while the customer cars are brought in.”

Red Bull Racing and Ferrari already look set to be entering a third car into the 2015 Formula One World Championship if the grid loses two more teams.

The demand for three-car teams is activated automatically in the regulations if the field drops below 16 cars.

With the demise of Marussia and Caterham, the field is already down to 18 cars, putting F1 on the brink of three car teams for next season.

However Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner denied reports that this was already set to happen in 2015, but confirmed that it could be a possibility.

“If the numbers drop below a certain number - which I think is 16 - we are obliged to run a third car, that is in our contract. But that is not the case [at the moment] and we haven’t been requested to,” Horner told Sky Sports.

“We hope all the teams will be there and support a full grid of two-car teams. We want a healthy grid, healthy racing and competitive racing.”

Meanwhile Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing remain embroiled in their own off track battle over the current engine regulations.

It is thought that unsurprisingly Mercedes are happy to keep the status quo in regards to the regulations as they hold the competitive advantage. Whilst Ferrari and Red Bull [through Renault] are pushing to unfreeze development on engines during the season.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 10 2014

Time: 2:00PM


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