If I was Bernie – 3 car teams in #f1 – my thoughts

I’ve been considering over the last couple of days quite what the options for F1 are around filling the grid and as well as putting my own thoughts down I’ve asked a few people to give their views too (coming up over the next week or so).


It is fair to say the FIA seem to be powerless and lacking influence under Todt to the point we only ever really hear from Charlie nowadays. I can’t imagine Max would fever have been so invisible at a key time.

It strikes me that F1 could react in 3 different ways to the loss of Marussia and Caterham – although I personally hope both might find a way to continue against the odds.

3 car teams

This seems like the preferred option for Bernie and would result in Ferrari and Redbull running three cars.

I’m strongly against this idea, unless cars were banned from constructor points and drivers had to be juniors.

What sort of credibility would F1 have if you had 3 Redbulls on the podium dream on Christian) and one didn’t score points.

Another ill conceived idea in my view, purely designed to stop the triggering of the penalty clauses in commercial deals.

Allowing Customer chassis run by independant teams

If a new team were allowed (effectively how Ligier in the 90s and Toro Rosso more recently have done to some extent) to run an at least 1 year old chassis from a larger team, plus the option to tweak aero etc, that might allow a lower base spend to become sustainable.

But why they when Dave Richards pitched the idea was that not allowed?

Better revenue share/aiding smaller teams

Take a sport like the NFL and look at how the revenue from commercial deals is shared.

The great majority of revenue is shared equally, and the draft system allows flexibility are refreshing of the chance to succeed.

Is that completely impossible to achieve in F1?

This sport is currently a loaded deck – the larger teams have an advantage that is inbuilt in their financing. Why shouldn’t F1 have a base payment that is equal (say 40m) then have the majority of the rest shared based upon success.

Redbull and Ferrari seriously expect the sport to fund most of their spend then complain at the first instance of anyone doing a better job. Redbull have spent some 800 million in recent times on F1 – staggering….

Where is the capping of engine costs for customer teams. The technology is great, but an extra option from a Cosworth or similar (someone who can actually develop to a reasonable budget) would greatly ease the funding squeeze.

How many times in the NFL or Basketball to you see previously I fancied teams have a spell of success.

That brings more supporter engagement and reinvigorates their support.

Coming up over the next few days will be some additional comment from a wide range of fans, those in the sport etc to see what they’d like to see.

That is why the blog is called If I was Bernie after all..

What do you think out there?


Is hell about to freeze over – Alonso – McLarens marmite man?

You’ve heard the phrase – he’s like marmite – you either love him or hate him right?

Well if Autosports sources are correct (and they rarely aren’t), hell has frozen over – Fernando is coming back to Woking. The McLaren fans version of marmite.

Interestingly as many of my fellow Mclaren fans are disgusted at the news as there are those of us who think it’s positive.

This is a key piece of Honda and McLaren “throwing the kitchen sink at it”. Big technical signings, another top driver, it’s a big statement of intent.

It’s with that thought that I’d also expect McLaren to re-sign Jenson to partner. I am a big fan of Kevin Magnussen, but you can’t underestimate how much points plays into a serious constructors bid.

I joking tweeted in 2011 the following picture taken at Mercedes Benz World in Brooklands with the caption “a meeting of the Fernando Alonso mclaren fanclub meeting).

2011 Brooklands meeting of the McLaren Alonso fanclub
I’d heard in early October about the possibility of an Alonso deal and couldn’t quite believe it. But I’ve got to say he’s a great driver and we need a huge push to get the team back where it belongs.

It will be interesting to follow over the next week or so whether this does play out or not.

It certainly provides an interesting side story to the big WDC battle between Rosberg and Hamilton. Possibly the best battle we have seen for many years.

Imagine a McLaren “prodromou” B spec car getting in the middle of the title battle in Abu Dhabi!

McLaren are back, you just don’t know it yet 😉

2014 F1 car launches – Ferrari F14-T


Ferrari have been working pretty damn hard in the background throughout 2013 to bolster their team in preparation for 2014.

Two world class signings I’m Kimi and James Allison have really provided a big boost. If 2014 is not successful it will not because their drivers or their tech staff are not good enough.

The car certainly isn’t a looker with that big bird nose (Sesame Street). I’m no aero expert but the pilots connecting the wing look very short to me. I’m sure Pat Fry and the aero team know what they’re doing but the airflow under the car must be lessened.

It is always great to see footage from inside Maranello, which is unlike any modern F1 facility. It still has a very original look and feel to it.

Interestingly Ferrari have stuck with pull-rod front suspension which might explain such a large drop of the nose just after the mounting points.

The MP4-29 has a much more gradual drop (and looks much more like the mclarens of old).

It will be very interesting to see how the different chassis do against each other with Ferrari power. I would not be surprised at all to see Toro Rosso and Sauber to be surprise packages.

But for now, I leave you with the Ferrari front nose section.


2014 F1 car launches – McLaren MP4-29


There is a mood of change and a renewed drive over in Woking at the moment. Senior management changes and impending new technical arrivals.

After a nightmare year in 2013, changes were inevitable, and many McLaren fans have been awaiting today’s launch with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. This year needs to be all about a statement of intent for the impending arrival of Honda works power in 2015. And in the meantime, the likely hood is the Mercedes power unit will be the match of its rivals.

I have to say, I quite like the thought of McLaren running no big sponsor this year. It might actually help the brand strengthen.

Equally the MP4-29 I think looks like a really purposeful car. Business like and despite the ridiculous nose tips, the lower swoop looks much more like a McLaren to me. I’d have preferred to see an orange livery at least for testing (reinstating a McLaren tradition for testing from years past).

I have to say, having grown up in the era of Williams and McLaren, I’d love to see a strong performance from “Team Ron”. I’ll post some pictures and video from the Jerez test next week.

For those rattling the cage of McLaren next year, we might just see the fightback starting in Tuesday.

McLaren Infographic on the MP04-29
McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 Infographic
Source: McLaren.com

If you’d like technical evaluations of today’s launch car there are many great resources online (you can’t go wrong with Craig Scarborough and Matt Somerfields blogs for quality explanations).