News of Formula’s last placed team from 2017 Manor F1 being on the brink of disappearing has been swirling for the last week, but threatening for quite a while.
The demise of Manor F1 became a more realistic issue after Felipe Nasr’s 9th placed finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix when the prize money dried up and financial Armageddon loomed.
Before then it looked like Sauber would finish last and have their head on the chopping block. And will a young line up full of big team protégés, and a real upturn in performance, it looked as if Manor F1 had broken the shackles of the teams who started in 2010. Their alumni were the now defunct Hispania Racing aka HRT or Campos and Caterham aka Lotus, so they have done to survive this long. Not forgetting that those teams (and the con job that was USGP F1) were brought on board as part of the previous regime’s attempts at cost caps.
Manor F1 will likely not be missed at all. Despite being an underdog, there’s not the same love that a team like Minardi used to attract back in their days at the back of the grid. The only people that will rue the loss of the team will be the next worst team. More than likely Sauber, but don’t rule out Renault based on their sometime dreadful 2016.
Although F1 bosses may miss them as the grid shrinks to just 20 cars for 2017 if Manor F1 fail to make the grid.
Maybe they should be. There’s no certainty that Sauber F1 will hang around with next to no money and be at the back of the grid. Given the amount of Renault have buggered off in the past, that’s a worry too. Who knows, F1 could be left with 16 cars within a few years if the lesser teams aren’t looked after, or cared about when they leave.
But what can be done to fix it?
We’re never short of an opinion, just a good one, but we still have a few suggestions below worth considering. At least until you
FIX THE PRIZE MONEY
How on earth any sporting team can get nothing out of a sporting series that makes an obscene amount of money is ridiculous. Even more so when big names like Ferrari and Red Bull get more of their fair share after scaremongering the F1 bosses into paying more.
Look to the one of the other obscene money driven sporting competitions – the EPL. Their split of the TV revenue is far more even, and they provide money for all teams. Including the very generous parachute payments for the worst three teams. Even though they disadvantage clubs at the Championship level and make it increasingly impossible to get promoted. But that’s another whinge for another time.
Sauber received almost $47 million for finishing 10th of 10 teams at the beginning of 2016 yet Manor will receive nothing for finishing 11th. Absurd.
With new US owners and hopefully the lessening rule of Bernie, something could be fixed. Why would a new team bother.
Hopefully Manor F1 attract a new buyer, who will probably want to rename the team. That will make it an even 6 since their arrival. Previously being Virgin Racing, Marussia Virgin F1, Marussia, Manor Marussia F1, Manor F1.
But with time running out and no drivers, it seems unlikely.
Perhaps the US owners of F1 who keep the team afloat whilst they attempt to attract some new US interest to compete with Haas. Ganassi or Penske would be great.
3 CAR TEAMS
If Sauber fold, who knows who’s next, and how many cars we’ll have.
Since F1 only really gives a stuff about the front running cars, why not introduce 3 car teams. US owners will have no qualms you would think given their US motorsport series setups.
But there would have to be some restrictions, so a dominant team like Mercedes were in 2016 hoard all the drivers as well as poles, wins and podiums.
Here’s a few thoughts.
3RD DRIVERS RULES
3rd drivers to have started fewer than 50 races at the start of that season
3rd drivers to be part of the team’s young driver program for 1 year or via engine association
3rd drivers to appear in all practice sessions.
Points do not count towards Constructors
Think about who could fill a third seat in 2017.
Mercedes – Pascal Wehrlein
Red Bull – Carlos Sainz (which would in turn give Pierre Gasly a chance)
Ferrari – Antonio Giovinazzi
McLaren – Stoffel Vandoorne (could then keep Jenson Button)
Williams – Hmm, Lance Stroll or could have been Susie Wolff back in the day.
Force India – Alfonso Celis
Toro Rosso – Anyone from the RB system
Renault – Nicolas Prost
Sauber – Anyone with cash
Haas – Any young US star
Quite an exciting prospect to have some nay young guns in good cars.
May also make GP2 more appealing, given a better chance at a pathway for F1.
It could also be great for F1 teams who could hire a pay driver for costs, but still run a young’un for potential, and a decent driver on salary to lead.
BRING BACK SOME OLD TEAMS or ENCOURAGE NEW TEAMS
It wouldn’t be one of our bits without some absurd idea of forgotten F1 teams.
ALFA ROMEO – Talk of it from Ferrari boss. Probably never going to happen.
TYRELL – or someone similar willing to be create with F1 design. Within the rules.
3rd RED BULL TEAM – Why not, and given their talent and seemingly endless pile of cash to throw at the most dangerous things in the world, surely they could find some more love for F1
A GP2 TEAM to PROMOTE – Like drivers, GP2 teams find it hard to graduate. Pity, we need some of them, and they have proven in GP2 of being highly competent and good.|
MINARDI – If we’re gonna have someone at the back, why not the lovable Minardi.
ANY ONE OF THE OBSCURE TEAMS FROM 1989/1990 that used to pre qualify. Like Eurobrun, Rial, or Andrea Moda.