Mateschitz says cash strapped F1 teams should shape up or ship out

5 November, 2013

Dietrich Mateschitz has no sympathy for struggling F1 teams

Dietrich Mateschitz has no sympathy for struggling F1 teams

Formula 1 stragglers should consider moving over for the next generation of teams if they cannot afford being in the sport, according to Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, who owns two Formula 1 teams including Red Bull Racing, the dominant clean-sweep World Champions since 2010.

It is believed that many teams on the grid are struggling financially at present, most notably Lotus and Sauber.

But Swiss newspaper Blick claims that Force India could be about to lose the crucial backing of the Sahara Group, and if Pastor Maldonado leaves Williams, he could take €40 million in annual backing with him.

Sauber, meanwhile, looked to have solved its crisis recently with a Russian rescue deal and Sergey Sirotkin, but that deal is reported to have collapsed.

Blick correspondent Roger Benoit said the survival of the Swiss team might now rest on reports of backers from Dubai.

Times are tough at Sauber

Times are tough at Sauber

Years ago, Minardi team owner Paul Stoddart complained loudly about the costs in Formula 1, earning him a stinging rebuke from McLaren’s Ron Dennis.

“This is a tough, competitive sport and, if you can’t take the heat, get out the bloody kitchen,” Dennis said. “Formula 1 has a place for everybody, but we do not have a soup kitchen.”

Red Bull’s Mateschitz has now issued a similar smack against those pleading with the sport’s authorities about their financial problems.

“If there are financial problems,” he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper, “they can be solved only through financial means.”

The German report said that Mateschitz was referring to private funding and sponsors, rather than cost cuts or restrictive regulations.

“If a team is unable to resolve the problem, they should question their commitment [to Formula 1]. There may be others who are interested in their licence,” he added. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.


  • Dr. Azlan

    I fully agree and support. New generation of teams such as Red Bull should come in and replace the Lotuses and Saubers.

  • F1 MAD

    cutting costs and F1 don’t belong in the same sentence . It has to remain a technology driven series though I’m intrigued to find out who are the teams willing to come in and do they have the means to do so ? unless Herr Mateschitz is planning on acquiring a C team and a D team to really corner this market .

  • Boycottthebull

    How like an arrogant Billionaire to tell those less fortunate they better get their affairs in order as if getting hundreds of millions in sponsorship for what many consider a frivolous entertainment than a true sport. I thought this man was the sense within Red Bull and it was the likes of Marko and Horner that came out with arrogant statements such as this. When the smaller teams set up they certainly didnt have a crystal ball about the 2014 series with the dramatic cost increases. Whenever there have been talks to stabilise costs is ALWAYS Red Bull that waters it down or ignores any agreements entirely because they are the only bottomless pit of cash that can always outspend everyone else. There have been limitations on the engine performance for years and next years are even further more a rev and fuel limited, how is that the pinnacle of motorsport development as those above try to claim? Group 2 lap times will soon match that of F1. The poorer teams wont be replaced at such high costs they will simple drop out and when there are only 4 or 5 teams left the Billionaires that dictate everything in F1 will just look like idiots.

  • Karlich

    Boycottthebull – Regulations on engine performance, fuel economy etc. are technological limitations that drive innovation – not cut costs. The few attempts to reign in surging F1 costs have always been rejected by the top contenders, not only Red Bull. As for Mateschitz being arrogant – for someone who has risen to his ranks and riches within such a short time, not having done so on crooked Wall Street or bloated Dot Com, I’d say he has every right to be demanding, if not commanding or even arrogant. And what is it with people thinking that Marko and Horner are arrogant??!?! I find them no different to Dennis or Lauda, but haven’t ever heard anyone slur those 2, rightly so, because none of them 4 deserve nothing less than great admiration and respect for what they’ve achieved.

  • Spartacus

    F1 needs ten different teams for it to be a viable championship. Look at how WRC has gone; if you can find any coverage of it! This is the risk; without someone putting the money in they’ll be no F1.

    Currently there’s not enough money going in for the smaller teams to survive. Certainly not enough money for them to prosper. They’re really just making up the numbers.

    Putting a budget cap on doesn’t work. One team innovates something during the winter and come spring when the others see this there’s a mad dash to spend and spend to catch up with that innovation. Otherwise the season is over; there’s no competition.

    Standardisation isn’t the answer either because then where would F1′s famous innovations come from? Although forcing the teams to develop a completely new power train hasn’t helped keep costs down either.

    As much money that goes in to F1 does it provide the best racing? To be honest with you, no. The question really should be why are the teams spending hundreds of millions of ,whatever currency you prefer, for cars not to be racing wheel to wheel?

  • Taskmaster

    CanAm was an immensely exciting series in motor sport, but it was crushed by costs, economic conditions, and apathy of spectators embroiled in social turmoil. F1 – at the time – was more expensive, and survived, so costs alone are not the issue. Indy Car (and the defunct CART series) took the approach of evolution to a “cheap” spec series format that have watered it down so much that it is a joke, and continues to decline. If F1 continues down this path, it will end itself, just as Indy Car has. F1 has already made too many concessions to wimping and whining, and is on the threshold of becoming a caricature of itself. Testing should be returned, cost control talks should end – if teams want to field 3 cars then let them. If there is an ebb and flow of teams in and out of the sport, then so be it, as this has been a characteristic of F1 from day one.

  • ZombieJebus

    Amen. Get going or get out.

  • Taskmaster

    BTW: The objection of teams (not just Red Bull) to the cost caps proposed, is that there is no clear way to separate engine from car development costs. This favors the Ferrari and Mercedes works teams, who can hide costs under the engine development side (not covered under any proposal so far). Yet, even so, these two have not come out and supported the cost control proposals either – so the whole point is actually moot.

  • Arrogant teams like Redbull are killing F1

    It is arrogant teams like Redbull who are killing Formula One.

    There should be a one hundred million dollar cap per season and no one can own more than one team.

    You want innovation, that will give you innovation. You will see true innovation. What you have now is who can spend the most money. Money buys speed so the more you spend the faster you go.

    You have to have cost controls or you will never have a level playing field. Every team should be able to compete, as it is even the bottom two teams can obtain at least a seventy five million dollar budget if not reach the one hundred million dollar budget level. That would put them on equal footing with the Redbull’s, Ferrari’s, Mercedes and McClairen’s of the sport. Competition would improve greatly.

    This attitude that you have to have unlimited budgets is stupid.

    What killed CART was Tony George and his money and his control over the Indy 500. CART was a very good series with different car and engine manufactures involved and they put on some pretty good races.

  • Spartacus

    Fake Spartacus, please stop using my name!

    I AM THE REAL SPARTACUS!

  • Eevel

    This just in, Mateschitz says let them eat cake.

  • Snowman

    @Eevel

    Best comment on this site ever.

    Well played.

  • sebolonso

    People listen…Mateschintzel was lucky steeling formula of red bell drink from asia. Now guy is billionaire and Seb 4xtime wdc. The asian guy who invented the red bull drink formula, did he get a dime.

  • Ukwhite

    @Karlich: Well said mate, thx.

  • hillside

    RedBull has to add one or two more teams or just buy the other sinking teams for more competitiveness next season

  • Bob Wheeler

    There have always been the factory teams and everybody else in F1. Red Bull started out as an “everybody else” team. They had to learn and innovate and seek investment to grow to where they are today. If you think Red Bull’s checkbook is as big as Mercedes or Ferrari, think again. They are factory teams with all the money and resources of their global operations. I happen to agree with the Darwinian approach to F1 teams. You gotta pay to play. If you have the money, jump in. If you don’t stay home!

  • This is Spartacus

    just kidding,
    Leonidas here.

  • ZombieJebus

    Amazing considering RBR bought the utter failure of a team called Jaguar, redesigned it, and have completely dominated the sport for four years, despite the numerous regulation changes.

    All that plus the titles and records and they don’t even get to veto rules or 60 million euros ala Ferrari.

    Think on that, children.

  • F1 MAD

    Sebolonso : the Asian who invented the dink is the “other” partner in the company…common knowledge . as for seeing a dime , he is already one of the richest men in asia .

    Regarding costs , they should deregulate a bit to enable the teams to get really innovative like 6 wheel cars , double wings etc. this is F1 , it should remain so . Instead , they want to limit drivers on how many helmet designs they can use ! ridiculous .

  • Jack

    I think personally that they should get rid of the ban on cigarette companies sponsorship, they have plenty of cash to throw about. Ethically? No, I won’t take up smoking because their brand is on the cars

  • Stoner

    Yes F1 is expensive, but there should be a limit also, back in the 90′s using 8 ENGINES per weekend is rather preposterous.

  • Ukwhite

    @ZombieJebus: Indeed, people should see the positive of it, Dietrich is a great man supporting top engineering and bravery in sports all over the world. Congrats to him.

  • captain tortuga

    @ arrogant team like….

    I kind of agree, i also have ideas like that. There should be a full budget-ceiling. A ceiling that is reachable for enough outfits to participate in F1.
    And then there should be no development restrictions. You have your budget, and within that budget you are free to show what you are capable of.

    This would indeed be incentive to development, because (as mentioned before) if another teams invents something clever, they cannot just throw endless buckets of money at it, to also develop it, so they might try to find yet antoher way to go even faster.
    At the end of the season all the cars must be ‘exposed’ to the other teams so next season everyone can build in the ‘old’ gadgets of other teams, and invent new stuff of their own over the winter.

  • Saša

    How about, who build road cars can enter in to Formula 1.
    In Red Bull I see drug dealer cleaning his money, or having best possible commercial.
    Just don’t tell me how Red Bull drink is healthy.

  • matthew

    A cost ceiling will happen the same time f1 starts racing exclusively on oval tracks.

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