Mateschitz says cash strapped F1 teams should shape up or ship out
5 November, 2013
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.
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)
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