Red Bull’s owner says that dead beat teams should quit
Dieter Materschitz, the owner of Red Bull Racing, has recently given out very unkind and severe statements about the F1 teams currently facing financial difficulties. Materschitz suggests that teams who are not making a profit should consider giving up their constructor’s entries to those who’d be willing to race in the sport. He shows little sympathy for the teams which are currently in a financial bind.
Materschitz isn’t entirely in the wrong, although his statements are more than a little rude and not at all veiling which teams he’s referring to. It’s (ironically) the poor man’s version of talking shit behind someone’s back. There are plenty of different agencies who are currently trying to make a bid to enter F1, but often times cost and the time required to build a car has not been on their side (this happened to USF1 back in 2009/10). For instance, the last news report related to the late Hispania Racing Team had a group called Scorpion Racing looking to enter F1 after buying the team’s remaining resources, yet nothing’s been heard of them since this news was reported.
At the same time, it’s hard to see Materschitz’s statements as anything other than a rich, white guy complaining about rich, white guy problems. Materschitz is also clearly ignoring the fact that even relatively succesful teams, like Lotus, are not immune to monetary problems – as Kimi Räikkönen’s delayed paydays have been indicating. The Sauber team is clinging on by the skin of its teeth financially, even though they’ve outperformed the Force Indias, Toro Rossos, Williams, Caterham and Marussia this season and even given the top-tier teams a run for their money.
Where I think Materschitz’s statements do hold some truth is perhaps with the back-lot runner teams, namely Williams, Caterham and Marussia. Williams has been on a downhill trend for a number of years now and this season has been abysmally bad. Right now, the team seems to be surviving off of Pastor Maldonado’s funds from the Venezuelan government. Although there is a glimmer of hope for next season – the team honestly can’t afford anymore slip ups. Meanwhile, since their entry in 2010, Caterham and Marussia have failed to yet score a single championship point and are simply racing to see who will be amongst the top-10 constructors by the end of the season and get their hands the much-needed and coveted TV broadcast funds. It’s rather more impressive that Marussia hasn’t folded already (landing consistently outside the top-10 by the season’s end) whereas Caterham have not made any serious progress, despite being in the top-10 each year.