The Four S in F1 (stability, sustainability, substance and show)
On March 29th. in a far, far away country know as Australia, the F1 will start a new season. This will be its 60th. Championship and, perhaps, this will be one of the toughest to the F.O.M ( Formula One Management) due to the crisis that is hailing over the different all the world economies.
By mid 2008, the crisis landed the F1 world. To avoid this catastrophe destroy a such profitable activity, enemies and rivals had to bury the hatchets and, grinning an alliance, they had to join forces in order to establish the roots of a new-born organization called F.O.T.A. The F.O.T.A’s main objective is: TO REDUCE COSTS. The following is the latest mail received where the initial plans to reduce costs have been outlined:
FOTA’S ROADMAP FOR THE FUTURE OF FORMULA ONE Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) reveals initial plans and framework for the future of Formula One at landmark press conferenceGENEVA, 5 MARCH 2009: The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) today outlined its roadmap for Formula One at a press conference at which senior management figures from all 10 current Formula One teams shared the stage together.Setting out its proposed agenda for the evolution of the sport, FOTA unveiled a dynamic package of unanimously agreed proposals which, pending the approval of the FIA, will take effect in 2009 and/or 2010.These proposals are aimed at increasing the stability, sustainability, substance and show of Formula One, and have all been developed as a result of rigorous interrogation of a FOTA global audience survey carried out in 17 countries earlier this year. The study canvassed views of existing fans but also, for the first time, drew on insights from a cross-section of general and infrequent followers of the sport, in line with FOTA’s stated ambition to broaden as well as to deepen the appeal of Formula One.The proposals can be classified under three headings – technical, sporting and commercial - in line with the three working groups inaugurated when FOTA was formed in September 2008. These proposals will ensure the retention of Formula One’s unique and essential sporting ‘DNA’, improve the show for all audiences, reduce costs, and increase the value proposition to the major stakeholders. Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of FOTA, said: "This is an unprecedented moment in Formula One history. Above all else, for the first time the teams are unified and steadfast – with a clear, collective vision. Thanks to this unity, all the teams have already managed to make a significant reduction to their costs for 2009. And, while we will continue to compete vigorously on track, we all share one common goal: to work together to improve Formula One by ensuring its stability, sustainability, substance and show for the benefit of our most important stakeholder, namely the consumer. It is with this mindset that we now intend to work hard, with our partners at the FIA and FOM, our shared goal being to optimise the future of Formula One."(News from FOTA - Jueves, 05 de Marzo de 2009 )
About the line ups, the most important movement was done by Red Bull and its half-brother Toro Rosso. By the end of 2008, David Coulthard decided to change his position as a regular first team driver into the test driver place in order to keep his place in F1 but from a much more comfortable place. So the Scot was replaced by the “ German Rising Star” Sebastian Vettel. Having got so good results last year, Toro Rosso decided to substitutethis German Sebastian by the Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi. Buemi will team up with Sebastien Bourdais and Toro Rosso will be the Sebastian’s team for the second year in a row.
The rest of the teams decided to keep their line ups. There bis no money for new and spectacular hiring nor to break up present contracts.
Referring to teams, a month short before starting the season, and when nobody wanted to invest a penny in buying the Honda Team, Ross Brawn, Ferrari’s x-technical director, spent some euros and bought the team. Here there is a copy of the mail stating the selling of the team:
6 March 2009
TOKYO, JAPAN (09.01 hrs GMT +9) & BRACKLEY, UK (00.01 hrs GMT)
FUTURE OF THE HONDA RACING F1 TEAM SECURED
Honda Motor Company Limited and Ross Brawn are pleased to confirm that they have reached agreement to secure the future of the former Honda Racing F1 Team. With immediate effect, Honda will pass ownership to Ross Brawn, Team Principal of the new Brawn GP Formula One Team.
Brawn GP has agreed a partnership with Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, Brixworth, UK to supply the team with its 2.4 litre Mercedes-Benz FO108W Formula One engines.
The team can confirm that its race driver line-up for the 2009 season will combine the talents of two of Formula One's most experienced drivers in Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. The race-winning drivers continue their partnership at the team for a fourth consecutive year, forming the most experienced driver partnership on the grid with 423 Grand Prix starts between the pair.
Brawn GP Team Principal, Ross Brawn, commented: "The past few months have been extremely challenging for the team but today's announcement is the very pleasing conclusion to the strenuous efforts that have been made to secure its future.
"Firstly, it is a great shame that having worked with Honda Motor Company for so long we can no longer continue together. I would like to thank Honda for the fantastic co-operation and support we have received throughout this process - particularly those members of the senior management who were closely involved with concluding our agreement - and for the faith they have demonstrated in myself and our team.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to pay due credit to our staff at Brackley. The levels of motivation and commitment that I have witnessed at the factory deserve the highest praise.
"I am delighted that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will form our race driver line-up for the 2009 season. The vast experience and knowledge that both drivers bring to our team will prove invaluable as we aim to get up to speed in the shortest possible time to be ready for the first race of the season in Melbourne on 29 March. In what will be their fourth season together, their experience with our team in Brackley, our systems and our engineers, will prove a real asset.
"It would be impossible to mention all of the people without whom today's announcement may not have been possible, however I would like to express particular appreciation for the support we have received from Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de L'Automobile), FOM (Formula One Management), FOTA (Formula One Teams Association), BERR (the UK's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Bridgestone, our other team partners and our many fans the world over. The journey ahead will be challenging but exciting and we know we can count on their continued enthusiasm for our team and its ambitions."
Hiroshi Oshima, Managing Officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. responsible for Corporate Communications and Motor Sports, commented: "Since announcing our withdrawal from Formula One racing on December 5 of last year, we have conducted various studies and discussions so that the team can continue its activities as a new team. We are very pleased that we could sell the team to Ross Brawn, with whom we have been partaking in the challenges of F1 competition, and are grateful for his decision. We offer our sincerest wishes for the new team which will be led by Ross."
Brawn GP will now focus its efforts on the remaining pre-season tests, in Barcelona (9-12 March) and Jerez (15-17 March) prior to heading to Melbourne, Australia for the start of the 2009 Formula One season.
(Jueves, 05 de Marzo de 2009 09:01 p.m)
What is really weird is that with a so short time of practice and following last year’s disastrous results, the now known as Brawn Team got these time during the winter tests(We will be please to get some answers to the question):
BARCELONA TEST REPORT - DAY FOUR
Date Thursday 12 March
Track Circuit de Catalunya
Driver Rubens Barrichello
No of Laps 110 laps
Best Lap Time 1:18.926
Kilometres Covered 512km
Track Length 4.655km
Weather Sunny after a foggy start
Ambient Temperature Maximum 19°C
Track Temperature Maximum 26°C
Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello headed the field in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya today, replicating the feat of team-mate Jenson Button yesterday. Back at the wheel of the BGP 001 car for the fourth and final day of this week's programme, Rubens brought the team's first pre-season test to a successful conclusion.
RESULTS (All timings are unofficial)
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP 1:18.926 110
2. Nico Rosberg Williams 1:19.774 120
3. Timo Glock Toyota 1:20.091 128
4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:20.576 83
5. Fernando Alonso Renault 1:20.664 64
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:20.677 92
7. Robert Kubica BMW 1:20.740 134
8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:20.869 70
9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:21.013 62
10. Giancarlo Fisichella Force India 1:21.045 141
11. Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso 1:21.629 27
ENDS(Jueves, 12 de Marzo de 2009 03:10 p.m.)
One of the reasons behind this new Brawn Team is that the F1 can not lose more teams and cars. The times when the elitist F1 organization commanded that no more than 10 teams should filed 2 cars per event and that they have to be present in every single race all around the world are still present, but they seem to be slacker. It seems that the F1 misses the times of starting grids full of humble single-car teams. These modest squads were able not only to complete but also to outnumber the grids.
In less than a fortnight, Australia will welcome the F1’s 60th season. A season where dark clouds are hanging over the F1 horizon. The clouds are full of crisis; let’s hope the F.O.T.A’s anti crisis umbrella can protect the present and future of this “a bit more humble” Formula One.-
Edgardo S Berg
Journalist & English Professor
Grupo de Investigaciones Estéticas
(Univ. Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina)
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