Ecclestone: We’d rather have 10 teams so long as we don’t lose Ferrari

Luca di Montezemolo and Bernie Ecclestone at Monza

Luca di Montezemolo with Bernie Ecclestone

Dec.13 (Reuters) The departure of Spanish strugglers HRT from Formula One still leaves the sport with one team too many, according to commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone who would prefer only 10 teams and admits that the sport cannot lose Ferrari.

HRT Formula One Team team photograph. (L to R): Dani Clos (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 Third Driver; Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team; Luis Perez-Sala (ESP) HRT Formula One Team, Team Prinicpal; Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula One Team; Ma Qing Hua (CHN) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 Development Driver. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday 28 July 2012.Madrid-based HRT have not been included on the official 2013 entry list published by the governing International Automobile Federation, a move that will leave 11 teams and 22 cars on the starting grid.

“I’d rather have 10 [teams],” Ecclestone told Reuters. “I never wanted 12.

“It’s just that 10 is easier to handle, for the promoters, for transport. We’d rather have 10…so long as we don’t lose Ferrari.”

The 82-year-old said that he had heard that HRT, whose owners Thesan Capital have said they were seeking a buyer, had gone into liquidation. Their drivers this year were Indian Narain Karthikeyan and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa.

British-based Formtech Composites, one of HRT’s suppliers, said in a statement last week that they were owed a substantial amount of money by the team who had apparently transferred ownership to a Luxembourg-registered fund.

L-R: Charles Pic (FRA); Andy Webb (GBR) Marussia F1 Team CEO; John Booth (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Principal; Graeme Lowdon (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Sporting Director; Timo Glock (GER) with the new Marussia MR01. Marussia MR01 Rollout, Silverstone, England, Monday 5 March 2012.It added that HRT had initiated liquidation procedures on Nov 12, the day they announced that the team was up for sale, and had offered to pay creditors 30 pence ($0.48) for every euro ($1.30) owed with no room for negotiation.

Asked whether he saw any possibility of anyone stepping forward to rescue a team that failed to score a point in three seasons, Ecclestone said: “I wouldn’t think that anyone would want to.”

HRT were one of three new teams – the others being what are now known as Marussia and Caterham – to enter Formula One in 2010 in an initiative driven by former FIA president Max Mosley.

Neither Malaysian-owned Caterham, who started out as Lotus Racing, nor Russian-registered Marussia (formerly Virgin Racing) have managed to score a point in their three seasons either and remain some way off the established teams.

Ecclestone reiterated that the 2013 season would likely be 19 races, although there was still the possibility of Turkey taking a 20th slot that has been held open for July 21.

“I don’t know. I’m waiting for the response from them,” he said.

(L to R): Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham, Juan Pablo Ramirez (MEX) race engineer and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham. Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday 21 February 2012.The Turkish race in Istanbul was dropped from last season’s schedule due to disagreements over the hosting fees but the circuit is under new management and is seeking a return to the calendar.

The country’s motorsport’s federation has said that some government funding will be required but Turkey’s sports minister has ruled any chance of government funding out and said that it is entirely a matter for the private sector to resolve.

Ecclestone said categorically that Austria, mooted by some as a possible replacement now that energy drink company Red Bull has revamped the Spielberg circuit that last hosted a grand prix in 2003, would not happen.

He said France, which has also been seeking a return, appeared to no longer be in the running.

Subbed by AJN.

 

  • Forza Ferrari

    What a sudden change of mind from Ecclestone once again. This is typical Ecclestone, one week he says one thing and then the next week he talks a completely different story LOL. Even though I agree with him on Ferrari being the most important team in F1, I still think he’s a crazy senile old geezer who’s too old for Formula 1, like Mr. Montezemolo said.
    Just get lost Bernie! You’re more trouble than good.

  • Butterfly

    Actually, he cares about the Ferrari brand, not Montezemolo in particular.

    Bernie has said many times that Ferrari is the brand of Formula 1. I guess that’s still true. And why wouldn’t it be.

  • Forza Ferrari

    @Butterfly

    He’s a greedy old man and a two faced hypocrite! I seriously despise him. I wish someone would put him to jail already, so that he couldn’t talk his senile nonsense anymore.

  • JodyRenza

    Formula 1 is loosing face with uncle Bernie’s attitide…We as fans would rather have more cars on the grid than loosing more teams.
    When will this selfish man man allow a 3rd car per team or maybe like in the old days a sattlelite team ala Yardley Mclaren or Hesketh March…Surtees Mclaren..that’s how other teams started.

  • Not Bernie

    When Schumacher went to Ferrari they were nowhere. Simply they weren’t fast enough, nor reliable. He got on board Ross Brawn and Jean Todt who turned Ferrari around.

    Ferrari’s worth is once again down, but not because they’re not quick enough or reliable, but worse; they’re bad sports. Far too much time is spent on the politics of F1 than the racing, and quite frankly having the No. 1 driver suggesting that the world champion cheated is disgusting.

    F1 can easily do without that Ferrari. The Ferrari Bernie speaks of is a different one, which represent the best of F1. Sporting excellence, and amazing drivers. Neither of which Ferrari have right now.

    F1 without that Ferrari would still be F1, and perhaps even better for it too. Ferrari without F1, quite frankly, wouldn’t make much difference either. The car brand is able to stand by itself.

  • Butterfly

    @Not Bernie:

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. A brand like Ferrari is not something F1 can do without. All of Ferrari’s history is attributed to the sport, so all of that can’t suddenly go away just because you’re a moron.

    It doesn’t work that way.

  • John

    @Buttplug

    You seem to have no respect for others on here.

    F1 is bigger than any one team. And no sportman or team ever has an automatic right to compete based upon their history; never.

  • Jason

    BERNIE SUCKS

  • Jason

    .facebook. com /pages/ Bernie-Ecclestone-is-only-interested-in-money-not-F1 /198804663508915

  • weasel

    @John
    F1 is bigger than any one team, except Ferrari. Ferrari is much bigger than F1 will ever be, fact. You can deny it all you want but you know that it’s true. Ferrari is one of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST worldwide brand, loved by millions of people from all corners of the globe…young and old, rich and poor. Ferrari has that “something” that no other company or brand will ever have.

  • Butterfly

    @weasel:

    It’s the history behind the brand. You’d have to be mad to not want that as part of F1.

    @John:

    As far as the public is concerned, the FIA doesn’t even exist. They’re only involved in the organization of F1. The FIA has no product – like Ferrari has – and there are no FIA cars on track.

    Next time put a buttplug in your mouth, that’s where the crap is coming from.

    Have a nice day :-)

  • Not Bernie

    @Butterfly
    I just figured why you’ve been called butt pl*g. It’s because you’re an a***hole.

    But seriously, do we as F1 fans really want to sink to the level of a football fan? Or worse?

    Let’s accept that we all have different opinions of different drivers and teams. We can argue over who’s the best, who cheated, or what ever. But let’s not go down the road of throwing names at each other or otherwise disrespecting readers here. You’re simply not doing yourself any favours.

  • Butterfly

    @Not Bernie:

    I don’t watch football.

  • Not Bernie

    I’ve been looking to sell some Ferrari merchandise and memorabilia on eBay but prices have completely collapsed. I’d optimistically say they’re a third to a quarter of what they were a few years ago.

    It may just be what I’m trying to sell, but it does indicate that the Ferrari brand isn’t what it used to be.

  • I hate Ferrari

    If Ferrari were to drop out next year F1 would keep right on going. No one person or one team is above the sport.

    When one person or one team becomes the sole focus of the sport then the sport has failed and is done.

    I wish Ferrari would drop out, F1 would be the better for it.

  • Butterfly

    You would probably feel better about the Scuderia leaving, but the sport wouldn’t be the same without them. You seen, they’re not just any team.

    Just imagine all established teams leaving and filling the vacancies with HRTs and Marussias, and other newcomers. That wouldn’t be F1, mate.

    When you have a team that has achieved so much as Ferrari has in F1 and been here since the first race 60 years ago, you don’t ever say goodbye to that.

    Ferrari and F1 are fused and there’s no way to separate them, as much as Montezemolo likes to say he’ll pull out of F1.

    Just think about the sheer number of world titles they’ve won:
    * 16 constructors’ titles
    * 15 drivers’ titles

    So, please, pull your head out your arse, mate.

  • Not Bernie

    @ Butterfly,
    You are once again being rude to others on here. You are an embarrassment to yourself.

    I’d suggest that you ask Santa for some manners but bad little boys don’t get any presents.

  • Butterfly

    @Not Bernie:

    I don’t feel like I’m an Embarrassment to myself. And I’m a girl, btw.

  • Not Bernie

    @Butterfly,
    I thought you were a girl but for good manners decided not to call you one incase you took offence, as many boys would be to be called such.

    Now that you’ve been outed as a girl I expect you to show us the superiority of intellect and why women are better than men.

  • Lauda Fan

    @Not Bernie

    “Ferrari’s worth is once again down, but not because they’re not quick enough…”

    Stupid, stupid remark…
    Did we just watch the same F1 season? Are you out of your mind? Alonso’s Ferrari lacked speed and thus he lost the late season points lead (30 points?) and ultimately the title to a rival with a very quick car. Do you live in a cave somewhere? Read this => FERRARI IS NOT QUICK ENOUGH TO COMPETE IN F1.

    F1 will likely go extinct in a decade or so because of pressures brought on by the Greens. Why push it towards an even earlier death by eliminating Ferrari? You make little sense to me but then I always have trouble understanding fools…

  • Not Bernie

    @Lauda Fan,
    “FERRARI IS NOT QUICK ENOUGH TO COMPETE IN F1.”

    Well, then they should leave F1 shouldn’t they?

    Ferrari were the first of the main teams to figure out the tyres this year. They were also quickest mid-season. Towards the end it was McLaren who were quickest, and Ferrari second as proven by Massa.

    Red Bull were nowhere at the start of the season and got better as it went on. More importantly their genuis driver Vettel managed to lift the car’s performance to a level that Webber couldn’t manage. Webber is no-bad driver, on par with Alonso or better, and that should give you an indication where Vettel is.

    But Ferrari as a brand in F1 is sinking. Still important, but nowhere near what it was a few years ago. They need a new driver to lead them, one that can stand on his own two feet.

  • Butterfly

    @The Troll:

    How about doing us all a favor and shutting the hell up?

  • jl

    15 Driver titles, 5 from it come from Schumacher
    16 Constructor titles, 6 from it come from Schumacher
    got it?

  • suhas

    @jl

    You moron shut up….
    I swear i want to kick the shi* out of you…..
    wide eye bastar*

  • Butterfly

    @suhas:

    This Lee SOB uses three aliases on Yalla. He’s “JL”, “alonso_is_slow”, and “Not Bernie”.

    Is he chinese?

  • Butterfly

    @jl:

    Actually, those “Schumacher” titles were won thanks to Ferrari. The old guy couldn’t win a single race with Mercedes.

    Got that, honey?

  • Speedo

    Butterfly! you are flapping your wings. Why? Anyone trying to clip your wings? Reading the comments and the replies got me laughing. There is another form of F1 going on here. I mean no insult to you guys. Bernie now saying he prefers 10 teams. Then why oh why did he allow more teams in the first place. Why did he single out Ferrari? Did they threaten him that they would leave F1. He sometimes sure does put his foot in his mouth.

  • Butterfly

    Speedo:

    I think it was Max Mosley’s idea to bring in new teams, not Bernie’s.

    Regarding why he talked about Ferrari, maybe there really was something going on behind the scenes at Maranello. Perhaps a LeMans project?

    You’re right in that Bernie doesn’t talk for nothing. Something’s going on.

  • suhas

    @butterfly
    he is from singapore