Federico Gastaldi

Gastaldi: Formula 1 is a world of huge egos and vanity

Federico Gastaldi

Huge egos have ensured the status quo in Formula 1 when it comes to cost-cutting and income distribution according to Federico Gastaldi, the deputy chief at Lotus.

Late last year, his boss Gerard Lopez was highly vocal as he joined fellow midfielders Force India and Sauber in complaining about the financial situation within the sport. But according to Gastaldi, nothing has changed in the last three months.

“We have lost count of the number of meetings we have had with Bernie Ecclestone and the other teams,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Globo.

“Over the past year it hasn’t moved an inch in terms of the changes that we consider important not only for us but also for the whole sport,” Gastaldi added.

He said some of the biggest problems are the personalities involved, “There is a lot of vanity here. This is a world of huge egos. There are interests of all kinds.”

Lopez Ecclestone

“They do not see that we are important to them too. What is really wrong is that there are some, who already have a lot, who get the lion’s share of what is generated by the show. And those who do not have as much, or who have much less, get much less.

“It is a model that does not work,” he argues. A similar case was made by Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, who founded his team in 2010 but sold the now-ailing Caterham mid last year. He admitted this week that the income distribution model is broken.

“There is enough money for everyone to make money from (F1),” Fernandes told Britain’s Sky. “Formula one needs a bit more excitement, needs a bit of cost control and needs to make sure that teams have enough money to survive.”

Gastaldi explained that the biggest and most powerful teams on the grid “have a lot of strength” to keep the situation as it is for reasons of self-interest. Still, he insists Lotus has a big enough budget to compete.

“It does not compare with those teams that receive much more than us,” he said, “but in 2012 and 2013, with less than half of what they got, we were there.

“We have the potential, after the mistakes of the past year, to once again be very competitive,” Gastaldi added.