Despite the addition of new tracks, better TV promotions, and more money all around for F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, the top rung of international motorsport is in serious trouble. That has never been more clear than it will be this weekend, as two of the sport’s 12 teams- back-markers Marussia and Caterham– will sit out the USGP at Austin after going into bankruptcy administration.
A third team, Force India, was very nearly forced out of contention due to money woes, as well. That’s despite fighting for 5th in the overall constructors’ standings with McLaren and being within a shout of stealing 4th place from Ferrari.
It’s bad all over, in other words. And yesterday’s news about Ferrari going public may be another blow to Formula 1-style Grand Prix racing, as new investors looking at dollars and cents will certainly be asking questions about whether or not to continue funding Old Man Ferrari’s 70-odd year old obsession with the sport.
Part of the problem, of course, is that the sport has become increasingly expensive due to a radical redesign of all the cars and power units for 2014. Annual budgets in the hundreds of millions are commonplace among the top teams, and distribution of funds from TV contracts are doled out by points, rather than by participation, which conspires to keep the rich teams at the front and keep the “poor” teams (with budgets in the tens of millions) poor.
It’s a nasty thing, this current state of Formula 1. In contrast, IndyCar seems to finally be thriving again, and seems set to head to more exotic locales in 2015, and beyond. So, maybe that’s where the action will be for a while.
Or, you know, cycling.
Time will tell, but, until then, we have the comments section. So, let us know what you think of this news, and how you think it’ll impact the 2014 Formula 1 USGP at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA), below.