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Old 8 Dec 2015, 17:07 (Ref:3596459)   #16
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true true it is hard to tell where these types of relationships start and end but surely there is a difference for the guys making 30-50mil per year through an existing team sponsorship deal vs those trying to secure their seats for the smaller teams based on their ability to generate their own personal sponsorship as a prerequisite for entry.

Philip Morris and Honda would be in F1 regardless of whether or Schumi or Alonso were there and the sponsorship those companies provide stays with or will stay with the team after those drivers left/leave and those two drivers earned their spots prior to being afforded or categorized as having a pseudo pay driver status.

the Maldonado situation would be the odd one imo in that PDVSA would likely still be an F1 sponsor even if PM wasnt a driver but would they opt for a longer term deal with one team rather than move as the driver moves?

but moreso i am talking about those trying to get into F1 with one of the smaller teams and their situation is very much different to that of Schumi's or Alonso's imo.
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Old 15 Dec 2015, 10:10 (Ref:3597921)   #17
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old man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridold man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridold man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
The question of whether sponsorship goes to the team and the team pay the driver or the sponsorship goes direct to the driver is a matter of book keeping. What is not clear from any of those interesting earning figures is how many drivers actually get hired for their ability in the car and do not bring cash sponsors, we really will never know.

Many teams over all my years of motorsport interest have benefitted from the connections of drivers, having Stirling Moss as a driver probably guaranteed certain tyre supplies for example and his rise in F1 had a lot to do with his father buying a Maserati for him

What seems to be happening now is that drivers need to be able to bring budget for F1 whereas some other classes of racing require less, or even no budget and so we lose drivers to F1 who have less funding.
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Old 24 Jan 2016, 10:06 (Ref:3607559)   #18
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Stofel VanDoorne does not expect to suffer the same fate as Magnussen and, wisely in my opinion, is chasing a deal in another formula to keep him race sharp. I have contact with leading people in the feeder formulae and this year things appear to be a little different and wonder how the Magnussen experience, the Verstappen case and the general financial state of smaller teams in F1 are really changing the young driver approach.

I am told that at this stage in the season signed deals in GP2 and FR3.5 are at a very low point and that GP3 is not all that healthy. The boom in F3 that followed Verstappen's rise to F1 is thought to be on the wane as young drivers find that it is it not as easy as all that to move from Karting to F3. The market for drivers in F4 and the other entry level series is buoyant but it is suggested that a realisation is coming in that the budget requirements to move from the (relatively) achievable levels required at GP3, GP2 and FR3.5 is so large that the dream cannot be maintained.

Only the wealthiest fathers and connections can see the road clear for them. Many of the other backers who dream of the vast return on investment that can be expected when their charge reaches F1 are becoming clear that they are more likely to win the lottery.

Going down the ladder I can see the vast effort being put into Karting as drivers now can move to cars at 15 with the dream of F1 having been proved possible at 17 and feel that the whole thing has moved down the age scale in a way that perhaps was inevitable but is it a good long term development? I saw the ultimate situation recently when I came across the "Bambino" class in Karting where 6 to 7 year olds "race" in a time trial format. The kids that I watched were fascinating and,"cute" as they got into their karts. Track speed was reasonable and some were very raw but the odd one had a good eye for line, braking and throttle control even at 6 years old.

Further insight came when I saw that one of best kid's father was employing the services of a person that I regard as one of the biggest karting experts in the world and who charges big dollars for his time. This expert has more than one Bambino/Cadet client I understand.

So, just as we have seen golfers who wielded a club almost as soon as they could lift one, tennis players taking the racket at two years old and thousands of footballers who start kicking a ball as soon as they can walk we now have professional management of 6 year old racers in "cars" and, I am sure bikes. I am not saying I disapprove of this trend, what is the harm and better to have professional help in such a dangerous area but it demonstrates that the whole driver career line has moved down by several years.

Formula 1 cannot absorb all the drivers that the feeder series will create and so to earn a living they must look to other things where funding does not just come from the driver. If you just want to race for fun there are plenty of opportunities and none better than karting at any age but to make a career from motorsport now is far less of a clear path.

The lack of direct sponsorship in F1 that would allow teams to chose the best does mean, IMO, that we will not necessarily get the top drivers. It may also mean that we get some great drivers in sports and saloon racing of all types.

These changes may make for problems for others in the sport than drivers as teams may need to employ mechanics and engineers with wider skills and do you need less staff to run in the more junior formulae than in GP2 and GP3?

Changing times I feel
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Old 24 Jan 2016, 14:45 (Ref:3607625)   #19
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Biscuits In A Red Bull should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridBiscuits In A Red Bull should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Am I the only one who believes that to an extent (certainly when looking at junior single seaters) that the question should not be 'does Formula 1 attract the best drivers?' but should instead be 'do the best drivers attract Formula 1?'

Look at the likes of Frijns, Magnussen, and now potentially Vandoorne over just the last couple of years.
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Old 24 Jan 2016, 16:32 (Ref:3607642)   #20
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BSchneiderFan should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBSchneiderFan should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBSchneiderFan should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBSchneiderFan should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
I suspect Vandoorne will be in a McLaren in 2017. Either JB will retire or the Spaniard will flounce off. Whether being in a McLaren in 2017 is a good thing or not is another matter, however.
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Old 24 Jan 2016, 21:00 (Ref:3607736)   #21
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JABWOA should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I'm struggling to recall a good example, but there are drivers who are brilliant but not suited to F1 open wheeler.

Peter Brock once said the best driver in the world was probably a tractor driver in Siberia, but nobody is ever going to find him to find out.

However, talent alone will not get into F1. You need a backer, whether it's the Vettel/Hamilton route or Ericsson/Moldynado route.
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Old 24 Jan 2016, 21:34 (Ref:3607747)   #22
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Since it started F1 has always been a compromise between drivers with talent and drivers with money/connections.Every team over the years has made a choice at some time to take the money over the best driver going around.
Teams have lost championships because they had a pay driver who couldnt back up the number onee driver,drivers have lost championships becaue they had to play second fiddle to the money/connection driver.
If anything its got worse in recent times because the money involved is so obscene you need to have parents who own a country to get together the dollars to grease the palms that get you into F1.
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Old 25 Jan 2016, 07:56 (Ref:3607804)   #23
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Funny the discussion is kinda about McLaren. When it was McLaren Mercedes, the amount of drivers who were meant to get F1 seats but were never given proper chances was mad.

McMercs attitude seemed to be sign a lot of good drivers, then dump them in DTM and test driver roles so nobody else can use them.
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Old 25 Jan 2016, 09:21 (Ref:3607819)   #24
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I'm struggling to recall a good example, but there are drivers who are brilliant but not suited to F1 open wheeler.
Bernd Schneider springs to mind. Sublime in a touring car, blisteringly quick in the Mercedes CLK, but couldn't do much with a Zakspeed in F1.
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Old 25 Jan 2016, 09:24 (Ref:3607820)   #25
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Peter Brock once said the best driver in the world was probably a tractor driver in Siberia, but nobody is ever going to find him to find out.
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I think it was actually Jenks who said that the best driver could be a bus driver in China, but we would never know it if he didn't get the opportunity
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Old 25 Jan 2016, 15:00 (Ref:3607882)   #26
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In all honesty Bernd was on a hiding to nothing, the engine was a boat anchor and the car though it looked amazing was not good, no-one did anything in Zakkers even decent pedallers like Brunders, Palmer or Ghinzani.
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Old 25 Jan 2016, 16:32 (Ref:3607897)   #27
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thought provoking insights old man!

a couple of follow up questions.

i see your point that budgets are increasing in even the lower levels...in your estimation, is that translating into lower participation rates or are participation rates staying the same (or increasing even) despite the increasing costs?

if its staying the same are the younger categories becoming more competitive and if so, do you think that increased competition (coupled with increasing costs) is better for the fans (or for f1) in the long run?

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Am I the only one who believes that to an extent (certainly when looking at junior single seaters) that the question should not be 'does Formula 1 attract the best drivers?' but should instead be 'do the best drivers attract Formula 1?'
if up and coming drivers are finding there are equally or more attractive categories to earn respect and money in, does that suggest that motorsports overall is healthier now then in a past where F1 was seen as the ultimate place to achieve those goals?

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...So, just as we have seen golfers who wielded a club almost as soon as they could lift one...
going on a bit of a tangent that may be more applicable to some of the other threads but what golf is currently experiencing is rather similar to what F1/motorsports is experiencing...declining viewership for the pro levels in part due to a lack of perceived talent at the top level (no Tiger and a different winner every week) coupled with decreasing participation by younger/next generation because the costs of playing/training are prohibitively high. should note that for golf this is also being reflected with a decline in popular participation as the increasing costs are also being passed on to people who wish to participate only as hobbyist.

dont know what its like where you guys live but golf courses are closing down everywhere and the land converted into condo developments. surprising given its massive and growing popularity just a few years ago.

maybe these are just the inherent problems associated with any sports once thought of as sports for the rich and what we are seeing is just a natural backlash at their attempt to change that image to one which tries to redefine itself as being open to popular and or talent based involvement.

anyways i thought that golf is a very interesting analogy.

Last edited by chillibowl; 25 Jan 2016 at 16:37.
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Old 26 Jan 2016, 09:23 (Ref:3608073)   #28
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Interesting questions Chillibowl. Participation rates are, if anything dropping as we see it. The young drivers are now looking to move to cars a couple of years earlier and to move not to National series in the lower formulae but to European series. These obviously cost more because of the travel and UK based series are suffering a little, for example UK F3 that was at one time the best feeder series does not now exist, all concentration is on Euro in F3. German and Italian series may continue I believe but not sure of entry levels.

As I said in the opening comments in this thread, drivers no longer quote F1 as an ambition every time as they realise the overall investment required.

The level of competition in these classes is high and drivers always use a professional team, gone are the days of buying a car and towing it behind a van. The budget required for karting at the top junior level is not so much less than the budget for F4, certainly at National level and not that far removed from European series requirements. At a Euro round that I attended last year the top junior drivers had test days before the official sessions when drivers chose the chassis for the meeting from up to 6 karts, selecting a dry chassis and a wet chassis that suited the circuit.

Overall is it more healthy, no I don't think so because the reduction in age for participants in what is seen as "proper racing" means a driver that is not in F1 by 20 has failed. Many are accepting, as I have said above, that this is no longer possible and realise that to show well in single seaters may get them moves to saloons and sports categories where they feel the chances of a paid career are better. Budgets for these categories are lower and some national series have a high profile such as BTCC where a top drive can be bought for 200 to 400K, nothing like the budget for GP3, GP2 or FR 3.5.

To pick up your golf question, I am not a golfer so not really qualified to answer but my Rotary Club meets at a GC so I am a social member. The GC is struggling for members but, as i believe is generally the case in the UK, the club is owned by the members. A nearby member owned club did close a couple of years ago when the land was sold for development and the members all pocketed a nice sum. An equally nearby privately owned course is however doing OK I believe but people play on an "arrive and drive" basis (pardon the pun!)
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Old 26 Jan 2016, 11:12 (Ref:3608087)   #29
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Interesting questions Chillibowl. Participation rates are, if anything dropping as we see it. The young drivers are now looking to move to cars a couple of years earlier and to move not to National series in the lower formulae but to European series. These obviously cost more because of the travel and UK based series are suffering a little, for example UK F3 that was at one time the best feeder series does not now exist, all concentration is on Euro in F3. German and Italian series may continue I believe but not sure of entry levels.
this is being a bit nitpicky and missing the overall point, but it's more of a debate about where national competition is sufficient for learning stuff and where international competition becomes a good thing.

to me, it's kind of right now - f4 is and should only be national competition, if only because it's easier for the little sods to stay at school when they only have to go a couple of hours down the road.

f3 is a bit of a different one. offering a lower cost version where you can learn the cars on a national level ready for an international attempt the following year is a sound theory. but why bother when a bit more cash will get you a european campaign where you can learn the circuits you'll need for your second year against the relevant level of competition. in terms of value for money it can be better just to jump in, especially if you're a dad who thinks the sun shines out of juniors bottom

i don't know what's changed from 10, 15 years ago, but it has. cheap gp3 deals? the euroseries emerging from the german f3 series 12 or so years ago?
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Old 26 Jan 2016, 12:48 (Ref:3608115)   #30
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F1 Not Attracting Best Drivers = F1 NO MORE Pinnacle of Motorsport.
Hello Blancpain GT / LM as the new Pinnacle.
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