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Whitmarsh: Teams in 'survival mode'

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says some teams on the grid are in 'survival mode' due to the ongoing financial issues affecting the global economy
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that a number of teams on the F1 grid are in 'survival mode' due to the ongoing struggle to secure the finances required to compete.

HRT has already closed its doors while Bernie Ecclestone revealed earlier this week that he had questioned the future of Marussia, although he then said that all eleven teams were 'safe' and that the signing of a new Concorde Agreement would leave the teams with 'more money than god'.

Despite those comments, Whitmarsh – who also doubles as chairman of the Formula 1 Teams' Association – admitted that the current economic climate was making it difficult for teams, some of whom were now looking to simply survive.

However, Whitmarsh insisted that the teams had to work more closely to ensure that they gain more from the deals in place with Ecclestone and CVC, with reports that the latest Concorde Agreement will give teams a larger share of the money than has been the case in the past.

"It's tough," he told the BBC. "We're in the world of advertising and you only have to see how advertising is worldwide. The rate card is down. We have taken some measures but I think it's going to be tough for some of the teams to have a viable business model for a few years; there's no doubt about that.

"Bernie has done a fantastic job for the owners. We can criticise him, but he's doing a better job than we are. He's keeping the money on behalf of his employers. That money whistles out of the sport and that's deeply frustrating for some of us in the sport, but that's exactly what he should be trying to do. If the teams aren't cohesive enough to work together to secure a larger share of that then they have to blame themselves.

"I've certainly tried quite hard in that area and not been as successful as I would like to have been. Bernie's pretty good at moving the pieces around the board, isn't he?"

One issue between teams and Ecclestone in recent times had been discussions over the engine formula that will be introduced in 2014, with the commercial rights holder stating that he feels the current engines should be kept on but teams confident that the proposed 1.6-litre V6 turbos were the way to go.

Whitmarsh admitted that such disagreements weren't ideal for the sport and were a prime example of F1 shooting itself in the foot and said it wasn't encouraging manufacturers to get involved in the coming seasons.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.11.2012- Qualifying, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
05.10.2012- Free Practice 2, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer. 06.02.2013.
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, (L-R) Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Executive Chairman and Mansour Ojeh, Manseur Ojeh, McLaren shareholder
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30 stopped in the track
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
18.04.2015 - Qualifying, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
18.04.2015 - (L to R): Mansour Ojjeh, McLaren shareholder with Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Isa Hamad Al Khalifa (BRN)
18.04.2015 -  King Juan Carlos and Bernie Ecclestone
18.04.2015 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
18.04.2015 - David Coulthard (GBR) with Lee McKenzie (GBR) BBC Television Reporterand Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
18.04.2015 - Mansour Ojjeh, McLaren shareholder
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, William Stevens (GBR) Manor Marussia F1 Team

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oldtimer - Unregistered

February 15, 2013 11:30 AM

The change to new engines is a classic example of shooting one's self in the foot. There was no good reason why this could not have been delayed for a few years to allow things to improve. In addition as things stand there wil be less engines available to share round, if any new teams do manage to come forward what are they going to use, The current suppliers are all pretty committed and I don't see any new suppliers on the horizon at present. The situation is not helped by Bernie welcoming teams in when he wants them and then saying they are a heap of **** and he wishes they would go away because they don't project the correct image for F1. Hopefully before I am tucked up in my box sanity will prevail!

bcgallacher - Unregistered

February 15, 2013 11:35 AM

Much of what Martin Whitmarsh is true - I think that the cost of the new v6 turbo engines will be the final nail in the coffin of some of the less well financed teams.It was an insane proposal at a time of financial austerity when the teams came in on the promise of reduced costs.

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