Is Formula 1 On The Brink of Crisis

Words Jim Davis | October 29, 2014
Could a racer like Jeff Gordon help revive F1? Mario Andretti’s advice for a struggling Formula One
Words Jim Davis October 29, 2014

With the Caterham and Marussia Formula One teams in administration and not racing in this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, the future of Formula One is in question.

In addition to the two teams in administration, reports say that Sauber, Lotus and Williams are all hemorrhaging money.

One report from the British newspaper The Guardian paints a bleak portrait of the series and its enigmatic CEO Bernie Ecclestone under the headline “US sounds warning to Formula One, a sport teetering on the brink of crisis.”

“F1 has had no coherent leadership in the past year while Ecclestone, who will be 84 on Tuesday, fought bribery allegations in London and Munich courts,” the report said. “Now, against a background of spiraling costs, unequal payments to teams, falling crowds and TV audiences, as well as declining sponsorship and no agreement about capping costs, the sport has reached the point of no return.”

Italian-American racing legend Mario Andretti, who won the F1 championship in 1978, told the paper Formula One needs to loosen up a bit and be more creative. One of his suggestions involved bringing in non-Formula One drivers to specific races.

“I would love to see a team invite a third car for a special event,” he said. “For the U.S. Grand Prix, say, Mercedes could invite a third car, having groomed some well-known American driver in testing, to take part as a guest competitor. Can you imagine what that would do for the promotion of the event? Every newspaper in the country would write about it.”

Andretti might be on to something. Jeff Gordon or Kurt Busch might be interested…

Via: Autoweek