Haas F1 has intimated that it would like clarification as to why it had to wait two years to start receiving column one prize money on points earned as a new entrant while Force India, now considered a new entrant under new ownership, gets to retain column one prize earnings and accumulate points toward that goal. It’s a good question and as Autosport reports, Force India has an answer:
“I understand why a new entrant needs to finish in the top 10 for two years in a row, to start getting column 1,” team boss Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport.
“In the past when teams would enter, not really have the resources to enter and then be in for a bit and out, and in, Bernie [Ecclestone] didn’t want that.
“He wanted 10 solid teams. So, Bernie thought, ‘right, if you can survive for two years without money from me, then the third year when you do get money from me then there is no question that you can survive’. That is why he did it for new entrants.
“This team has been racing for [over] 25 years. It is not a new entrant. There is no question of survival going forward.
“So that bit of it doesn’t really apply. Not to mention 25 years ago when it entered [originally as Jordan] it probably had to do that. So why do it twice?”
If you are Gene Haas, if that justification enough? If the normal procedure and regulations have always been that new teams must wait two seasons before earning prize money, is the justification compelling enough to break precedent and show special dispensation for Force India?
The one statement about there being no question of survival going forward is an interesting one in that the entire reason we are in this situation is that the team, with private investors, was not surviving. It now has new private investors and while I would certainly concede the fact that Otmar know infinitely more about the situation than I do, I am also aware that private investment groups such as Genii Capital, Mallya, Jordan and others have come and gone.
Hat Tip: Autosport