Sauber calls for French Revolution, anyone have a guillotine?

We discussed an article regarding former FIA president Max Mosley’s concept of making Formula 1 a two-formula series with a budget-cap formula open to nearly all types of innovation and engine types so long as they team signed on to a limited team budget of, say, $100 million.

That notion got Sauber team boss, Monisha Kaltenborn, thinking and even channeling her inner Robespierre by suggesting that Formula not only needed this kind of solution but a full-on French Revolution. Uh…ok.

“This kind of vision for me shows that maybe you need some kind of French Revolution in the sport, because that was at the time also about freedom and equality.

“Maybe it’s time for a French revolution.”

No matter what side of that conflict t you’re on, the entire thing got relatively bloody and messy and I’m not quite sure F1 needs that kind of revolution. How about we start with adding a possible second formula and see how it goes from there?

It doesn’t need a French Revolution, it just need Formula One Management and the FIA to vote for big changes in the series to reduce costs and get the series back on track. The two entities out number the teams on votes in the F1 Strategy Group and ultimately this is what I have been suggesting from FIA president, Jean Todt. Get together with the commercial right’s holder, and make the changes needed.

Teams aren’t going to like it and such is the game of F1. We were very willing to tell Red Bull to take their whining somewhere else and said good riddance—actually, I wasn’t one of those because I like that team and think it adds tremendous value to the sport—and we weren’t too bashful in saying so long to Caterham.

Are we concerned that Mercedes may not like the formula changes? I guess, following the lead of many F1 fans and their draconian views on team departures…fine, so long.

So here’s the question, if FOM and FIA agreed to a two-formula series or made massive changes for 2017 that Mercedes weren’t happy about prompting a threat to leave the sport, would you mind? Would you care? Is it the same for them as it seemed to be for Red Bull when you heaped disdain on them and told them not to let the door hit them in the arse as they left?

At some point, perhaps Monisha may start eating cake while all of this is going on. Let’s hope her guillotine is nice and sharp.


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Honestly – what’s the point of the teams making these comments? The truth is, when push comes to shove and the principals all get in a room together they don’t actually make any effort to fix anything… They all bitched about double points – yet they all voted to implement it in the first place They’re bitching about the engine costs – like they didn’t know how expensive they were going to be when the idea was proposed… They’ve bitched about the engine freeze – yet again, they’re the ones that approved it in the first place… They bitch about… Read more »

Alianora La Canta

Bernie, by the sound of it, mis-sold the double points idea. You’d think the teams would have learned to take anything Bernie says with a pinch of salt by now, but they haven’t. Only 3 teams had any idea what the engine costs would be in the first place. So 7 teams were going on what people who had a vested interest in earning more for themselves in the first place were telling them. Besides, the 2015 engine rule loophole was worked out by the teams in sufficient time to have that added to the costs, even though even the… Read more »

Tom Firth

Mercedes-Benz probably won’t be in F1 in the same capacity by 2020 anyway, it’s a car manufacturer, and isn’t Ferrari in F1, these programmes only last so long, then the next motorsport programme starts elsewhere, or the car manufacturer abandons the concept of motorsport altogether in a factory capacity.

It’s not F1, it is just what automotive manufacturers do in motorsport, and basically it comes down to ROI, and company politics.

Alianora La Canta

I suspect the big teams may see this as a big breach of contract because there was nothing in their contractual agreements permitting teams to ignore certain tenets of the rules (on budget cap or any other basis) and because putting in a cost cap pretty much mandates financial cheating when done in an international context (putting teams playing fairly – on whichever ruleset – at a disadvantage). It would only take one team doing so to derail the whole thing.


I also was struck by the “French” revolution comment, and actually looked into her background to first see if she was likely to be confused by the term (she isnt) somehow. If it was deliberate, perhaps she’s anticipating the tantrums anyone but the small teams are likely to close. This is interesting because when these complains come up you always hear “Its not f1 without ferrari” or “if XXX team left ,it wouldnt be f1. It gives me the weird fantasy that Ferrari, mclaren, williams and sauber all left, all at once and were replaced with nobodies, so f1 could… Read more »