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My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 23: Formula 1 and team orders

In my mind there is probably nothing worse in a race, than when a driver is told to pull over and let his team mate pass. This is racing??

I like watching F1, although it took a long time for me to come around to it. After all, F1 is definitely different. All racing series have their strange rules or practices, but F1 seems to have the strangest (again in my opinion). I remember years ago, when a team's worse results during the season were thrown out in order to get their final position in the standings. That to me was just not right.

Now to the current day and team orders.We know why the teams use them, but what could be done to stop them? This is the tough part and so hard to police, which is why I believe they are now considered ok by the governing body (Bernie Ecclestone). But how to really stop them?

This pic shows the Red Bull cars. One team, one sponsor  -  all for one, one for all. Red Bull wins no matter who finishes up front. But what if a team was allowed to have different sponsorship on each car (they currently cannot)? BAR Honda tried this a few years back and it was disallowed, so they split the paint job on their cars like this.........

This might have featured competing brands from the same company, but I'm not sure. Either way, it didn't last very long. But F1 is an obscenely expensive business, with a team like Red Bull, spending well over $200m per year to field their two cars. No wonder teams struggle to get sponsorship. Think about it, if different sponsors were allowed on each car, that means each company would have to spend less. Maybe then the back markers would have more money to spend on each individual car? Make them more competitive?

But back to team orders.........if each team car had a different sponsor, there is no way that they would be pleased, if sponsor X's car was told to pull over and let sponsor Y's car pass. No way at all. Each part of the team would be doing their absolute best to finish ahead of all the other drivers, regardless of the ownership.Take a look at NASCAR......

This pic shows all four cars from Hendrick Motorsports. Note that each has a separate big buck sponsor. Do you think that the National Guard 88 would pull over so that Lowe's 48 could have a better finish? Not a chance. These companies don't spend their millions, just so the cars can have different paint jobs. They want to finish in the spotlight. And have the best finish.

So back to F1. Ecclestone says a team should be a team in all respects, right down to the sponsorship. Now does this make sense? How about 22 cars, each fighting for the pride of their sponsor and no team orders, because money talks and it says it wants to finish in front of the other guys. Is this so wrong??

Any thoughts?

Until next time..........

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