Red Bull’s billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz has told those F1 teams struggling financially they should consider their future in the sport amid reports of several teams being unable to keep up with the costs.
This season it has been Lotus and Sauber who have been struggling the most to keep up with the high costs.
Lotus have been unable to pay their top driver Kimi Raikkonen, who is now leaving the team as a result, while Sauber also haven’t paid their lead driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Both have been subject to speculation over possible investment deals, Lotus are set to announce a deal with Quantum Racing who are one of the richest consortium’s in the world, while Sauber have turned to Russia with investment and young driver Sergey Sirotkin set to join.
Recent rumours however, have suggested that Russian deal may have collapsed and as a result Sauber is left hoping for a deal with a group in Dubai if it wants to remain in F1.
Force India are another team who could soon be in major financial woes, the Anglo-Indian team has had backing from Sahara for around a year now, however there are reports that it and it’s $100m in investmentc ould be about to leave.
Finally there is Williams who are financially sound at the moment however could be set to lose near $40m in backing brought by Pastor Maldonado and could only replace with $6m from Felipe Massa.
These smaller teams have often bemoaned the high costs of the sport calling for sweeping measures however their calls have largely gone on deaf ears.
Famously Minardi boss Paul Stoddard earned a stern rebuke from then McLaren boss Ron Dennis over calls for a reduction in costs.
“This is a tough, competitive sport and, if you can’t take the heat, get out the bloody kitchen,” Dennis said.
“Formula One has a place for everybody, but we do not have a soup kitchen,” he added.
In a response quite similar to that on Dennis’, Mateschitz believes those struggling to survive should consider leaving to allow potential new teams into the sport.
“If there are financial problems,” he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper, “they can be solved only through financial means.”
The Austrian believes the teams can turn to private investors and/or sponsors to plug their holes.
“If a team is unable to resolve the problem, they should question their commitment (to F1). There may be others who are interested in their licence,” he added.
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