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BUSINESS


Ferrari pushes for three-car Formula 1 squads


Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo, has called for three-car teams in Formula 1, stating that the slower cars at the back of the grid are bad for the image of the sport and that the field should be made up of extra cars from more competitive teams. Speaking at the Ferrari


World Finals event at Mugello, Montezemolo said: ‘There’s the issue of the third car which, mark my words, we support, not so much for our own interests, but more for those of the sport in general. We believe the interest of the fans, media and sponsors could increase if there is a bigger number of competitive cars on track rather than cars that are two or three seconds off the pace, being lapped after just a few laps.’


Other teams have greeted the


suggestion cautiously, pointing out that such a move is sure to disadvantage the smaller teams. But Ross Brawn, team principal at Mercedes, did not dismiss the idea out of hand. ‘I don’t think third cars are out of the question,’ Brawn said. ‘But I think what we mustn’t do is create a situation that harms the financial and sporting environment for the


smaller constructors, because if we do something that makes their situation far more difficult then what have we achieved? We have achieved a smaller group of manufacturers and I don’t think that’s good. It can be a solution if we are getting short of cars, but I would far rather see a healthy group of constructors and as many as we can, that’s my personal view.’ When asked if Montezemolo


sees the use of third cars as a way of creating extra revenue, and there is a rumour in the paddock that it hopes to run a third car – or a satellite team, which would mean four cars – with Abu Dhabi sponsorship. However, McLaren team


“it is important to understand the pros and cons”


was serious in calling for three- car teams, Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicali, said: ‘Yeah, absolutely. He has stated that and, for sure, this is an element for discussion.’ However, he also made it clear that the subject has not been discussed by FOTA, before adding: ‘It is a point of discussion for the future of Formula 1 but, as always, I think it is very important to understand the pros and cons of all these things, and it is fundamental to discuss with all the stakeholders, the constructors and the teams that are involved in Formula 1.’ It’s understood that Ferrari


SEEN – DACIA LODGY GLACY


Dacia recently unveiled this little rocket sled – an MPV with which it will compete in the Trophée Andros ice racing championship. The spaceframe car features a mid- to rear-mounted, Sodemo-prepared, 24-valve V6 giving 355bhp, transferred through all four wheels via a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox. As for that name, who knows?


boss and FOTA chairman, Martin Whitmarsh, believes F1 should concentrate on keeping variety in the sport. He said: ‘I think we have got to act responsibly. I think the DNA requires the variety of teams… If, today, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren [and] Mercedes


all fielded third cars then I think it would be damaging for the sport. There are pros and cons and I think it is right to have the debate and people have different views, but at the moment I think what we should be concentrating on is ensuring that we have got a viable and sustainable model for all of the teams in Formula 1.’ Virgin Marussia boss, John


Booth, agreed: ‘I think we have a very healthy grid of cars at the moment. I don’t really see any need to change the formula. From our point of view it is important that every entrant is a constructor.’


Government funding for Rally GB


The UK Business Minister, Edwina Hart, has announced a funding package of £1.4 million for the 2012 Wales Rally GB. The rally has been held in Wales since 2000, with the event evolving over the past decade. ‘I’m pleased that we can announce this funding today and look forward to working with International Motor Sports on the 2012 event,’ said Hart. ‘Wales Rally GB has the


ability to engage with many communities throughout Wales during its week-long visit. The rally delivers benefits throughout Wales and has a strong tradition of involving volunteers from a wide range of groups. The organisers of Wales Rally GB say they aim to make the sport open and accessible to everyone. ‘Developments such as the


RallyFest events in Cardiff and north Wales are an added attraction for many. They have widened the Rally’s appeal to reach beyond the motorsport enthusiast and are a welcome boost for retailers and accommodation providers at a quieter time of year. The rally provides an ideal platform for Wales to showcase its wide range of capabilities and technologies to the global automotive market.


‘With the funding now in


place, we can look forward to an even greater event in 2012.’ The funding package will be made up of a guaranteed cash sum of up to £1.2 million and additional performance-related payments of up to £200,000 linked to ticket sales and the generation of other commercial revenue, including private sector sponsorship.


January 2012 • www.racecar-engineering.com 83


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