Symonds: “It’s really tough in Formula 1 at the moment”
Speaking to Sky Sports Online Symonds revealed that it is not just back marker teams who are struggling for finances. He said “It’s really tough in Formula 1 at the moment. The fact is, outside the top four teams everyone has some financial concerns.
“And even in the top four you’ve got Mercedes who, while they haven’t financial concerns, there must be other concerns there – that they don’t go the way of Honda and Toyota.”
Marussia are potentially struggling the worst thanks to losing out on the coveted 10th place in the 2012 constructors standings at the final round of the season, a position that doesn’t look significant but brings in a good amount of money.
Caterham and Marussia held merger talks over the winter but those fizzled out without any real conclusion. The team has already admitted that the main reason for dropping lead driver Timo Glock was down to finances, part of the reason why they hired sponsor-bringing Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi for the 2012 season.
The team is the only one yet to agree on commercial terms with Bernie Ecclestone, who recently revealed that the crucial $10 million pay out to teams finishing lower than 10th in the constructors will be scrapped.
Add to that the loss of 25.3% shareholders Lloyds who sold their stake back to Russian car firm Marussia. Despite not looking good for the team on paper, Symonds is positive that they can survive.
“Everyone’s worried, but the difference between the haves and the have-nots is just immense – and it’s not getting any better. Under the last Concorde (Agreement) the new teams including Marussia did get some payout from FOM; it wasn’t a lot of money but it was a significant part of our budget, because our budget was so small. And when you take away things like that, it really hurts.
“I really like the people here. They’re racers – (Team Principal) John (Booth) and (President) Graeme (Lowdon) particularly, they’re in the Frank Williams mould. They’re not going to let this team go.
“So we will survive and the great thing about us is that we’re small, so if things get tough one day we can pull our horns in a little bit. And if we get more money we’ll use it wisely, because we’re used to not having much money.”
Whilst the loss of the FOM payout will “hurt” Marussia, Symonds positive signs show that the future is perhaps not as bleak as first thought.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.