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Martin Whitmarsh

Several teams financially struggling – Martin Whitmarsh

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Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) chairman and McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh says that, some teams facing financial problems to the extent that they are in “survival” way.

At the end of last season Spanish squad HRT forced to exit from the sport following the financial struggling. Others are known to be struggling, too.

Caterham and Marussia both having to turn to a driver line-up made up of pay drivers. Whitmarsh said that, in the wake of the global economic crisis, teams are struggling to be a focus for the sponsorship revenues they used to.

“It’s tough, we’re in the world of advertising and you only have to see how advertising is worldwide. The rate card is down.” Whitmarsh told the BBC

“We have taken some measures, but I think it’s going to be tough for some.”

Whitmarsh added that, he expecting some teams to fight to “have a viable business model for a few years”, while his opposite number at Caterham, Cyril Abiteboul, thinks world champions Red Bull are doing well financially but “everyone else is suffering”.

“Bernie has done a fantastic job for the owners,” added Whitmarsh. “We can criticise him but he’s doing a better job than we are. He’s keeping the money on behalf of his employers.

“That money whistles out of the sport and that’s deeply frustrating for some of us in the sport but that’s exactly what he should be trying to do.” He added.

“If the teams aren’t cohesive enough to work together to secure a larger share of that, then they have to blame themselves.”

“The business environment is tough everywhere, not just in F1. Looking at F1, the acid test should be whether the team is sustainable without support from a shareholder, who are often also sponsors.

“If the answer is ‘yes’, then the business is healthy. If not, then teams will still probably survive but not because they are self-sufficient but only because the owners keep them going. If their parent company switched off the tap, then they would not survive.”


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