It use to be driver for hire but now the drivers need to bring money to the table.
Jan.23 (GMM) - Talented drivers are proving the victims of a financial crisis in Formula One, according to media reports.
Major newspapers like Germany's Bild, and specialist outlets including Auto Motor und Sport, say the sport is "sick".
"Only the top four - Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes - are having no problems," said Bild.
Auto Motor und Sport added: "We have to worry about Formula One. HRT has gone. Caterham and Marussia can only survive with pay-drivers. Drivers like Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen are losing their jobs.
"The sport must be wondering how it will survive in the long term."
And veteran Swiss correspondent Roger Benoit wrote on Tuesday: "If the 11 teams had to pay all their debts by the end of February, only ten cars would race in Melbourne."
The latest victim of the 'crisis' is German Glock, who is now looking to rescue his career with BMW in the DTM series, after Marussia ended his 'valid contract' as it seeks a driver with a dowry.
"That's the way of F1 at the moment," the 30-year-old wrote on Twitter. "I hope it will change again soon because like this it has nothing to do with sport."
Of the growing power of 'pay drivers', Felipe Massa said on Tuesday: "Honestly, this is not a great thing for Formula One".
The solution, according to Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn, is to cut costs drastically and urgently.
"If it doesn't happen soon," she is quoted by Switzerland's Blick, "then this sport will be in very dangerous times."