Formula One - On and Off track week 36

Formula One - On and Off track week 36

Formula 100, Jochen Rindt - 40 years on, new 2011 regulations but no new teams in 2011 Formula 100 Formula 100 is not a new race formula, but is an alliance of Formula One sponsors who want to represent their interests in Formula One. Their...


Formula 100, Jochen Rindt - 40 years on, new 2011 regulations but no new teams in 2011

Formula 100

Formula 100 is not a new race formula, but is an alliance of Formula One sponsors who want to represent their interests in Formula One. Their aim is to recruit the top 100 sponsors who are currently active in Formula One. Corporate sponsoring brings about $720 million to Formula One each year, but the sponsors have little or no say in the future of the sport, the decisions are made by the commercial rights holders FOA and CVC, and the sport's governing body FIA. Formula One offers an unprecedented world-wide podium for sponsors, with a TV audience of 520 million across 187 countries each Grand Prix weekend.

Formula One is still an excellent world-wide advertising platform.
Photo by xpb.cc.

F100 is an initiative of Formula Money, who publish an annual data report on the business of Formula One, The Motorsport Business Forum, a marketing and networking event for the global motor sport industry, and sponsorship consultancy Right Formula. So far members of the new organization are said to include Alliance, LC, Puma, Santander, SAP, Shell, Total and Vodafone.

On their website F100 invites sponsors to join the organization to discuss the future of the sport, the first presentation was held at the exclusive Waldorf Hilton in London on September 1. A statement about the presentation read: "Formula 100 events will canvas and share the opinions of Formula One's biggest sponsors and some leading figures in the sport will provide presentations about how they activate their sponsorships and deliver a return on investment. All attendees will be able to ask and receive questions following an initial panel discussion and there will be exclusive networking opportunities."

No agency representatives or members of the media were invited, according to F100 to ensure 'that only the highest-caliber audience will be in attendance'. Speakers were Shell's General Manager Global Sponsorship Richard Bracewell, one of the oldest sponsors in Formula One, and Chris Burton of computer software giant SAP. After the presentation there was a panel discussion led by British Formula One commentator James Allen, and one of the topics was: "How to secure sponsorship in the current economic climate." Allen about the alliance, "F100 is a great concept and will allow the sponsors to both learn from each other as well as propose change for the good of the sport. The caliber of members and quality of the panelists have to be taken seriously."

Bernie Ecclestone wouldn't be Bernie Ecclestone without giving his usual plain and simple view on the F100 alliance. "The sponsors know exactly what they're doing when they get involved in Formula One.", he said. "They're all run by people who are over 21. We speak to the sponsors all the time. I see them at Grands Prix and I talk to them, the people behind this thing have no investment in Formula One. They're just being silly."

Jochen Rindt - 40 years on

On Sunday September 5th last weekend it was exactly 40 years ago German race legend Jochen Rindt was killed during practice for the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Rindt was a German driver who during his entire career raced with an Austrian license, as he grew up and started racing in Austria, after his parents had been killed during a bombing raid in Hamburg during the Second World War. He was only three years old when he was sent to Austria where he was raised by his grandparents in Graz, but he never became an official Austrian citizen.

Rindt was successful in Formula Two and in 1964 he made his Formula One debut and entered the Austrian Grand Prix for the Rob Walker Racing Team. It was his only race that year and he retired after 58 laps with steering problems. In 1965 he moved to the Cooper factory team, that year he became 13th in the championship. In 1966 he became third in the championship behind Jack Brabham, who won the title, and John Surtees, who became second. In 1967 his career went downhill, when he again became 13th in the championship. That year he also married model Nina Lincoln, daughter of Finnish race driver Curt Lincoln.

In 1968 he joined the Brabham team, but the Brabham BT24 and 26 were not reliable, he retired from 10 of the 12 Grands Prix that year. In 1969 the legendary Colin Chapman signed Rindt for his Lotus team, and from then on Rindt became a superstar in the world of Formula One. He won the US Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, and finished the season fourth in the championship. In 1970 Chapman gave Rindt the famous Lotus 72, a super fast car, and a car that became a legend of its own.

Jochen Rindt's 1969 Lotus 49.
Photo by Steve Rossini.

In September 1970, after winning five Grand Prix events, the 28-year old Rindt was well on his way to win the drivers' title, but around three o'clock local Monza time, Rindt braked hard for the Parabolica corner, and at a speed of 290 km/h his Lotus 72 suddenly took a sharp left turn and hit the crash barrier at a 90 degree angle. An Italian court later established a broken left front brake shaft had initiated the accident, but blamed the poorly designed and poorly installed crash barrier for his death. Rindt had already scored 45 points and became posthumously World Champion, five points ahead of Belgium Jackie Ickx, and at the end of the season the trophy was presented to his widow Nina.

His mechanic at the time was Herbie Blash, the man who is today the right hand of FIA race director Charlie Whiting. In an interview with ITV in 2007, Blash admitted that Formula One was dangerous in those days. "Drivers I'd had dinner or been in the bar with the night before were gone the next day so it was really hard.", he said. "With Rindt it was even more so, I worked on his car." Blash still remembers that fatal day at Monza very well, "Immediately after the accident Chapman departed and left Bernie [Ecclestone, Rindt's manager at the time] to sort everything out." Blash was also involved in the aftermath and drove Rindt's private car back to Switzerland where he met his widow Nina. Blash, "It was a very hard experience and something that has stayed in my mind for the rest of my life."

Rindt was famous for his extraordinary driving style, exceptional car control and fast reflexes, and on that Saturday afternoon Formula One lost one of its greatest drivers, but 40 years later, the legend of Jochen Rindt still lives on.

New 2011 regulations but no new teams for 2011

It was already rumored the FIA would not admit a 13th team to the 2011 season, and today the FIA confirmed no new team will join the series. A FIA statement read: "It was considered that none of the candidates met the requirements to be granted an entry into the championship. Consequently, the allocation of the 13th team will not be granted."

The only two strong candidates left for the vacancy were the Spanish Epsilon Euskadi outfit, and the Villeneuve/Durango Canadian/Italian alliance. The FIA press release did not mention any names and it is therefore also not clear whether the Serbian Stefan Grand Prix team had officially submitted their bid for the 2011 vacancy. Earlier this year Prodrive and Lola confirmed they were no longer interested in Formula One and would not apply for the 13th slot. Another strong candidate, the French ART Grand Prix team led by son of FIA President Jean Todt, Nicolas Todt, withdrew their entry in July, not much later the US based Cypher Group also withdrew their entry.

No new teams, and no deal for Jacques Villeneuve and Durango.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Apart from the fact the FIA has based their decision upon the lack of technical and financial resources of the applicants, with now only a little more than six months to go before the actual start of the 2011 season, it would have been next to impossible a new candidate could have indeed designed, built and tested a Formula One car in such a short period of time.

Many of the established Formula One teams have already started working on their new 2011 car months ago, not only because they don't want to waste time and money on the 2010 car, but also because the regulations for 2011 have again been drastically changed. Williams technical director Sam Michael has described the new regulations as a 'clean sheet', which means teams will have to design and build a car completely from scratch. "It's a completely different car - massively different.", Michael said before the Italian Grand Prix.

Next year KERS will make its return, the F-Duct will be banned and will be replaced by a new movable rear wing system, the current movable front wing will disappear, the double diffuser will be banned, and Pirelli will succeed Bridgestone as the sole Formula One tyre supplier. The FIA will also introduce a new mandatory front/rear weight distribution ratio, the 107% qualifying rule will be re-introduced, and it is expected the regulations concerning the flexibility of wings, flaps and floors will be tightened.

All in all, a completely new scenario for 2011, and if the current teams are already focusing on the 2011 design, new teams without any Formula One experience would have had very little chance to successfully compete in the 2011 Formula One Championship. According to Ecclestone two teams will not make it to the end of 2010, and if he is right, without fresh blood, 20 instead of 26 cars will appear at the start of the first race of the 2011 season.

Join us again next week for the weekly "Formula One: On and off track".


See also: Formula One - On and Off track week 35

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About this article
Series General , Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Jack Brabham , John Surtees , Jean Todt , Bernie Ecclestone , Nicolas Todt , Jochen Rindt , Colin Chapman
Teams Williams , ART Grand Prix