Volkswagen says F1 on "dangerous path" over costs

Volkswagen Group director Bernhard Gobmeier says Formula 1 is on a "dangerous path" over the rising costs to run a team.

Volkswagen says F1 on "dangerous path" over costs
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70-H at the start of the race
Bernhard Gobmeier, Volkswagen Group Motorsport director, Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India
 The lights come on and a marshal gives the green flag for the start
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70-H leads at the start of the race
Start of the race, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 leads
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 leads at the start of the race
Bernhard Gobmeier, Volkswagen Group Motorsport director, Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India
Start action Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team leads
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team leads at the start

F1 chiefs Chase Carey and Ross Brawn have insisted that they want to see a fairer spread of income among teams once the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2020.

Teams like Force India have urged F1 owners Liberty to focus on reducing costs quickly, and Gobmeier reckons the smaller teams are "walking a very dangerous path".

Two of Volkswagen's brands - Porsche and Audi - have recently committed to Formula E.

"Formula 1 is on a dangerous path. It is expensive. Most of the teams, apart from the big four, have financial problems. And tracks cannot pay what they are asking for," Gobmeier told Motorsport.com during his recent visit to India.

"Due to its expensive nature, they are walking a very dangerous path in my personal opinion. We see it everywhere."

He added: "Mercedes has over 1,500 people working on the F1 project. That is not even considering the suppliers, though it is not so much.

"It is probably 2,000 people on two cars. You should consider how expensive wages are in England and how expensive material is."

Gobmeier reckons Americans have been doing a better job than Europe at controlling costs in sports.

"In America, they have cost control on their minds. They manage it well," he noted. "In Europe, there are a lot of different categories. In some of them, cost control is really good. But, F1 is completely out of range and so is the WEC."

He thinks that F1 needs to offer a better show if it is to attract big sponsors again.

"The number of sponsors is going down. The big sponsors, like the cigarette companies, are not there anymore. The small sponsors are also reducing," he said.

"The number of sponsors is going down and so are the spectator numbers. At the same time, the cost is increasing. Something is not fitting there. They have to make the races more spectacular."

MotoGP "100 times better"

The former Ducati MotoGP boss said that as a show, MotoGP is far better than F1.

"MotoGP is above F1 from the show point of view. It is 100 times better. There is no comparison. MotoGP, its supporting races and World Superbikes are way better than F1," Gobmeier said.

"Theoretically, MotoGP has the potential to commercially capitalise on its popularity. And they do. We have Ducati in our group and we can see what difference in sponsorship can be achieved.

"Ducati is achieving the biggest sponsorship. Even Porsche, Bentley, Audi do not achieve such big sponsorship. Ducati is special and comparable to Ferrari and the sponsors get real value.

"They do good activation at the races, both in terms of media, hospitality, programmes and other things. The car companies are not so good in that."

shares
comments
Raikkonen secures new Ferrari deal for 2018

Previous article

Raikkonen secures new Ferrari deal for 2018

Next article

Gallery: Career of triple F1 champion Nelson Piquet

Gallery: Career of triple F1 champion Nelson Piquet
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021