The disappearance of a Formula One team is hardly news these days. Since 1989, Grand Prix racing has lost Brabham. Lotus, March, Osella, Scuderia Italia, Coloni. Larrousse, Eurobrun, Onyx, Life, AGS, Fondmetal, Leyton House, Lambo, Zakspeed, AGS, Monteverdi, Rial, Andrea Moda and, most recently, Simtek. That’s 20 teams, a frightening prospect when you consider that there are presently only 12 extant…
Most of the aforementioned were seldom more than bit-players. but the presence on the list of Brabham and Lotus signifies that nobody should be considered immune from extinction.
As you can read elsewhere in this issue, the way Formula One is presently structured ensures that the fat cats become ever more rotund, the strays ever more waif-like.
As the chiefs of grandee teams have indicated, and not without reason, it is up to individuals to earn their place in F1. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that fewer and fewer individuals are able to do this, with the consequence that we are now faced with less than full grids.
While we are not advocating that core suppliers such as Goodyear and Cosworth become charitable organisations, we do wonder what happens. for instance, to the money the FIA raises through the many multi-thousand dollar fines it nowadays imposes during the course of a season? Could some of this not be channelled into a fund to aid those smaller teams who have shown genuine potential? Such a scheme might be too late to aid the likes of Simtek, but it would at least show that the governing body has the interests of the sport, rather than pure profit, at heart.