In a shock announcement a few days earlier, very-nearly-World-Champion Ferrari driver Felipe Massa roundly rejected the idea of reduced driver salaries in F1, which was earlier suggested as a possible cost-cutting measure by Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali. He quite reasonably cited the fact that driver salaries are but a small part of the much larger stew that coagulates into each team’s budget, and also added that “the more people work to reduce costs, the better it is going to be for everybody.”
He’s got a point, you know. Everyone operates under the misapprehension that F1 drivers are so compactly-built and weigh so little because they’re among some of the world’s fittest men, and also because of weight considerations and the desire to modulate ballast in the overall design scheme of F1 cars. While the latter part of that statement is most certainly true, what’s really at work here is a shocking plan to starve the entire F1 drivers’ stable into supermodeldom. Good on Felipe for having the courage to speak out.
For more F1 news, including Max Mosley’s newest idea of a good time, follow the jump.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the far away land that is The Isle of Formula One, Max Mosley was characteristically bashful as he tentatively stated that:
“I think we will end up with a frozen engine, regulated in such a way that independent teams can obtain inexpensive supplies…we ought to try to have at least one independent outside engine supplier, because of the risk that we will lose another manufacturer or even two. The only problem with the original engine freeze was that in rectifying reliability problems, some teams appear to have gained somewhat in performance. We simply intend to ensure that the sporting contest remains fair.”
Elsewhere, a driver scorned is a driver you don’t want to reckon with, and Narain Karthikeyan is living proof. After a rather good performance in A1GP this past season which resulted in a near-podium finish in the series’ final round at Brands Hatch, Karthikeyan felt qualified to comment on the state of affairs further down the grid at Force India. Although Karthikeyan made history as the first Indian F1 driver, Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya ruffled more than a few feathers when he stated earlier in the year that no Indian driver was good enough for F1.
“I spent a frustrating time with Jordan, where I had a car that just could not perform. I have no desire to be with another pedestrian team that’s low on performance and loud on talk.”
He went on to add that “Except in F1, where machine matters more than man, I have won races in every championship that I have participated in.” A matter that Max Mosley is trying his best to address, Mr. Karthikeyan.
Finally, on a more positive note, Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota Motor Corporation’s president, pledged Toyota’s undying love to the Formula One series—at least, for 2008. This comes in the face of historic losses of billions of dollars for Toyota at the end of 2008, and in direct opposition to Subaru’s logic in pulling out of WRC after actually posting a significant profit this quarter. While Subaru clearly follows the “quit while you’re ahead…well, sort of” philosophy, Toyota is determined to go down with their ship. O captain, Toyota captain, we applaud your bravery as we go forward in this strange new era of F1.
As always, you can continue to ride the bucking bronco of Formula One news with CarEnvy every week on Fridays. We hope you will, as we guarantee more twists and turns than any rollercoaster you can name.