Mercedes: "Sauber-Ferrari alliance a threat to us"

Published on 23 Jan 2018 09:49

Toto Wolff says he might be looking to emulate Ferrari's move by more closely aligning with other F1 teams. The American outfit Haas is already regarded as a kind of Ferrari 'B team', and now the new title sponsor at Ferrari-powered Sauber for 2018 will be Alfa Romeo.

"I think Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Arrivabene are smart men," Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, is quoted by Turun Sanomat newspaper. "Already with Haas it offers Ferrari technical benefits, but what is happening with Sauber is even more visionary," he added.

"Such an alliance can be a threat to us," said Wolff, "so we have to think about something similar. It's not so easy to do when you do not want to interfere with the functions of your own team, but we need to keep our eyes and ears open because we are always looking for intelligent plans," he added.

Turun Sanomat said Mercedes customers Force India and Williams may be on Mercedes' radar. Force India boss Vijay Mallya is battling Indian legal authorities, while it is reportedly "no secret" that new mother Claire Williams is thinking about selling team shares. (GMM)

Replies (12)
Posts: 35
Mercedes'es best chance was Manor, but now it's gone.
BE krommenaas 23 Jan 2018 11:140
Posts: 155
I wonder if we're slowly evolving towards big teams with 4 to 8 cars.
US ajpennypacker 23 Jan 2018 17:020
Posts: 1507
Please stay away from toxic Williams. I'd love to see some investment in Force India. The problem is that Mercedes doesn't really have other brands that would make sense in F1. But I still think the day Force India gets some money they will be fighting for podiums and wins.
SE calle.itw 23 Jan 2018 19:090
Posts: 5888
I think thats more likely. Force India has actively tried to strengthen their bonds with Mercedes earlier (e.g by adding silver to their livery up until they got the Pink one). TBH, I could see them getting rebranded into a Daimler brand, or at least a brand associated with Mercedes, like Aston Martin (who likely dont want to be associated with Honda if Red Bull pick em up) or Pagani.
Posts: 625
And Williams is “toxic” exactly why? When if FI team principal is finally jailed then you might find out which F1 team is actually the toxic one, running on stolen laundered cash.
Posts: 140
Force Maybach? Why wouldn't it work? :)

But I guess question is more like how the factory team can benefit from the technical partnership. I haven't seen any facts how Ferrari benefited from Haas deal.
I only saw claims that it allowed Ferrari engineers access to extra wind tunnel and cfd time before F1 rules applied to Haas. But I doubt that there was any big opportunities to gain information from Haas wind tunnel data or cfd because
a) Slightly different cars may work completely differently with similar parts because aero performance depends on total interactions with all parts of cars. That makes it nearly impossible to test how a single part would benefit without whole Ferrari car in the wind tunnel.
b) Haas utilizes low budget which probably didn't allow extra wind tunnel or cfd use.
c) Risk of getting caught would have been likely big (I would suspect sever penalties like in the McLaren-Fer
rrari spying case)
Posts: 625
These alliances spell death to F1 competition people. Wake up and smell the coffee. The tail is wagging the dog here...Between them, these manufacturers will destroy F1 and then just shrug their shoulders and walk away. They don’t care about you the fans and they don’t care about F1. They’re only interested in the balance sheets.
SE calle.itw 23 Jan 2018 21:180
Posts: 5888
If you were thinking we had true competition in F1 now, Im afraid that ship sailed long ago. It travelled the seven seas and has already returned to port, filled with spices.
Posts: 122
I wholeheartedly agree with @calle.itw. The ship has already sailed in terms of the reasons for the non-competiveness of the non-factory teams. We’re all aware there are already effectively two championships occurring within the current Constructors Championship, one between the factory teams and the other between the rest of the field.

I think they could ‘vastly improved’ competition by codifying the existing situation via the introduction of both an Engine Championship and a Team Championship; and by having the Constructors Championship be between non-factory teams only, thus giving the independent constructors something to actually fight for.

Regulate that 4 engine manufacturers must each supply a factory team and two independent constructor teams (thereby providing consistency for the allocation of points), plus provide an opportunity for a 5th manufacturer to be given ‘development’ status, wherein the development team would not be required to supply any constructor teams, whilst entry to the Engine and Constructor Championships would be dependent upon the development team beating and replacing one of the remaining 4 factory teams and thereby taking over that manufacturer’s supply requirements.

This would result in 26 cars on the grid. Points for the Engine Championship would be awarded based upon the reverse of the grid finishing position of each car (i.e., 26 points for first place, down to one point for 26th place). Such a championship would not only reward the reliability and consistency of the whole field, but would also provide incentive for the engine manufacturers to engage to a much greater degree in the success of the independent constructor teams.

Would be the same format and points system as the existing Constructor Championship.

Would be the same format and point system as the Team Championship, but be between non-factory teams only.
Posts: 122
Would remain as is
SE calle.itw 24 Jan 2018 08:530
Posts: 5888
I like the thought of an engine championshi! But for it to work, I'd like a mean of the points scored rather than raw numbers, since it'd be unfair for suppliers who only supply one or two teams compared to suppliers who supply 3 teams.

I think we need to either limit what the works teams can do with their own units, or allow the customer teams to get more data on the units. What we also need more suppliers, be it independant or more works teams.
Posts: 625
More independent PU suppliers is definitely the answer. As to an “Engine Championship” I think that would just encourage Mercedes & Ferrari to dominate the entry list even more. If anyone ever watched DTM a few years ago when Norbert was running things, you could see the dirty tricks employed across the manufacturer teams to destroy the opposition, not limited to barging competitors off the track. If this is your idea of motorsport, so be it but this is what your suggestions will lead to. We need to lobby for MORE independence from these darned manufacturers, not less.

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