A look at two teams in recent history shows this. In 2008 the budget of what was the Toyota F1 team was in the order of 445.6 million dollars. That is more than the famed McLaren team’s budget by 12 million. The significance of this becomes real in that despite throwing what seemed like an unlimited amount of resources at this so desired championship. And with all that money they had not even won a race! McLaren on the other hand had been and is known for winning races, and historically if you threw your money at them, they could have a better than fighting chance at winning. The engineering prowess that those dollars could afford was huge. But that money couldn’t get it done at Toyota. The sub-par driver lineup that was, at least in the case of Ralf Schumacher, who although grossly overpaid was not even to blame though. But this fact is rather symptomatic of a problem with thinking more than anything else. So it seems almost paradoxical in motorsports where generally speaking throwing money at your team and car is considered the way to do it. Quite jaded for sure.
|What do the Mercedes F1 & Toyota F1 teams|
have in common?
|The Mercedes driver lineup of Lewis Hamilton|
and Nico Rosberg
|Mercedes/Petronas takes the win at Monaco|
It seems that the Mercedes car is relying too much on the tires for grip and is unable to exploit the proper suspension/aero relationship in a way that would allow for a sustainably competitive race pace. Now the naysayers to this obvious fact would love to site the recent win at Monaco. But the truth is that this is about the slowest circuit on the calendar and least abusive to the tires. Lots of shifting oh yeah but not much in the way of real g-force loading laterally on the rubber. It is in those situations where the Mercedes has historically fallen flat, after what usually is a great qualifying. And why not since qualifying is a quick, short load on the tires and then you are done. Yes done. Done is the enthusiasm of the Hamilton, Rosberg, Mercedes fans as they watch their guys get passed a third into the race if not sooner. All this even though the Mercedes team had access to this much talked about secret tire testing time!
Now these facts should actually be sort of refreshing to us race fans. Why can this be said? Because it means that the engineers and other critical people from say Red Bull, Lotus, Ferrari, etc. can’t so easily be lured away from those teams to the dollar dangling eight hundred pound financial gorillas like Toyota was or perhaps Mercedes is. That means that even in this jaded sport there can be a real sense of team cohesiveness. So while Audi and in other years Porsche in sports car and Citroen and Peugeot in rally can almost will the winning of championships, that is not so easily done in Formula 1.