F1 Engineering Legend Gary Anderson on the Bottom Line and the New Teams in 2010


What Happens When Experience Lends Voice to Thought

1:44am EST — Friday, Formula1Blog posted an interview with legendary Formula1, IndyCar, and F3000 car designer and team manager Gary Anderson.  The interview can be listened to in its entirety at Formula1Blog.  In it, Anderson discusses what it was like starting out as a mechanic for Brabham, and being recruited to work for the team by then brand-new owner Bernie Eccelstone.  He even talks about the “lots of skullduggery” that happened with Eddie Jordan around in their early days, and the row that marked the end of his employment at the JordanGP team before he switched to Sir Jackie Stewart’s team (but not before giving Michael Schumacher a chance to start his very first F1 GP at Spa because he had seen footage of Schumacher racing in Macau, and thought him to look “pretty handy” before the Jordan team put him in a car and it was “phenomenal from lap one…where’s he been all my life?  Like you meet the best lookin’ woman, you know?”).

Still, one of the most interesting segments happened at the mid-point of the interview.  F1B Downshift interviewer Todd had asked Anderson about the push by former FIA president Max Moseley to add plenty of privateer teams to the grid in 2010, and how the new teams will fair with their Cosworth engines and in these difficult economic times.  According to Anderson, there is currently only a twenty to twenty-five horsepower spread amongst the engines that ran in 2009, and that Cosworth will fit into that continued range for 2010.  The Cosworth engine, he continued, “on the back of the right chassis…can do a solid job.”

Anderson also expressed worry regarding the new teams for 2010, as he figured that the barest-bones budget for a F1 team required about $75 million, and that the pre-established and larger teams needed money as well, and they would be fighting the new teams for it with much better-established networks.  In a statement that was reminiscent of arguments oft-posted here and in the column at F1B, Anderson did suggest that, in some ways, these smaller teams might be better for the sport, as they would not be hampered by the financial oversight constraints imposed by a huge title sponsor.  As he put it, there would not be someone sitting at a desk, weighing the money spent for the team against that coming in, and that that could be spent on similar advertisement time, and only looking at the bottom line.  “The big problem with the manufacturer team is that is that it [the money] comes from one sponsor,” and that sponsor can pull the plug at any time, much like Honda, BMW, and Toyota did.  For further insight from a man who has seen nearly all that Formula1 can offer as part of a competing team, listen to the entire interview at Formula1Blog.com.

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