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Why did F1 move away from a 26 car grid ?

Discussion in 'F1' started by Isobel, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    I kind of enjoyed the pre-qualifying races of the late 80's and early 90's. Grids were more interesting with the array of chassis and engine combinations entered and I miss those days when backyard teams were qualifying on shoestring budgets. But when was it decided that 24 cars were the max?

    One more question. Was there ever a privately entered Ferrari in F1 ?
     
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  3. mat

    mat Formula Junior

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    it wasn't introduced before long, but it's only that low-budgedt f1 teams wouldn't survive too long and now people know that thanks to experience from past years

    there were some teams using ferrari engines - like bms scuderia italia one year (yes they had F1 car as well), or even 2007 scuderia toro rosso STR2
     
  4. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I enjoyed the pre qualifying days as well, although that was when 30+ cars were battling. I think the teams never enjoyed it.

    But the reason for the 24 limit is AFAIK to assure those are financially healthy teams that can survive the season. Back in the eighties a lot of shady characters put together shoestring operations to make a quick buck. Then came the nineties and people started taking F1 more serious and rigorous crash tests were introduced. That raised the bar tremendously.

    But it was the 1997 season that broke the camel's back: A MASTER card sponsored team was supposed to be on the grid and their main sponsor pulled out in the last minute. That left a 2 car vacancy for the entire season and caused a lot of embarrassment: Bernie basically sells a complete grid of cars to the race organizers. That's why they pay between 8 and 30 million USD. In return they can sell tickets etc. It was after the 97 debacle, that the FIA made a 50 million deposit mandatory. So every team has to deposit that amount for the season and gets it back at the end if they attended all races. Not sure about the exact details, but that's basically how it works. That's also why it is very hard for teams to pull their cars out of an event. They don't just upset their sponsors, they are in real jeopardy of loosing all or parts of their deposit. Bernie is playing hardball, because he in return has to guarantee the race organizers a field of 20 (?) cars. That's also the reason, why the Michelin teams were at the grid of the shameful USGP05. By being on the grid, they fulfilled their contractual obligation.

    So it is not that F1 wouldn't want more cars, it is more that given all these financial hurdles, it is hard to find enough teams to fill the grid. Which is why Mad Max allows the use of somebody's chassis starting on 08. Or so the story goes. We'll see.

    PS: There never was a private Ferrari team, but Ferrari powered privateers. The first was a Cooper in 1960. But once chassis built by manufacturers are allowed to enter in F1 we could see a private Ferrari F1 car starting in 08. Probably not, but now at least it has become a legal option.
     
  5. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    Thank you Andreas (a fountain of knowledge as per usual) and thank you Mat. I do remember the Lola's of Rosset ? and Sospiri were supposed to start that season but got pulled just when practice was to begin. I initially believed after all the years Eric B. had cars entered in F1, he'd have no problems finding alternate sponsors for subsequent races. Part of the reason I never bet anymore.

    I knew Ferrari had powered the Saubers a few years ago, but I didn't know whether NART or perhaps Ferrari Belgique had managed to get a non-Rosso Fcar on the grid in the 50's or 60's. There were so many privately entered Mclaren/Williams/Lotus teams in the 70's, I just wondered whether a Ferrari had been secured by a private as well at some point.

    Thanks and much appreciated......
     
  6. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Thanks. If I don't know it, I make it up...:) I remember sitting at the Interlagos GP in April 97 with the program in my hand, which listed the Lola team. Just looked it up in that program, you are correct, Rosset and Sospiri were the drivers.
     
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  8. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    Wow. Nothing like being there. I always got lost trying to follow the path of Lola F1. They were Lola. Then Beatrice.Then Larrousse.Then not Larrousse because Larrousse became Larrousse then Venturi and Lola became BMS. Then BMS became Dallara then..... well, you get the idea... but I do miss all the small fry trying like hell to get in. I was hoping Giacomelli would pull out a miracle and get the Life in at some point in the season, but we both know how that went..
     
  9. RP

    RP F1 World Champ

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    Except for his lack of knowledge about Massa, Andreas DOES know everything else, I guarantee that. I forgive him (and Ted) for that one mistake.

    No one is perfect. :}
     
  10. Ney

    Ney F1 Veteran
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    Ecurie Nationale Belge entered a 156 for Oliver Gendebien at Spa 1961. NART entered the Surtees car in 1964 for two races as Ferrari was in a fight with authorities over the homolagation of the 250 LM as a GT car. In essence this was still the factory car, but not entered by the factory. In 1976, Ferrari loaned a 312T, #021 to Scuderia Everest (Giancarlo Minardi ) for non championship F1 events. It has not happened since.
     
  11. LongJohnSilver

    LongJohnSilver Formula Junior

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    Close enough, but a team only has to deposit the 48 million if they didn't participate in the championship the previous year. They then get it back (plus interest) in 12 equal monthly payments as long as they continue to fulfill their obligations as a team. The only option they have is to delay their participation by a year; in doing so they forfeit 12 million dollars of their deposit.

    I wish I was around in the prequalifying days. Wasn't prequalifying generally just after dawn on Saturday? Can you imagine in todays F1 world if some of the teams had to pack up and go home on Saturday. What if Ferrari or Mclaren have some problem on Saturday morning? The driver bins the car on the first lap of qualifying: see ya next week... I think there would have to be a NASCAR style "provisional" system.
     
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  13. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    Ron , hope all is going well and that your grafts are not giving you the pain they must have earlier. Just wanted to mention I agree with your comments re Andreas and also to point out that I did say early in the season it would be wrong to axe Massa after his spectacular results he was not expected to deliver..... . I didn't have access to a computer for Brazil but did manage to watch the race live. It was fascinating to read the thread comments (yours included) when I returned home a week later. You can 'watch' the entire race unfold in that thread...
     
  14. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    Thank you Ney. I was taking a guess about Nart and the yellow cars of Belgium, but I thought if anyone was going to have access to a private Ferrari entry , it would be one of them...
     
  15. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    I'd have to look it up to remember how many cars attempted to qualify at pre-qualifying's peak (I think the highest number on a car was 41, a Rial ?), but I do remember they'd bring out the pack and the quickest 30 would be selected. They'd then have regular qualifying to bring it down to 26 cars for the race. There was always a surprise at who made it into each race. The expense at bringing F1 teams around the world only to have their cars bounced in the pre-qualifying melee, race after race after race, remains as astonishing to me as those teams' initial decision to enter F1 and conduct predictably fruitless efforts for an entire season. At least Spykers and Super Aguris get to race...
     
  16. robert_c

    robert_c F1 Rookie

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    OT- I remember a few years ago when the Indy 500 was short a few cars. I think everyone qualified. Wish I had an Indy car laying around that year.
     
  17. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Ah thanks. Didn't know that. So Mr. Richards is looking at a 12 mio loss soon.

    Just from leaking memory: I believe the prequalifying sessions were not on Saturday but on Thursday. Early in the morning, which is why everybody hated them.


    There is a gazillion things about F1 I have no clue about. Reading books and watching tapes from the old days only goes so far. :(

    BTW: I think I know a great deal about Massa. It is just the conclusions I derive from that, which are different from yours. :)
     
  18. Senna3xWC

    Senna3xWC F1 Rookie

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    LOL

    The problem isn't that we know too little about Massa, it is that we know too much :p
     
  19. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    And I happen to actually know even a bit more about him than most on here (not trying to impress, but Ron isn't the only one with sources) and still am not a fan.
     
  20. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    I don't remember that, Andreas. I do remember going to the track and taking as many photos of Coloni/Osella/Rial/Lambo/Onyx/Life/Zakspeed/EuroBrun/AGS/ 's as I could the minute they came on the track for PreQ because I wasn't sure I'd get a second chance. Many of them didn't even have cars on the track for practice, let alone a second lap of qualifying...
     
  21. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Awesome. If you can, please post some here.

    Eurobrun was one of the worst. Scandals and all. I think the manager (Brun) ended up in jail for fraud.
     
  22. Senna3xWC

    Senna3xWC F1 Rookie

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    LOL...those were the days.

    Was that the long-haired fat slob from MoneyTron?
     
  23. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
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    Jean-Pierre? von Rossem ??? or something like that.. quite the businessman and an aptly named business. Only problem was the MoneyTron ran one way...poor old Peter Monteverdi got sucked into the mess at the end iirc.... Actually, for an independant, the Onyx with Stefan Johansson was a pretty quick midfielder and they miraculously made it through to the points on several occasions...
     
  24. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    You remembered correctly.

    Brun was a tall skinny guy, who made a small fortune with gambling machines (think one armed bandits). He had a different "magical" sponsor who suddenly disappeared. Forgot his name, always wore a cowboy hat in the paddock.

    Just thinking about this Jerry Springer group of characters it is actually a good thing that they came up with the 50 mio prerequisite. Filters out the riff-raff.
     

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