Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Marussia's Money Pit

A couple of years ago a new team turned up in F1, naming itself Marussia F1. The spin was that Marussia was a manufacturer of Russian designed-and-built supercars, and the F1 investment was intended to 'sell' Marussia cars to the world at large. Okay, so far.

The owner of the sports car company,  Marussia Motors founder, Andrej Cheglakov, was determined the sport would be the stepping stone to world supercar domination. Sound idea, right? Okay, so far.

However, after a dismal finish in 2013 (battling for 10th place with Caterham), Marussia Sports Cars has apparently parted company from the team.

So what, you ask? Marussia F1 was created from an F1 licence owned by a company called Manor Holdings (who?), which then became Virgin F1, and then became the marketing arm for the sports car company.

However, decent results were not forthcoming, so the CEO of Marussia, has pulled the plug.

What does all this mean?

Battling for the final places for both the starting grid and places is an expensive business, and Formula One is a money-chewing machine. If you don't have the cash, or the sponsors with cash, who can 'feed' the machine, then you fail to get results which can help you achieve your objectives.

That certainly seems to be the situation with Marussia Cars. It appears we shall not be seeing Supercars bearing the Marussia logo around the world in the hot spots like St. Moritz, Pebble Beach and Lago di Como anytime soon.

It also seems to me that 2014 will be the last time we will see the Marussia F1 team on the grid - Maybe Gene Haas will buy it, to give the US-based team a leg up in 2015?

It just shows that if you don't have a big enough cheque book then you can't play in the F1 game. Does this mean a cap on spending may help the sport? Who knows?

As long as the owners of the sport (plus Ferrari), and the other teams get a decent revenue flow, then F1 will continue. It's still a very effective advertising and marketing vehicle, so why shouldn't it stay on track?

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