Financial Future in Doubt


One fact that is forgotten in the rise of rumors that Caterham and Marussia could possibly be merging is that both teams are owned or associated with sports car manufacturers that bear the same name.  This may not seem to be that important but it should be seen as an indicator of the state of Formula One.  Long gone are the days of small privateer teams beginning able to participle and there being so many entries that not every car would be able to qualify.  Scuderia Ferrari began as purely a racing team but began to sell cars to be financially able to continue racing.  Caterham and Marussia also two different types of sports car manufacturers and enter Formula One in two different ways.

Caterham Seven
      Caterham was founded in 1973 as a manufacturer of low-cost, lightweight sports cars.  The most well-known model produced by the British manufacturer is the Caterham Seven based on the iconic Lotus Seven.  Despite being around since the 1970's, Caterham didn't become involved in until 2011 when the company purchased by then-Team Lotus owner, Tony Fernandes.  In 2012, Team Lotus became Caterham after the license to the Lotus was terminated and given to then-Renault.

Marussia B2
      On the other hand, Marussia was almost involved in Formula One since inception.  Russian manufacturer was founded 2007 and had a strong relationship with Virgin Racing.  After the 2010 season, Marussia purchased controlling stake in Virgin Racing and Virgin ran under a Russian license for 2011.  Also in 2010, Marussia open their first showroom in Moscow.  Virgin became Marussia F1 for the 2012 season.  Unlike Caterham, Marussia produces luxury sports cars with features derived from Formula One.  The Marussia showroom that open in Monaco in 2012 should also be a statement of who their cars are intended for.

      Even with merger rumors, it is still possible that neither team could be on the 2014 grid.  In this economic climate, should it be only possible for large corporations to participate in Formula One and not actual automobile manufacturers?  What happens when Red Bull isn't interested in F1 anymore?  That could mean that two teams could be gone from the grid.  I would like to see more sports car manufacturers in F1 like Koenigsegg or Aston Martin but the astonishingly high costs keeps them from ever having any interest in Formula One.  Sure, automobile companies can also lose interest in Formula One but they have more to lose than an energy drink company when it comes to leaving the World Championship.      f

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