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Caterham F1 sold


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#501 HaydenFan

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 22:19

I would be really, really interested to see an organisational chart for a F1 team. I've been braking my head about what the heck 250 people can do for one F1 team.

 

Always have wondered that myself. I understand how the likes of McLaren, Williams have engineering departments that go beyond F1, and motorsport, but still. They are building parts of effectively 2 cars. There are a few extra complete chassis built, as well as a few dozen replacement parts of each thing, but how many people and how much times does that really take? 

 

It has to be from the testing and now simulation teams. You have dozens of people at the shop just running tests on new parts and designs. R&D is the big cost of F1. That front wing a team introduces at Spa, or wherever is probably the 10th-15th version of a test wing that has finally been given the green light by the head engineer and team principle to go on the car.

 

It's like many industries though. You have man people probably just standings around. They have a small job that requires little amount to actually finish on a daily basis.  



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#502 loki

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 22:24

A four car Cup team will have 250 staff and that's not including the pit stop crews that are weekend only contractors. There is more than race ops. There is accounting, logistics, office management, PR, sponsor aquisition and facility in addition to what it takes to run a race operation.  In Cup the drive trains and chassis now for most teams are contracted.  The teams that build those for others have separate crews that build and support the parts they provide.  For example Hendrick may have 250 for the Cup teams, but the chassis and engine operations are managed as separate shops so those positions are in addition to what the race teams have.

 

The F1 number might be 250, might be 300 as optimum for a small team, I don't know not having experienced that.  However, the new owners need to right size the operation for how things are right now, not what might be optimum under best case scenarios.    Apparently they felt that eliminating 50 positions would be advantageous to the cost structure while still allowing them to make the stated goal of getting some points this year so they can get a pay out.  I would be curious as to which positions were eliminated and if they were done more on merit or on the need to even have that position in the first place.  I haven't seen any info that points to exactly what was eliminated other than an overall number.


Edited by loki, 05 August 2014 - 22:27.


#503 Risil

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 22:30

I'm not sure I'd like to be in sponsor acquisition for an F1 team.



#504 Nemo1965

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 08:00

Always have wondered that myself. I understand how the likes of McLaren, Williams have engineering departments that go beyond F1, and motorsport, but still. They are building parts of effectively 2 cars. There are a few extra complete chassis built, as well as a few dozen replacement parts of each thing, but how many people and how much times does that really take? 

 

It has to be from the testing and now simulation teams. You have dozens of people at the shop just running tests on new parts and designs. R&D is the big cost of F1. That front wing a team introduces at Spa, or wherever is probably the 10th-15th version of a test wing that has finally been given the green light by the head engineer and team principle to go on the car.

 

It's like many industries though. You have man people probably just standings around. They have a small job that requires little amount to actually finish on a daily basis.  

 

That is my idea also. But you put it into words very elegantly! :up:



#505 Mohican

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:23

If you take Sauber or Force India as exemplars of established mid field teams 250 is the going staffing rate and a budget of $100 million a year. Both these teams are buying technology from other teams. A similar model should work for Caterham.


Certainly it should work for Caterham too; but my point was rather why you need 250 employees to run a team ? The fact that others are on the same level is not an answer. What about zero-based budgeting in F1 ?

Fitting the revenue to the cost base is the wrong way round.

#506 taran

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:28

From an article at NBC sports by Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid.

 

The cars lining up to compete in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix and Indy 500 may appear the same. However, with even the smallest Formula One teams running on budgets around five times those of their leading IndyCar rivals, the similarity is only skin deep.

 

http://motorsportsta...car-comparison/

 

 

 

 

It shows IMO that the main difference between F1 and any other racing series is R&D and hospitality/sponsorship acquisition and thus were the obscene levels of staffing go. Teams have multiple design teams, with team 1 working on this year's car, team 2 working on next year's car and team 3 working on long term projects. In the past (80s and 90s) a championship team would often be less competitive the next year because it spent more time on the current car while other teams worked on the next car. Now with multiple design teams, that problem doesn't exist anymore. And under the resource restriction, hospitality was exempt.....because it was too important.

 

Teams could easily downsize both in staffing levels and budget if they agreed on a fixed number of updates per season. But that would mean any advantage would be locked in for a fixed number of races....


Edited by SophieB, 07 August 2014 - 13:27.


#507 loki

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 17:59

Absolutley R&D is perhaps the largest cost driver and the fact the car is built from the ground up using very expensive material and technologies.  The question though is can the teams effectively get the same amount done by changing the business process.  A good example of businesses adopting a model such as this is aerospace.  

 

The cost difference to Indycar or other forms of racing is a good eye opener.  What that shows is the money isn't going to the racing aspect so much as the technology aspect.  In fact unitl more recent changes like DRS and KERS to give a racing advantage much of the racing. particularly up front was pretty marginal, one might even say dismal.  Look at the advantage Mercedes has right now, or that other front teams have had (though the Rosberg/Hamilton on track battle have bee good).  All of the money isn't buying better racing,   It's buying more technology for the few teams that can afford it.  That's all well and good and part of the history of F1 but in terms of racing per dollar spent it's a pretty poor value proposition and I think that is reflected in declining attendance and viewership.



#508 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 18:06

There is absolutely no way that a top Indycar team can run a season on Usd 15 million.

 

:cool:



#509 loki

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 18:13

The Indycar cost are per car and that is the number that is the number that come up when asked.  It's considered to be about 5 mil to do it on the ultra cheap with a good hunk coming from the team incentives from ICS and pruse money from the Indy 500.  A Penske or Ganassi is spending at that level but a Fisher or Carpenter isn't.



#510 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 18:25

The Indycar cost are per car and that is the number that is the number that come up when asked.  It's considered to be about 5 mil to do it on the ultra cheap with a good hunk coming from the team incentives from ICS and pruse money from the Indy 500.  A Penske or Ganassi is spending at that level but a Fisher or Carpenter isn't.

 

So this:


TOTAL BUDGET
Top F1 team: $470 million; Top IndyCar team: $15 million

 

Is for a F1 team and an Indycar car? That would make it something like:

 

Foyt - 30 million

Andretti - 90 million

Herta - 15 million

Ganassi - 60 million

Coyne - 45 million

Carpenter - 30 million

KV Racing - 60 million

Rahal - 45 million

Fisher - 30 million

Schmidt - 30 million

Penske - 45 million

 

Some of the teams have a car less for the season, and only a full compliment at Indy, so there are numbers which should be adjusted down. I still insist that there is no Top Indycar team who can complete a season on Usd 15 million.

 

:cool:



#511 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 18:37

You could run a competive two car team for 15million, total.



#512 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 18:47

You could run a competive two car team for 15million, total.

 

Seems everyone but me agrees to that. I think the number seems way too low, but this particular windmill I may not conquer.

 

:cool:



#513 loki

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 18:57

Ross is basing his number on what he directly knows from the series and I'm basing mine on what I've been told from those that actually work in the series.  And that is a big, two car team will spend US$25-30 mil a year but most don't come near that.  The Fishers, Foyts, Carpenters, Hertas don't and can't spend anywhere near that.  You can see much of the difference off the track in the paddock in hospitality, and equipment.  There are even details down to the uniforms and tools used.  It's pretty easy to see who has money and who doesn't.



#514 Nemo1965

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 19:06

Taran, that is some very interesting info. :up:

 

As others have posted, and I have assumed, about 100 million of the costs per year in F1 is for R & D, which explains why some teams need 250 people. But looking at Caterham, that makes me wonder: is having at least 150 people (say, for the sake of argument) all trying to work out how to make the car faster not an idiotic way to work? Especially if you have to have all those people of staff? Why not put out a tender for ten companies with specific assignments: 'Find us five percent more downforce and we will pay you 100.000 dollars?' Something like that.



#515 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 19:08

Ross is basing his number on what he directly knows from the series and I'm basing mine on what I've been told from those that actually work in the series.  And that is a big, two car team will spend US$25-30 mil a year but most don't come near that.  The Fishers, Foyts, Carpenters, Hertas don't and can't spend anywhere near that.  You can see much of the difference off the track in the paddock in hospitality, and equipment.  There are even details down to the uniforms and tools used.  It's pretty easy to see who has money and who doesn't.

 

I agree on a 25 - 30 million budget for a 2 car front running team. And having promoted the idea of a Usd 50 million budget some years ago, I should not insist that a series where they buy cars of the shelf needs an equal amount.

 

:cool:



#516 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 19:17

Penske and Ganassi might be on 30 but they have 2+ cars and heavy driver salaries. I think much above 10m per car is starting to throw cash into the fireplace. I think Schmidt was on 13ish last year for Pagenaud and Vaultier.

 

We know from public documents that the National Guard gave Panther 17m a year including their massive hospitality/promotional program. And that was clearly being spent in a sloppy manner. In that the deal went to another team and for several million less.

 

But I remember back in the CART era people were saying the McDonald's deal at Newman-Haas was 15million. It might have been over a multi-year deal...



#517 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 19:40

How does the various 'European' series hold up then?

 

FR3.5

GP3

GP2

F3

 

:cool:



#518 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 20:03

GP2 is like 2million per driver, I don't remember if Euros or Pounds but "a lot".

 

WSR is probably 1.25 to 1.5 maybe? It used to be closer to 1 but cost have gone up recently

 

F3 is probably a million, maybe higher. They cut down on testing so you can't just throw money at it. GP3 would be similar. In either series assume a top top drive will go for more if the team wants it to because they can charge what they want. But if you're good you'll get retail price. In F3 you can also get some manufacturer assistance.

 

20-30m for two Indycars is basically the budgets for the height of the CART era.



#519 aguri

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 01:07

It's not unreasonable to expect that indycar budgets would be climbing to historic highs at the moment though. I mean the series has had quite the resurgence over the last few years (lot more respect drivers now competing) and I expect that to continue next season with the new aero and what not.



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#520 loki

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:31

Taran, that is some very interesting info. :up:

 

As others have posted, and I have assumed, about 100 million of the costs per year in F1 is for R & D, which explains why some teams need 250 people. But looking at Caterham, that makes me wonder: is having at least 150 people (say, for the sake of argument) all trying to work out how to make the car faster not an idiotic way to work? Especially if you have to have all those people of staff? Why not put out a tender for ten companies with specific assignments: 'Find us five percent more downforce and we will pay you 100.000 dollars?' Something like that.

I think the contractor approach could work well for small teams and allow for other businesses to develop and use some of those that may lose their jobs in the downsizing.  Haas is doing something similar in that he's going to use as many sub contractor parts as he can. I think historically F1 has been much more about technology and it's one of the reasons I like it but there is a tipping point where that is driving teams toward insolvency and something needs to give in order for the small guys to be able to run at all let alone compete.



#521 loki

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:34

It's not unreasonable to expect that indycar budgets would be climbing to historic highs at the moment though. I mean the series has had quite the resurgence over the last few years (lot more respect drivers now competing) and I expect that to continue next season with the new aero and what not.

ICS team budgets are at or near historic all time lows, all things considered. There are the couple/three big buck teams but everyone not named Chip, Roger or Micheal is having a tough time making ends meet.  It's a wonder that after all that has happened since the split that there is still a series apart from the Indy 500.  I was able to work and attend many of the events in the salad days of CART and this is nothing like that.


Edited by loki, 07 August 2014 - 03:36.


#522 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:25

Though to be fair CART of the second half of the 90s was a bubble, it was just not sustainable. There was a lot of 'free' money in tobacco, engine companies, and engine-associated sponsors.

 

But pretty much every series went through that. MotoGP was formerly a tobacco/manufacturer party.



#523 Petroltorque

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 05:37

According to Auto sprint, the CT05 upgrade will consist on new rear/front wing, new floor, new engine cover, smaller side pods and new nose plus weight saving package. It's probably going to take time to optimise set up to reliable consistency but if this iteration immediately puts Ericsson ahead of Chilton one can say they,(Caterham), are on the right track.

#524 BRG

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:57

Why should an update favour Ericsson over Chilton?

#525 Petroltorque

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:25

The performance gap between Ericsson and Chilton is an indicator of chassis performance. At present Chilton has the clear advantage. If Ericsson suddenly gains an edge you'd have to say the car is the difference.

#526 eronrules

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 14:38

Kobayashi agrees with sweeping changes at CaterhamF1 (including firing 40+ employees) as 'Necessary' 

 

 

Although perhaps the most likely driver to make way at Caterham, Kobayashi insists he backs the sweeping changes at the struggling team.

“I think this is what we needed, otherwise I think we couldn’t finish the season,” he said. “It was the right move.”

“As you see in the news I think quite a lot of people left straight away but I think we need to keep motivated. I think if we want to survive we need to change something,” Kobayashi added.

“Of course, it’s the same from my side. I think I need to always drive 100 per cent, which gives motivation. Let’s see what happens.”



#527 mariner

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:33

Yeah, but that wasn't the company with the F1 entry - that is a Malaysian registered company - the UK registered company previous known as 1 Malaysia racing (or whatever) was just a supplier to the Malaysian company.

 

The Malaysian company lives on - with at least one Malaysian board member due to local Malaysian company law - and presumably the new owners have set up a new shell company to cover the current employees contracts and become the new supplier to the Malaysian-based company. The old company which covered the employment contracts of the employees who've been let go is probably in the process of being liquidated :/

 

I wonder who actually owns the Malaysian based company with the F1 entry?

 

In a ironic turn of events (given the provenance of the Caterham F1 team) it is similar to when Peter Collins et al. purchased the original Team Lotus from The Chapman family back in December 1990. I don't think they actually purchased the UK Ltd. company who owned the F1 entry (Team Lotus International Ltd. with the magic limited company number) but instead had an agreement in place with the Chapman family to pay for that right every season. What they bought from the Chapman family was (I think) the IP, the trademarks, cars, staff contracts and so on and setup a new company called Team Lotus Ventures Ltd. top operate the concern. The Chapman family retained the all important Team Lotus International Ltd. and as a result the final right to enter the championship or not. Or at least that is how I believe it worked.

 

Interestly Team Lotus International stil exists as does team lotus!


Edited by mariner, 16 August 2014 - 07:35.


#528 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 21:18

It even says in the link the pic is fake



#529 Owen

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 21:25

It even says in the link the pic is fake

Deleted it. As you were ;)

#530 iii

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 22:24

  http://www.omnicorse...-della-caterham

there is a picture on the site of the new nose ,use chrome to translate it 

 

seems its not much different 



#531 Dolph

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 18:34

So this:

 

 

Is for a F1 team and an Indycar car? That would make it something like:

 

Foyt - 30 million

Andretti - 90 million

Herta - 15 million

Ganassi - 60 million

Coyne - 45 million

Carpenter - 30 million

KV Racing - 60 million

Rahal - 45 million

Fisher - 30 million

Schmidt - 30 million

Penske - 45 million

 

Some of the teams have a car less for the season, and only a full compliment at Indy, so there are numbers which should be adjusted down. I still insist that there is no Top Indycar team who can complete a season on Usd 15 million.

 

:cool:

 

Wait, what? Penske at 45 mil and Andretti at 90 mil?? Andretti spending 50% more per car? Whay!? Where is that money going!?

 



#532 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 18:40

Wait, what? Penske at 45 mil and Andretti at 90 mil?? Andretti spending 50% more per car? Whay!? Where is that money going!?

 

 

Try to read further in the post and you will see the light.

 

I can not see how any driver change middle of the season can help in dragging Caterham up to a 10th place finish, and replacing the clearly best of the 2 drivers makes it less likely. Must be a for the money, I am surprised that Lotterer seems to still hunt for a F1 drive, I would expect the Le Mans success he is enjoying would be enough this time in his career.

 

:cool:



#533 iii

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 12:29

Its official Andre Lotterer replaces Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham F1 team

 

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/115449

 

Seems it is only a testing role Kobayashi is bad at communication data to the team 


Edited by iii, 20 August 2014 - 13:38.