Gene Haas Bemoans F1 Financial Rewards

Philip Boeckman

Financial disparity is such a glaring issue within Formula 1 that we could probably sit here for a week and discuss it without pausing. When it comes down to it, it's a double-edged sword.

Yes, the big players in the sport receive a very disproportionate amount of performance and loyalty reward than the midfield runners and backmarkers. However, without Ferrari and Mercedes, there's no Formula One.

It's a well known quip in the sport that if Ferrari were ever to leave the sport, Formula One would sink. In that sense, the amount of money they drawn into the sport through sponsors, television viewers and spectators means they're well worth their weight in gold.

That brings us on nicely, then, to the latest stakeholder to criticise the disparity: Gene Haas. His Haas F1 team have done extraordinarily well to cement themselves firmly within the midfield pack on the grid despite this being only their second season in F1. Yes, he's bent the rules to effectively produce a Ferrari-lite car, but one look at recent newcomers who've struggled says it all about how difficult it is to establish yourself in this game: Caterham, Hispania, Marussia and latterly Manor are the alumni of the failed-teams list. Even firmly established players like Sauber have at times flirted with bankruptcy.

Haas has described the gap between the 'big three' - Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull - and everyone else as 'really depressing'. His team are currently seventh in the constructor's table, a respectable position for a newcomer.

But the real cloud that hangs over us is the fact we’re one to two seconds [a lap] off the fastest cars. And quite frankly we don’t understand we can be that far off with what we consider to be state-of-the-art equipment.

Other than the top three teams, everybody’s in that boat. The top three teams are light years ahead of everybody else.
— Gene Haas

It raises once again the issue of money and performance in the sport. Haas, as well as the likes of McLaren and Renault, hav spent a small fortune getting their cars onto the track this season, eyt they're about three seconds slower than Mercedes and Ferrari.

We've probably never had a more competitive grid, particularly within midfield. The mid-running teams are within a second of each other, pace wise, and each week we see battles between Force India, Haas and Renault to see who's the 'best of the rest'. 

Haas is right though, unless you're a Silver Arrow, driving a Prancing Horse or backed up by a billionaire energy drinks supplier, you're not going to win a race in Formula One these days. Barring lunacy such as the recent Baku Grand Prix, where chaos ensured a random winner, the front two rows of the grid are effectively locked out now, and the third is held in a death-grip by Red Bull.

How can we fix what is essentially broken beyond repair?

Philip Boeckman

Huge fan of @F1 and Motor Racing in general. I blog about anything and everything from the world of Formula 1