Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, Monza, 2016

Manor boss turned down £22m offer for team – Hellmund

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Tavo Hellmund, who masterminded Formula One’s race at the Circuit of the Americas, reveals details of his unsuccessful attempt to rescue Manor’s F1 team.

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An aggressive-looking Fernando Alonso caught Roth Man’s eye in the photograph above yesterday’s round-up:

I love Alonso’s line in the round up photo, using every last inch of the track and more. This picture perfectly shows just why he makes so many positions on the first lap, having fun with it and being so aggressive, great stuff.

Probably the biggest difference between him and Button over the two years was how many positions Alonso was usually ahead after lap one. What a tragedy it is to see him wasting his twilight years in the midfield but at least we have got to see a more fun, likeable, laid back and humble Alonso, particularly last year.

Fingers crossed he gets another opportunity to mix it at the front.
Roth Man (@Rdotquestionmark)

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  • 37 comments on “Manor boss turned down £22m offer for team – Hellmund”

    1. Toto Wolff: “The best drivers make a difference of a few tenths but world-class engineers can make more.”

      1. Great phrase, one that can be interpreted in many different ways.
        I like Townsend, likeable commentator and quick. Last year he really surprised me, he led, looked fast and carefree, maybe a little too much. Driver, commentator and apparently spiritual guide.. well spoken anyway.

      2. His comment is spot on for qualifying, but come race day that great driver can do more than delivering a few tenths. Button is a really good driver and he gave McLaren the points that donkey of a car deserved. Alonso gave them more than double those points and can probably be single-handedly thanked for them not finishing 7th in the championship.

        Great drivers can also give you wins when your engineers haven’t delivered a winning car, such as Monaco.

        1. But half decent drivers would still deliver championships in last years Mercedes. I bet there are around 50 or more drivers who would make that Mercedes win races… But not 50 engineering teams who could make it that fast.

          1. You could have put a driver 3/10’s off Hamilton and Rosbergs pace and still probably have won the championship in that car, yes. But would you have that car without those drivers?

      3. @brunes, fundamentally, though, Wolff is right – whilst the driver themselves plays their part, ultimately the competitiveness of the car has historically been of far greater importance than that of the driver.

        In many ways, it is similar to Frank Williams’s state of mind, which was that whilst he would go for the best drivers he could get, at the same time he was of the attitude that it was the team that created success for the driver, not the other way around. It’s not to say that the driver is unimportant, but usually they are not the most significant element of the team.

      4. Mark from Toronto
        19th February 2017, 21:17

        Yes Adrian Newey is the most underpaid man in F1. He should be making more then any driver IMHO. The guy brings EVERY team to the very top. Lets face it, if the Red Bull was not down on power they would have won the last 3 championships.

      5. With the drivers it’s largely about consistency too though. Over one lap any driver might be quick, therefore making the car more important, but it’s over an entire season that it really matters most. That’s why I don’t think Hamilton is quite as good as Alonso, or Kimi back in his prime. He can fail with consistency sometimes, which no doubt played a contribution in him losing the championship.

    2. If Red Bull weren’t around Renault wouldn’t have any business being even mentioned in the same sentence Ferrari. Pathetic to imply that the Red Bull engineering and drivers don’t matter.

      1. as* Ferrari

      2. There will be three cars on the grid this year with the 2017 Renault engine – Red Bull, Torro Rosso and Renualt themself.
        I bet that Renault will finish last of those three.

        1. Not much of a risky bet considering this is what has been stated by Renault… As far as I remember the objective for this year is to bring the fight with Toro-Rosso.

      3. If Renault weren’t around Red Bull would not even be in Formula 1, neither would they have won any of their titles. Maybe it’s worth remind you that both Ferrari and Mercedes refused to give them an engine for 2016, and McLaren put a veto for Honda?

        1. And a rule has been introduced since that debacle that states whoever supplies the lowest number of teams must sell an engine to a team that needs one. Honda would simply have to comply if in that situation again.

          Regardless, providing a team with an engine shouldn’t give Renault right to claim that teams performance as their own when there’s obviously other factors in that teams success, meanwhile their own team is languishing in the mid field.

          1. uh? I haven’t read anywhere, anything from Renault that was even close to your statement above. From the article you are referring to all Bell is saying is that the engine perfs are in par with Ferrari and they aim to close the gap with Mercedes in 2018. He is even praising Red Bull chassis there, so no clue how you can make such statement:
            “If nothing else that indicates not only a very good chassis but the engine has moved on a lot.”

            And for the fact they are languishing in the middle of the grid, well this is as per plan and perfectly in line with their announcements… Btw it was also the case for Red-Bull and Mercedes when they started. If in 2018 they are still languishing in the middle of the grid then yes for sure you can start to pin them down. Before that, pure lack of knowledge on your side.

            1. How can he know what 2017 engines will do they have not run yet and I doubt he knows what others 2017 engines are doing. This sounds like 2017 Renault engine is on a par with 2016 Ferrari and behind 2016 Merc. If so it may not be enough.

            2. They are referring to 2016 not 2017, my understanding is Renault claim to be on par with Ferrari at the moment (since mid-2016), but aim to be on par with Mercedes by 2018.

        2. I can’t imagine a race starting with at least one Red Bull car on the grid. Bernie would have made sure of that.

          1. Doh! Another proof editing failure! I should have written “I can’t imagine a race starting without at least one Red Bull car on the grid. Bernie would have made sure of that.”

    3. It is kind of obvious when You compare the results between Hamilton and Alonso in the McHonda era: Mercedes could’ve won the constructors with 2 midfield capacity drivers, and McHonda can hardly score any points, even with 2 former WC as drivers. But of course the quality and speed of the car is a design and development team effort, combined with the Team structure and the managements ability to provide economy, facilities, motivation, leadership etc. But in the development phase a specially gifted engineering talent or engineering specialist could alone provide several tenth’s over the opposition. I guess this goes for the in season development as well.
      You could argue that Mercedes last season could’ve negotiated a good deal with 2 pay drivers, as in “if You have a certain base level of F1 driving skills, You can buy a almost 50% chance of becoming WC in one of our cars. – who is the highest bidder?”

      1. Can anyone imagine a world in which Sauber had been a dominant force in F1 in the past 2 years, and we’d be seeing a Ericsson vs. Nasr battle for the championship? A purely random thought, but one that disturbed me anyways.

        1. Bit like 96 with Hill and Villneauve in a dominant car with better drivers unable to battle them race in race out?

    4. Really sad to see how Manor could have been saved. Offers last year and reported offers this year too, but it seems that Stephen Fitzpatrick called their bluff for more money and ended up with nothing, taking some good people, facilities and technology with him.

      1. It cant be judged by us without knowing how to put a price on the team (what exactly are their assets?). 22m for example doesn’t seem like much, and you can’t just sell at any price.

        1. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the loss on the initial investment would not have been huge. Now he’s lost pretty much all the initial investment, a large number of skilled people have no jobs and we have one team fewer on the grid.

      2. I really enjoyed reading the article, despite the sad ending of the team. Is nicely shows what considerations go into the desicion making process.

        Also, if I get that right, the 22 milliion were offered sometime late in 2015, when the team was looking in a solid place and before Haas entered with a bang. So I can see why at that point Fitzpatrick would not have taken the offer.

      3. Stephen Fitzpatrick was reported to have paid $55 m for the team a few months before the £22 m offer. On approximate exchange rates, that would have had Stephen lose half the money he spent on getting the team, at a time when Manor’s trajectory was upwards. Not realistic from a business perspective, even if he faces the prospect of losing the lot now.

        1. Very realistic actually. Just because you went and bough something above price others aren’t obliged to give you the same.
          He didn’t have the money or economic ability to sustain the team. So he should have taken what was given instead of losing it all.
          Sometimes you have to accept you made a bad trade and cut your loses, he was too proud for that and now he lost everything.

    5. What a sad tale to read in that article about Manor. Holding on and waiting for a ‘better deal’ has so many ruined in business.
      The last owner of Manor could have been 22million pounds richer than going home empty-handed.
      Sad for all the good people at Manor who lost their jobs.

    6. “I would invest in a world-class engineering team, because the best drivers make a difference of a few tenths but world-class engineers can make more.”

      Heh! :D
      That may not go well among many F1 fans.

      1. But the engineering side of it, is exactly why I’m a fan. Please do Yourselves the favor of reading Ross Brawn and Adam Parr: “Total Competition – Lessons in strategy from Formula One”. Its a great book, which also gives insight in the importance of the engineering: F1 strategy has 3 elements: Political, Economic and Technology. And the book also gives some great insight in some of the drivers and the reasons why some always had an edge over others.

        1. As of now, I’m way more interested in James Allison’s career highlights than, let’s say of Fernando Alonso. But that’s strictly a personal choice, probably got a lot to do with myself being an engineer.

          Much of the myth and legends surrounding this sport, from historical days to present are around the technological side of it. If that’s the Cosworth DFV, BMW’s mad turbo engine, Williams’ active suspensions or today’s Merc PU….these are the most fascinating things of this sport for me. Motorsports is probably the most glamorous or stylish side of engineering.

          For many, it’s amazing if a driver’s taken Eau Rouge flat like Mika Häkkinen in 2000. I’d argue it’s more amazing that the car had “clung on“.

      2. It’s true though. Put the Manor drivers in last years Mercedes and they’d win races, put the Mercedes drivers in the Manor and they’d still struggle to get points. You can’t win without having a car capable of winning, which is down to the team.

        1. @hugh11
          Although F1 fans largely seem to forget it, that usually comes with fandom and the whole celebrity thing.
          The team’s interest over driver’s preferences is absolutely justified, as long as it isn’t violating regulations or ethics.

    7. Nice read with the Palmer men! Let’s see whether Joylon shows further progress along the lines of what he showed in the second half of 2016. And his brother, why not!

    8. On Tavo and the Manor team: “the Cleveland Browns of Formula 1”. Ouch, that’s harsh. For those who don’t follow American football, the Cleveland Browns are the league’s perennial bottom feeder team and, organizationally, a laughing-stock joke of the National Football League. I believe Manor deserved a better comparison.

      1. They do. Frankly, Sauber or even Caterham/Team Lotus are more synonymous with the Browns’ dysfunctionality.

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