The arrival of the most reliable car brands
In the film “Arrival”, a linguist established communication with alien visitors from outer space. Well, something similar is happening in F1, but the chosen dialect and accent has some people worried.
The FIA and the organizers of the fastest and most expensive event on the planet have prepared their geostrategy for the future. In the calculator, they get that without Audi and Porsche it’s good, but infinitely better with them inside the corral, and for various reasons.
By the end of the first decade, the flight of brands had become almost one of those wildebeest migrations you see on TVE’s La 2 in the afternoon. The crocodile of the housing bubble crisis has devoured people like Toyotas, BMWs and Hondas. Renault joined the breakup by selling the hardware to Genii Capital, which created Lotus, but they remained as motorists.
The first restless is the rider of the prancing horse
The federations reacted, they opened their hands to the arrival of three new formations… however the smiles did not last long. The idea was to avoid the presence of manufacturers and to make way for racing teams whose core business was to participate in the sport and not depend on the sale of cars. Went badly. None of these three projects completed five years; only Caterham ran a fifth season, but it was scrapped to file for bankruptcy before New Year’s Eve.
The power of Mercedes
The grid has shrunk and the less visible, but obvious, direct consequence has been give Mercedes a wide sleeve, allow them things that no one else, in exchange for their shining presence, and that they mount their propellers in 40% of the grid. Today, four out of ten registered cars have a chrome star tattooed on their skin. This leads many to argue, not without reason, that Toto Wolff, the visible face of the firm in the category, has too much power as a mere participant.
Having chained eight consecutive titles, and having a certain decision-making power based on the three client teams plus their own, seems to many, excessive. If to this we add this rumor which suggests that the brothers of the star received privileged information before the arrival of the current hybrid engines, or that of those very illegal tests at Montmeló with the FIA looking the other way, it is obvious that they played with an advantage.
The rant comes as the world’s second-largest automaker – Volkswagen – is about to land in the paddock, and many are already smelling a new version of the same. There is a determining detail and it is that not one but two twin brothers arrive, Porsche and Audi. The mating ritual was long, and there are traces that the new motor regulation was created with several ingredients, and one was to satisfy the demands of the new candidates. The new semi-hybrid thrusters between what will push the synthetic gasoline and the energy regenerator, are part of the predictable industrial policy of the automotive group and there is anger.
The first restless is the prancing horse rider, although logically he shouldn’t. In the current six-cylinder hybrid architecture, its political weight in the category decided this number, because in principle there were to be four of them; they’re half a dozen pistons just because they hit four voices releasing that from “eye, I have the right of veto”.
For some time now, and for some reason, Mercedes seems to want to gradually move away from the category; their rumor of leaving as a team has dissipated, but the company, the brand, no longer has the weight it once had. In reality, they only own a third of the team which bears his name and for a time there was even talk of a name change to partner Ineos. If we add to this that they are no longer at the top of the tables, their dominating voice is on the verge of losing ground in favor of a new rising sun, and this star king could well be… the German Twins .
Porsche and Audi
Porsche would enter the Red Bull engine and Audi would take over Sauber – the current Alfa Romeo -. At the moment it would be, predictably, 20% of the grid (if they disagree with someone else, than anything can). If we weigh the contribution of the political quota that the always sensitive chapter of engines brings, from the outset and in the worst case, it would give it double the political weight of Renault, the same as Honda today, and the same than Ferrari when it loses Alfa Romeo. There is talk that Mercedes wants to liquidate its deal with at least one of its customers, Williams is suspected. This would diminish their influence, which may well travel to the Porschaudites.
The first thought that this might happen is going to happen directly in its place of origin: Germany. The deutschegepe it held its last test in 2019, and immediately after it disappeared from the calendar after years of problems, alternations and crises of all kinds; in fact, it disappeared in 2007, 2015 and 2017. But if Mercedes and its overwhelming dominance weren’t able to bring a historic race back to its home country, when it joins the new ones, it’s possible that ‘they end up taking advantage of it and the Germans will see the race in their backyard again.
Let no one be surprised if the subject is again stirred in this direction, whether in the end it happens or not, there is matter for debate, either at Hockenheim or at the Nurburgring. It should be remembered that this mating ritual is not a two-way street, but should be considered at least as a threesome. To the FIA and Volkswagen, we must add Liberty Media, which does not set engine rules, even if it negotiates with the circuits. The Yankees are growing the business like never before, have fought a pandemic with dignity and efficiency, and are making more money than ever. It is clear that they are extremely effective managers, and one of their subjects is to make happy the lions of their circus.
If it lands in Germany, and we are talking from 2026, other tracks will have to disappear from the picture. The fear of change, especially for purists, is respectable, but few things on the face of the earth more alive, mutating and variable than Formula 1. Aerodynamic configurations arrive, engines with different skins, Halos, races with double distribution of points, strange destinations, powerboats which disappear and not much happens; life goes on, everything advances, and even grows. We can therefore say that in the long term the decisions have never been bad but unpopular… temporarily.
And for popular, the saying: ‘a dead king, put king’; however, in F1, nobody wants another long-distance monarchy, no matter how meritocratic, but rather a republic with equal parliamentary representation. From there, it is hoped that the first concessions that have been made to those who arrive with the idea of promoting their access, will be the last.
In the film that gives this chip its name, actress Amy Adams plays a language expert who reveals the key to communication with extraterrestrials (WARNING, SPOILERS). The key is that with the language of the space squid in the film, the future has been divined. If you take into account that the director of the film was the Canadian Denis Villeneuve, you already have the complete joke. On the German asphalt they could well put a graffiti where to read “Hi, Audi and Porsche, but don’t overdo it”.
#arrival #reliable #car #brands