Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Costs [Pounds Sterling]232m to Put Schu in Pole Position

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It Costs [Pounds Sterling]232m to Put Schu in Pole Position

Article excerpt


CLAIMS that Formula One finances are out of control can today be confirmed by the reve l at ion that Michael Schumacher's race to last year's world championship title cost [pounds sterling]82,000 per mile.

Ferrari are estimated to have spent [pounds sterling]232million on getting two cars onto the grid for 16 races.

It is generally accepted within the sport that Ferrari's efforts are concentrated almost entirely upon Schumacher, with Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello being relegated to a backseat role.

So with Schumacher scoring points in 15 of the 16 races as he stormed to a record sixth drivers' title - he actually raced for a total of 2829.45 miles - the cost per mile of keeping the German ace on course for the championship was 157,692 times the amount the average motorist has to pay for his day-today driving.

According to figures supplied by the Automobile Association, most motorists travelling to this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone should budget for 52p per mile to cover a long list of incidentals, including car purchase, depreciation, replacement parts and annual insurance.

Keeping a high-tech racing machine in tiptop condition has always been a more expensive business. But the manner in which Formula One has been gripped by money madness is ringing alarm bells.

Bernie Ecclestone, the man responsible for turning Grand Prix motor racing into a huge global attraction, admitted: "Things have got out of control. We do need to do something about costs.

"It's not a case of reducing how much money is spent, it's a case of reducing how much is wasted.

"A guy who runs the transport side of a major team recently told me he takes 45 tonnes of freight to each flyaway race. Mad!

"And look at ballast. It costs each team millions of dollars to make their cars as light as possible. …

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