Fernandes: F1 needs to take a look at itself


Former Caterham F1 Team owner Tony Fernandes has taken to Twitter to share his thoughts on the current financial strife that the operation is facing.

Fernandes brought Caterham into F1 back in 2010, setting up the team as Lotus Racing. However, after five seasons, he sold the team back in June of this year, claiming that “F1 hasn’t worked”.

The team was reportedly sold to a consortium called Engavest, which took over the day-to-day running of the team with former F1 team principal Colin Kolles brokering the deal. Christijan Albers was put in charge as team boss, only for him to resign after two months in charge for private reasons.

However, it emerged earlier this week that both Fernandes and Engavest claimed that they had not received what they were due, resulting in Caterham entering administration. It has now been taken over by the administrators who are looking for a new buyer. Until such a time, the workers will not be returning to the factory, nor will the team be racing.

On Sunday morning, Fernandes took to Twitter to make his thoughts known.

His assessment comes just one day after Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that Marussia would also not be racing in the United States next weekend, reducing the grid to just eighteen cars. The Anglo-Russian team has also hit financial difficulties in recent months, and is expected to enter administration soon.

Engavest claims that it did pay Fernandes all of the money he was due, but failed to receive the shares for the team. Fernandes has recently sold the Caterham Racing GP2 team to Status Grand Prix, meaning his sole remaining motorsport interest comes in his Caterham Moto motorcycle racing team in the Moto 2 championship.

Besides this, Fernandes also owns Queens Park Rangers football club and the successful AirAsia airline.

Although the financial crisis currently hitting F1 has been predicted for some time, it is unlikely that the big powers will recognize this and actively look to make a change in the years to come to stop more teams such as Caterham and Marussia from collapsing.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).