F1 teams play down talk of U.S. GP boycott

Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:58pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Formula One's struggling teams played down talk of a possible boycott of Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix on Friday as argument over division of the sport's revenues grew more heated on Friday.

With the indebted Marussia and Caterham teams in administration and absent from Austin, there was speculation that others could refuse to race in protest at what they see as an unfair playing field.

Britain's Times newspaper reported in its Saturday edition that despair had turned to anger with Lotus, Sauber and Force India -- who have all had their own financial problems -- discussing the possibility of not racing.

"It is 50-50 whether it happens but what else is there?," one unnamed executive was quoted as saying. "The small teams have complained for months and warned what was going to happen but no one listened."

Lotus principal Gerard Lopez told Reuters that he knew nothing about such a plan, which would revive painful memories of the farcical 2005 U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis when only six cars took part in the race after those using Michelin tires all withdrew.

That race was widely held up as Formula One shooting itself in the foot in a key market for sponsors and the car manufacturers.

"I've just found out about the story now, so my answer is no. I've no idea. I have to say a bit surprised," Lopez said. "I've had a meeting with them (the other teams) about the cash distribution and so on, and that's it.

"I'm not aware of this. I don't even know where this comes from," he added.   Continued...

Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of France drives in front of Caterham Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit October 5, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino