This reaction to this Wheel Sports Livestream was contributed by Henk Ormel, who has been a much beloved member of our community at Wheel Sports and an incredibly insightful eye for feedback on technical matters.
The Pérez situation. The rumors are getting leaked and denied, but. There was a statement from Pérez a few weeks ago where he mentioned using the services of a psychologist to be a nicer father to his kids away from racing. This is a statement in preparation for the early departure of F1 racing.
The Mexican GP is too early for a voluntary statement of retiring from the sport. I think it is getting announced closer to the FIA gala. At that point he departs tru the front door with all regards. I do think Red Bull has helped him to make that decision. In Japan after the race he was looking like a beaten dog. The financial arrangements are worked out as we speak.
To replace Perez there is expendable Riccardo. He was and maybe will be again a pr teams wet dream. At least during the winter they are able to exploit his presence. In the new season Max has to cooperate to not butcher Riccardo directly. This gives the pr team the opportunity to paint the biblical story of the lost son. The potential of Riccardo is similar to the potential of Pérez. They are both proven incidental race winners. Mentally Pérez is in a very bad state now.
The Andretti situation.
Officially the problem for the current teams is the prize money dilution. This is as you mentioned not a very big deal. The big deal is the billions of assets the current teams have invested in the existing franchise. They want Andretti to do the same and not enter on the cheap.
The Alpine deal didn’t materialize because there was a deadline to that agreement. So Andretti is without a PU. What the existing teams want Andretti to do is not to bring money but investment in the franchise. They want GM in the name of Cadillac to build a PU. This does cost hundreds of millions in assets and the actual R&D and adds value to the franchise. If in the future Andretti decides to walk away the business could be taken over by another competitor. In that way the assets stay inside the sports franchise (this is stretching it a little, i know).
F1 is called the Piranha club for a reason. Every aspirant competitor has to prove he can stand on his own assets and abilities and thrive. If this is not the case they are not suited to compete in F1. Andretti awaits a long and hard battle to be allowed in. The timeline for a race ready Cadillac PU is 2027 and that is stretching it. I don’t expect Andretti to be allowed in earlier. So if Andretti-Cadillac is granted entrance the Ford vs GM battle is on, that is adding value. It is also lifted over the signing date of the new Concorde Agreement so Andretti has no say about the content of that document.
The thoughts about recession could be real. I am not a financial expert. Porsche did choose the right path for them. Only F1 if it is possible on our terms. Porsche doesn’t need F1, F1 does want the heritage of Porsche. Porsche is an engineering firm not ven an OEM. Porsche built its name in endurance racing not in F1. In F1 Porsche doesn’t even have a stellar name.
The current rulebook on the top classes of endurance racing is money restricted, downforce restricted and power restricted. The two top classes are designed to compete on even terms. The LMH (Le Mans Hybrids) do have a cap of $100.000.000,- and have an own custom chassis and powerplant with free choice of hybrid or non-hybrid. The LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrids) category is designed on a cap of $10.000.000,- a customer chassis, a stock hybrid system and ran in the US under IMSA regulations.