Hungarian turning point

5 races to go in the 2009 GP2 season…

I had predicted Hungary would be the beginning of the end for at least one team. Though internal finances are still out of my reach, I don’t think I’m too far off.

The fact that Trident is in terrible financial difficulties is no secret. The Rigon-González-Rigon magical chairs is evidence of that.  These switches would be more common for this weekend had the expected Grosjean-Piquet substitution taken place.

Apparently, Piquet’s contract had an equality clause that could have put Renault in hot water had they put Romain in the second F1 car.   So for Hungary he will get the same equipment as Alonso, underperform as usual, and then we’ll see Grosjean in Renault at Valencia in late August.

So Hungary will mark a key point in the season, with teams aiming for very different objectives:

  • Barwa and ART fighting for the 2 championships
  • iSport trying to find its way with 2 drivers seriously disappointing this season
  • Trident, Durango and Super Nova aiming to survive the season
  • The others, riding out the season – looking to 2010 as a better year

8 Responses to Hungarian turning point

  1. Fletcher says:

    How did Super Nova get in financial trouble? They are such a good sound team. Are they up for sale?

  2. gp2 insider says:

    Super Nova has been up for sale for over a year. They have been traditionally a good team, but the lack of results and their bets on good drivers have not paid off. This year, their Villa-Filippi combination is not doing too well financially, and the Italian had been rumored to be heading to Durango if Valsecchi ended up at Barwa – with van der Garde going to David Sears’ team to provide some welcome cash.

    This theory was drawn out by Italiaracing magazine, and could be one of many, but makes sense since Durango is one of the few teams in a bad enough situation to accept Filippi’s dwindling budget. Also, van der Garde would probably favor a British team over the Italians.

    Super Nova, just like Trident, is worth a deeper analysis on mismanagement, and how to squander a good brand and good revenue streams…

  3. Fletcher says:

    So basically a driver pays in 3 installments to a team and by the 2nd the driver says my cash is running out and forget the third. It doesn’t sound like a good business plan from the team. They must know they will be underwater before the season starts not to mention paying past debts from seasons past. So if soemone decides to buy Super Nova how much will it sell it for? Just wondering.

  4. gp2 insider says:

    Well, there are 2 scenarios:
    1- the driver says …. I have XXX Euros and hope to find more (then he doesn’t)
    2- the driver runs out of his “full season budget” due to sponsor problems…. for example, Milos Pavlovic last year at BCN

    Teams like Trident, Durango and Super Nova (I exclude DPR since Francois has been very vehement in defending their financial soundness and I think he could be right) know they are in deep before the season for sure.

    Super Nova, depending on debt could actually go for zero if they don’t expect to cover the debt. Assume the debt is €1 million or so (not too far off there…) the buyer could negotiate with David Sears and GP2 to take over the debt obligation and keep the team. If the debt is lower, maybe the team could be worth more.

    Fair value for a GP2 team early in 2008 was around €3.5 to 4.0 million. BCN changed hands for much, much less from pressure from Bruno Michel and today I would say a team could be had for about €1.2 to 1.5 million – balancing debt and a cash payout.

  5. Rob says:

    This has been an interesting lesson in how rumours can be propagated on the internet: italiaracing started a rumour about Filippi without so much as asking anyone in the paddock, and then it became fact because other websites decided it must be true.

    Meanwhile Filippi, his father and the team have all said individually that they don’t understand how this got started, that they have paid their installments to date and the final one is ready to go on time, and yet the rumours still persist.

    And frankly, none of it even makes sense: why would Filippi step back to Durango, and why would van der Garde step back to Super Nova? Apart from the fact that both of them adore the teams they’re with, it just seems ludicrous that people think drivers would willingly step backwards in their careers.

    But that’s the way of the world these days, I guess: why spoil a good story with facts?

  6. gp2 insider says:

    Great point… The only reason to start all this? Bruno Senna

  7. Fletcher says:

    How are those teams (Trident, Super Nova, Durango) expected to survive once the new cars come out in 2 years time. Will these teams simply pack up and slots will open for new teams such as maybe Carlin etc to slot right in? Is that what these new teams are waiting for? No sense in buying into a team when you have to buy new cars the following year. Will Gp2 extend the cars for another year like F3 due to the economy? I know too many questions. Sorry

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