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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:50 am 
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Unlike say football, it's safe to say that Formula 1 fans mainly follow drivers, not teams.

I for one don't think that Red Bull or Mercedes actually have any fans. 99% of Mercedes fans are Hamilton fans. Red Bull fans consist almost entirely of Verstappen fans and Ricciardo fans. There are very few people who actually support these teams regardless of who drives for them. If Hamilton left Mercedes at the end of this year, and they went back to 2012 mediocrity, Mercedes fans would become as rare as Renault fans are these days.

When you go to Monza and witness the Tifosi live, you will understand see what I'm talking about. They don't support a driver, they support the team. They have cheered and booed both Alonso and Vettel before, and the only thing that changed was the colour of their racesuit. Ferrari fans have always existed whether they are dominant (2004) or terrible (2014). They are like the Manchester United or Real Madrid of Formula 1 in that respect. Their fanbase far exceeds any other team.

I've came across some McLaren fans and Williams fans, who genuinely support the team instead of the drivers, but even they are a small minority compared to Ferrari fans.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:43 am 
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Short answer: no.

Ferrari fans are the most numerous; that's hard to question. But they're certainly not the only team with dedicated fans, and additionally I believe that the extent to which most F1 fans support a driver over a team is overstated.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:35 am 
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I can only speak for myself when it comes to this topic but I've always supported the team my favourite driver was at.

So it was Williams when supporting Damon Hill.
McLaren when it was Coulthard was there.
Button at BAR Honda
Hamilton at McLaren/Mercedes


I'm sure when Hamilton retires, I'll probably choose whichever team Ocon is at.


But I feel that Ferrari, Williams and McLaren are the only teams that hardcore team fans support.
Doesn't help that Williams and McLaren have to share British fans whereas Ferrari are the dominant force in Italy and so their fanbase is dedicated and exclusive over there so to speak.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:42 am 
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I have a number of "preferred" drivers, but I support Williams.

I have followed F1 since around the mid 80s, my cousin lives in Abingdon, which is only a few miles from where the Williams factory was back then in Didcot and Williams was his team of choice also.

The only F1 related merch I ever buy is Williams stuff - never driver related.

I do like to see the British drivers doing well, but I'd prefer ANY Williams driver beating ANY British driver - because I am and always will be a Williams supporter :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:56 am 
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I would actually say Mercedes is a much more popular than Ferrari as a car brand if you take into account the actual number of sales, owners and profits. Eg Mercedes made around $3 billion last year whilst Ferrari only around $400m. Although whilst they are both luxury brands only Mercedes is affordable to most people on credit.

Obviously Ferrari is still more popular as a team as it has been in F1 since 1950 /1948 (before the official F1 championship) whereas Mercedes have only been around in their current form since 2010. But you still see plenty of fans in Williams, Red Bull and McLaren jackets and caps at circuits, even Jordan and Jaguar still.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:19 am 
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Probably better to ask - Is Ferrari the only team that has lifelong fans?

They do seem to be the only ones who become a Ferrari fan, and later become lapsed Ferrari fans, not adopt another team


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:24 am 
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I support McLaren, but am not an Alonso nor Vandoorne fan.

I support Hamilton, but am not a Mercedes fan.

It doesn't have to be one or the other.

And I think the answer is no anyway - even just looking on their facebook pages, you will see obvious fans of the smaller teams - Haas being a good example of this.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:39 am 
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I supported two teams when I was a kid - Jordan and McLaren. Can you believe my luck when this went on sale and it had no Ferrari!

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Unfortunately Jordan sold up before 2005. And I've never felt the love for McLaren again after 2007. It's amazing how one year can affect your view of something you've been a fan of since you were a child

Today I have a soft spot for midfield teams - Force India, Renault, and I would have more affection for Williams if they took more risk or showed a bit more ambition (getting Paddy Lowe in and making a serious offer for Alonso are steps in the right direction)

I bought a Ferrari shirt when Alonso was there and it's the only team shirt I'll proudly wear despite not being an out and out fan. My 2007 McLaren shirt doesn't see the light of day very often

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:42 am 
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Herb wrote:
I support McLaren, but am not an Alonso nor Vandoorne fan.

I support Hamilton, but am not a Mercedes fan.

It doesn't have to be one or the other.

And I think the answer is no anyway - even just looking on their facebook pages, you will see obvious fans of the smaller teams - Haas being a good example of this.


I think you tend to get people wishing well for teams like Haas, but they'll have few 'fans'. Even myself, I've grown a bit of a soft spot for Force India & Haas (particularly FI) due to the way they're trying to do things but I certainly wouldn't call myself a fan.

I follow Mercedes on Facebook too because they drew me in with certain content and I never got round to unfollowing, but I'm also not a fan of them. I follow Hamilton on Instagram because I want his life :lol:, but I'm not a fan. I previously followed all teams on twitter before I got annoyed at duplication.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:43 am 
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Ennis wrote:
Herb wrote:
I support McLaren, but am not an Alonso nor Vandoorne fan.

I support Hamilton, but am not a Mercedes fan.

It doesn't have to be one or the other.

And I think the answer is no anyway - even just looking on their facebook pages, you will see obvious fans of the smaller teams - Haas being a good example of this.


I think you tend to get people wishing well for teams like Haas, but they'll have few 'fans'. Even myself, I've grown a bit of a soft spot for Force India & Haas (particularly FI) due to the way they're trying to do things but I certainly wouldn't call myself a fan.

I follow Mercedes on Facebook too because they drew me in with certain content and I never got round to unfollowing, but I'm also not a fan of them. I follow Hamilton on Instagram because I want his life :lol:, but I'm not a fan. I previously followed all teams on twitter before I got annoyed at duplication.


Just to be clear - I'm not talking about he amount of followers that they have. Some of the comments on their posts sound like they are coming from real Haas fans rather than driver fans or those with a general interest.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:00 am 
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Since before I saw my first F1 race live on TV, it has always been and always be Ferrari.

If Palmer drivers for Ferrari tomorrow, I will support and cheer for him :lol: :lol:

Ferrari fans do criticise their drivers as well as team though. Pretty much like football fanatics. Will curse the team they support if it demands it but will always support them no matter what.

I dont see that kind of fanatical following for any other team. Not even McLaren these days. That was one team that came close. But things are very different now when I visit sports bars. The age old Ferrari fans are always there, always supporting their team even during difficult time and drought of race wins.
I used to see lot of Redbull fanboys during Vettel's dominant days, I see same guys cheering for Hamilton and Mercedes these last 3 years. Basically support the winner mentality. I wont be surprised if they switch teams again to cheer for the team that does good.

I cant ever imagine doing that. Until the day either Ferrari in F1 or me on this planet stops existing, I will always be fan of that team. Even when I dont like current management or current driver at that time.


There are teams I have soft corner for. Mostly underdogs like Force India. But Ferrari for life.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:23 am 
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KingVoid wrote:
Unlike say football, it's safe to say that Formula 1 fans mainly follow drivers, not teams.

I for one don't think that Red Bull or Mercedes actually have any fans. 99% of Mercedes fans are Hamilton fans. Red Bull fans consist almost entirely of Verstappen fans and Ricciardo fans.



You're wrong. I know Red Bull fans who support the team and did so when it was Vettel/Webber and stilll do now it's Max/Ric.

The fact you said 99% goes to show you've argued with your self. Ferrari is very different it's one of few teams to survive from the early days and it's one of few teams to be developing cars for decades. They are also have a national support in Italy. They are the Manchester United of football.

There are people that support teams and don't need to be red.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:27 am 
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moby wrote:
Probably better to ask - Is Ferrari the only team that has lifelong fans?

They do seem to be the only ones who become a Ferrari fan, and later become lapsed Ferrari fans, not adopt another team
Obviously I'm only one of millions of F1 viewers, but I can't see me ever supporting another team other than Williams. When/if they ever sell up or cease to exist I probably won't end up supporting another team, certainly not to the extent I have supported Williams.

I guess I indirectly supported McLaren for example when Button drove for them, but I was supporting Jenson then really - he just happened to be driving for the wrong team :lol:

I wonder how many others end up doing what I seem to do though - which is continue to support a lot of drivers that have driven for Williams and then move on to other teams. As an example, I was happy that Montoya won the last British GP I went to see (2005) despite him not driving for Williams at the time......


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:06 pm 
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I know this is just a forum, but it kinda further proves my point;

http://www.thescuderia.net/forums/forum.php

Is there any other F1 team which has an actual fan forum that is very active? A forum that has 20 pages of discussion for every race from their favorite team's point of view? I doubt any other F1 team has the fanbase to keep a big forum active.

Yeah, you see people with Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, or Red Bull caps at different circuits. Some of them might even like the team regardless of the drivers. But you never see anything like you do for Ferrari at Monza.

Ferrari is in a completely different galaxy to any other F1 team in terms of support and it's blatantly obvious to see. IMO they are the only F1 team who have a proper fanbase. A fanbase that exceeds the size of most football clubs.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:12 pm 
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The last team I had any kind of affinity for was Jordan, back in the late 90s when they had Damon Hill (my favourite driver at the time) and those amazing yellow liveries (I was like, 12 years old, so I was a little more easily influenced by such things back then!)

Nowadays I just have a couple of favourite drivers but no team I particularly cheer for. Renault are probably my 'favourite' in the sense that they have one of my favourite drivers and they have a very likeable social media side of things, something which as a heavy social media user, probably has quite a big influence on my opinion of teams. Even if two drivers I liked ended up at the same team I doubt I would start cheering for that team. Sadly, I just don't feel a great deal of connection with the teams.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:27 pm 
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KingVoid wrote:
I know this is just a forum, but it kinda further proves my point;

http://www.thescuderia.net/forums/forum.php

Is there any other F1 team which has an actual fan forum that is very active? A forum that has 20 pages of discussion for every race from their favorite team's point of view? I doubt any other F1 team has the fanbase to keep a big forum active.

Yeah, you see people with Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, or Red Bull caps at different circuits. Some of them might even like the team regardless of the drivers. But you never see anything like you do for Ferrari at Monza.

Ferrari is in a completely different galaxy to any other F1 team in terms of support and it's blatantly obvious to see. IMO they are the only F1 team who have a proper fanbase. A fanbase that exceeds the size of most football clubs.


But that wasn't your question.

Do teams other than Ferrari have hundreds of thousands of fans (millions?)? Probably not.

But they do have fans. Hull City don't have as many fans as Manchester United - but try telling them they are not real fans.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:29 pm 
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Fair enough, my question was hyperbole. I suppose that just about every team has some fans. What I'm trying to say is that for some reason, Ferrari's fanbase is so much larger than every other team's fanbase. The gap is far larger than what I've seen in any other sport.

Ferrari are capable of creating a football-level athmosphere at Monza and have a football club size forum. I could never in a million years imagine 50,000 fans of any other team get together and chant the name of their favorite team. I doubt any other team even has 10,000 fans (fans of the actual team, not the driver).

The enormous gap in popularity is actually baffling.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:42 pm 
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KingVoid wrote:
Fair enough, my question was hyperbole. I suppose that just about every team has some fans. What I'm trying to say is that for some reason, Ferrari's fanbase is so much larger than every other team's fanbase. The gap is far larger than what I've seen in any other sport.

Ferrari are capable of creating a football-level athmosphere at Monza and have a football club size forum. I could never in a million years imagine 50,000 fans of any other team get together and chant the name of their favorite team (not their driver, but the actual team). I doubt any other team even has 10,000 fans (fans of the actual team, not the driver).

The enormous gap in popularity is actually baffling.


I think it's in large part what was touched on earlier about them being Italy's sole focus over the years, a one team country that love their Motorsports. For whatever reasons the other Italian teams/manufacturers couldn't compete for the affection and because Ferrari stayed constant that obviously helps.

Germany has a few popular Manufscturers(Across a few periods and different classes) as does GB with teams like McLaren and Williams which splits their Motorsport fanbases.

If Williams didn't exist I think McLaren could get there. Incredibly popular drivers have driven for them over the years, they've been around a long long time with a lot of success and Silverstone is usually pretty McLaren heavy but they've had a tough few years while a popular British driver has been hugely successful at another team so they've probably lost a fair whack to Mercedes but I think that will swing back when either Lewis retires or Mercedes leaves.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Wasn't this covered in the survey not long ago?. I've vague recollections of it going Ferrari/Mercedes/McLaren and then I'm struggling.

I'm sure I saw a graph of some description recently about it. :?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:19 pm 
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pendulumeffect wrote:
I would actually say Mercedes is a much more popular than Ferrari as a car brand if you take into account the actual number of sales, owners and profits. Eg Mercedes made around $3 billion last year whilst Ferrari only around $400m. Although whilst they are both luxury brands only Mercedes is affordable to most people on credit.

.


Ferrari used to have a self imposed production limit of 7500 units to increase rarity but also to keep under the US limit of 10000 units so as to avoid the US fuel economy regulation. So your numbers are not quite what they seem. They plan to increase to nearer the 10000 limit.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:58 pm 
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did you say fans or funds ?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:25 pm 
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I've long been a Honda fan, but that's obviously difficult because they aren't consistently in the sport. (Poor performance isn't that big a deal.)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:38 pm 
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Can't say I've ever supported a team or driver.

Same applies to any individual sport.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:56 am 
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IMO Ferrari have the largest dedicated fan base. But I still miss Minardi.

IMO if Colin had not died from his heart attack, these guys would have given Ferrari a run for their money.

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But ... Red Bull is incredibly popular.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:53 am 
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I used to be a Red Bull fan until the fiasco that was Turkey 2010, now I mostly support drivers. I do however still support Force India regardless of which drivers they have racing for them.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:23 pm 
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I think what you say has merit - I've always followed drivers rather than teams (same in Moto GP - or other categories)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Been a McLaren supporter for decades. I supported both Mika and Kimi initially because they were McLaren drivers. I really believe it would be good for the sport to have them back at the front and I hope that the new partnership will do that, although I have my doubts.

I've never been a great fan of Alonso but I've been slowly rooting for him recently because he's at McLaren. Same for Vandoorne. Don't really have that connection with any other team.

That said, the passion the Tifosi appear to have for their team does seem unmatched by any other. I'm guessing it's also at least in part to do with the fact that Ferrari is more closely identified as a national team than pretty much any other. To be Italian is to be a Ferrari supporter almost by default. Of course, they have supporters from other nationalities too but I'd guess that the Italian heritage counts for a lot.

They also have a romantic air about them that draws neutrals, in much the same way that many neutrals are drawn to the Brazilian football team in soccer World Cups. Both teams appear to embody their sport more than any other and ignite more passion in others as a result. A World Cup without Brazil would be diminished in many people's eyes, just like F1 without Ferrari would be, too. Possibly not simply coincidence that both are the only teams to play in every majpr tournament (i.e. World Cup finals and F1 seasons) since those tournaments' inception. Maybe that makes them the face of their sport to many


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:19 pm 
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Personally I've never felt any affinity toward any of the teams; to me they're all just faceless engineering companies. It's primarily the drivers and their personalities that add the human element and create the plot lines that make F1 what it is, without them it's merely an engineering competition.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:51 pm 
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j man wrote:
without them it's merely an engineering competition.

... it is. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:16 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
IMO Ferrari have the largest dedicated fan base. But I still miss Minardi.

IMO if Colin had not died from his heart attack, these guys would have given Ferrari a run for their money.

Image
https://i.wheelsage.org/pictures/l/lotus/72e/lotus_72e_5.jpeg

But ... Red Bull is incredibly popular.

BUT… for how long?

The Lotus brand survived on the thinnest of strings for most of its existence. The team was only as lucrative as it was because of the era. In those days Collin was able to innovate and try radically different concepts because it was not the huge money pit it's grown to today, and then his epiphany of selling sponsorship space on his car proved so lucrative, his pockets were among the deepest in the sport, rivaling Ferrari's race budget.

Without him the Lotus brand lost a great deal of its notoriety and never truly regained it. Their best last hoorah was in developing and selling their own supercars in the early 90's and although they performed well, were so problematic they gained a reputation as a supercar to steer clear of. From there it was downhill and the resurgence of the brand in F1 was almost comical initially as 2 teams waged war on one another for the naming rights and when Renault won the war they started looking up, and then the funds dried up and now they're gone.

Enzo built up his brand by selling it as pride to his fellow countrymen and they took to it like a moth to a flame. Collin didn't approach it the same way, but had he done so, it's quite possible the brand would have flourished similarly to Ferrari.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:03 am 
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F1 MERCENARY wrote:
Blinky McSquinty wrote:
IMO Ferrari have the largest dedicated fan base. But I still miss Minardi.

IMO if Colin had not died from his heart attack, these guys would have given Ferrari a run for their money.

Image
https://i.wheelsage.org/pictures/l/lotus/72e/lotus_72e_5.jpeg

But ... Red Bull is incredibly popular.

BUT… for how long?

The Lotus brand survived on the thinnest of strings for most of its existence. The team was only as lucrative as it was because of the era. In those days Collin was able to innovate and try radically different concepts because it was not the huge money pit it's grown to today, and then his epiphany of selling sponsorship space on his car proved so lucrative, his pockets were among the deepest in the sport, rivaling Ferrari's race budget.

Without him the Lotus brand lost a great deal of its notoriety and never truly regained it. Their best last hoorah was in developing and selling their own supercars in the early 90's and although they performed well, were so problematic they gained a reputation as a supercar to steer clear of. From there it was downhill and the resurgence of the brand in F1 was almost comical initially as 2 teams waged war on one another for the naming rights and when Renault won the war they started looking up, and then the funds dried up and now they're gone.

Enzo built up his brand by selling it as pride to his fellow countrymen and they took to it like a moth to a flame. Collin didn't approach it the same way, but had he done so, it's quite possible the brand would have flourished similarly to Ferrari.


Let''s not forget Enzo Ferrari nearly had to sell the road car division to Ford in the same era, leading to the great Ferrari vs Ford Le Man's rivalry once the sale collapsed. I think all sport car manufacturers and F1 teams have their share of difficult times.


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