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Teams face 'tough' future - Whitmarsh

ESPN Staff
February 17, 2013 « F1 TV audiences fall in 2012 | Pressure is off - Horner »
Martin Whitmarsh: "We have taken some measures, but I think it's going to be tough for some" © Sutton Images
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McLaren team principal and Formula One Teams' Association chairman Martin Whitmarsh believes a number of teams face a "tough" future in the sport.

With HRT having disappeared over the winter and fellow 2010 entrants Caterham and Marussia both having to turn to a driver line-up made up of pay drivers, more obvious signs have been appearing as to the financial difficulties some teams may be facing. Whitmarsh said that, in the wake of the global economic crisis, teams are struggling to attract the sponsorship revenues they used to.

"It's tough," Whitmarsh told the BBC. "We're in the world of advertising and you only have to see how advertising is worldwide. The rate card is down. We have taken some measures, but I think it's going to be tough for some."

Whitmarsh added that he expects many teams to struggle to "have a viable business model for a few years".

With the old Concorde Agreement - governing how much of the sport's revenue the teams receive - having lapsed at the end of last year, the opportunity has arisen for the teams to gain a greater share, and Whitmarsh said only the teams themselves can ensure that happens.

"Bernie has done a fantastic job for the owners. We can criticise him but he's doing a better job than we are. He's keeping the money on behalf of his employers. That money whistles out of the sport and that's deeply frustrating for some of us in the sport but that's exactly what he should be trying to do.

"If the teams aren't cohesive enough to work together to secure a larger share of that, then they have to blame themselves."