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Author Topic: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi  (Read 1800 times)

Offline Dare

F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« on: January 18, 2012, 04:30:30 PM »
  If Luizzi had joined oursite he'd have known this years ago.

Vitantonio Liuzzi has found that teams don't always honor contracts...


Stung twice in as many years, Vitantonio Liuzzi has admitted that today's Formula One contracts are effectively worthless.

At the end of 2010, the 30-year-old Italian was ousted by Force India with a season to run on his contract.

And now, Liuzzi looks likely to depart HRT, despite the former Red Bull and Toro Rosso driver insisting he has a full two years to run on his current deal.

"At the moment everything is very vague," he told the Italian website 422race.com.

"The main problem is that the team have no budget, so they are evaluating the way to get the money to have two drivers.

"For sure they would like to keep both me and Pedro (de la Rosa), but we are still in standby," added Liuzzi.

He acknowledged that while he is "fully" involved in HRT's 2012 plans right now, the situation could change at "any minute.

"Currently the deals (in F1) are worth very little, because a young driver with money can always come and buy the seat," said Liuzzi. "That's how it works."

A last-minute backup plan for the Italian could be a third driver role at another team, but it is also believed he might be eying a role in a series outside F1 — perhaps sports cars.

"We are evaluating," he admitted, "because it's a decision to make.

"For sure when the situation changes at the last minute it isn't easy to find places in top teams.

"I'm open to new challenges, because it has always been part of my career."




"The
democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are
willing to work and give to those who would not."
--
Thomas
Jefferson

Offline Scott

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 05:33:22 PM »
  If Luizzi had joined oursite he'd have known this years ago.

hehe - no kidding, eh?  :DD
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Jericoke

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 05:33:25 PM »
If we're worried about drivers being hung out to try (which is a little shameful), time to let Flavio back in as a driver manager.  He can screw over F1 teams like no one else this side of Bernie.

I don't really see a problem with F1 being results based though.  If you aren't helping the team, adios.  The drivers just need to know that going in.  It's got to be a shock from being the big fish in a small pond to being a minnow among the F1 sharks.

Offline Scott

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 08:25:27 PM »
I agree with you Jeri, but I think the one thing that should be ironclad is a guaranteed sign-or-release date.  That way a released driver could look for another team.  If they mandated such a date into the regulations, they'd have a day where left-over silly season actually kicked off - could make a bit extra dough if it was all in one place and televised the frowning drivers storming out but having to stop for interviews  ;) ;)
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Jericoke

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 12:32:41 AM »
I agree with you Jeri, but I think the one thing that should be ironclad is a guaranteed sign-or-release date.  That way a released driver could look for another team.  If they mandated such a date into the regulations, they'd have a day where left-over silly season actually kicked off - could make a bit extra dough if it was all in one place and televised the frowning drivers storming out but having to stop for interviews  ;) ;)

That's certainly a simple enough idea.  All the major leagues in North America have those sorts of rules. 

Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 12:46:27 AM »
I'm tired of teams signing a banker driver, then dumping him when someone with more money comes along. A contract should mean something. When Fisi wanted to go to Ferrari, he had to get permission. I think once a driver is submitted to the FIA he should not be able to be replaced short of serious health problems, except by a reserve. :DntKnw:
Lonny

Offline cosworth151

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 01:33:45 PM »
The contracts do seem to be one sided. A team can dump a driver at will. Tonio is one example and Jarno Trulli may soon be another. On the other hand, the driver can't just "dump" the team. Fisi and Button are two examples. Either make them binding on both sides or just do away with them all together
“You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
― Bob Dylan

Offline Jericoke

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 01:09:27 AM »
The contracts do seem to be one sided. A team can dump a driver at will. Tonio is one example and Jarno Trulli may soon be another. On the other hand, the driver can't just "dump" the team. Fisi and Button are two examples. Either make them binding on both sides or just do away with them all together

It's up to the driver's agent to get something ironclad.  If you gamble on  a contract that lets the team dump you, you can't really complain when they exercise that right.

Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 02:50:42 AM »
I think Trulli and Liuzzi both thought they had "ironclad" contracts. Heidfeld sued Renault and took a settlement. There is just no way you can force the team to let you into the car. Now if the FIA would say you have to use your contracted driver or park the car, it might offer the driver some protection.
Lonny

Offline Alianora La Canta

Re: F1: Modern Contracts Worthless Says Liuzzi
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2012, 09:21:19 PM »
Um... ...contracts are very valuable. Just don't mistake them for a relationship (an error that Tonio now appears to have made twice).

Ultimately, if the relationship is good, actions can and will be modified to suit both parties regardless of what the contract says. If the relationship is bad... ...actions can and will be modified to suit the "offended", and the "offendee" gets the remaining contract value from the arrangement, unless the action taken by the "offended" was particularly dim (e.g. Bourdais getting sacked mid-season in 2009 by Toro Rosso; Sebastien got $1.1 m for that which was probably more than the amount he would have got had he driven the remaining races of that season).

Tonio's description of seat buy-out isn't the hazard of a modern contract. It's the hazard of driving for a pay team when you run out of sponsors (remember Force India was Tonio's "sponsor" last year). Without a sponsor, Tonio may well be in breach of contract, in which case it's a mark of faith - or desperation - from Hispania that he hasn't been dropped yet. Tonio should have known that going in, but he was short of options when he signed last year so I do have some sympathy for him.

Interestingly, 10 years ago sign-or-release dates were common. There was no synchronisation of the dates, but they tended to be mid-season and frequently kicked off the Silly Season proper. They fell out of favour towards the end of the decade, when the team owners decided they could kick drivers out if necessary without bothering with such dates. Essentially, the current situation is due to team bosses increasing in power.

There's also been the requirement, which has stood for 20 years apart from a slight change during the early 2000s, that a team may have 4 drivers, and only 4 drivers, race in a season. During a brief period of the 2000s, a "second" driver could be changed twice provided the "first" driver was kept all season, but otherwise each seat could only change once in a year (note that neither seat needed to be nominated until the first change was done).

In theory, the FIA could say that a team must use its contracted drivers and not change them at all unless there was an injury or genuinely intractable problem. However the EU would not allow such a law to be enacted among those teams in member states (which means all except Sauber). Put simply, in the EU it's illegal to force a company to retain/re-engage someone unless backed by a court order, and the F1 world moves too quickly for courts to keep up. Forcing the parking of a car as a penalty would probably be classed as "forcing a company to retain someone" and thus gain the wrath of EU lawyers also.
Percussus resurgio
@lacanta (Twitter)
http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

 


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