Marussia technical director Pat Symonds believes that most teams on the Formula 1 grid are concerned about their finances.
Symonds, who previously worked at Renault, told Sky Sports that most teams are looking at their finances with a worried eye.
When asked whether a ‘financial straitjacket’ was too strong a description about Marussia, Symonds replied “If anything, I don’t think it’s a strong enough description – it’s really tough in Formula 1 at the moment.”
“The fact is, outside the top four teams everyone has some financial concerns. And even in the top four you’ve got Mercedes who, while they haven’t financial concerns, there must be other concerns there – that they don’t go the way of Honda and Toyota.”
“So everyone’s worried. But the difference between the haves and the have nots is just immense – and it’s not getting any better. Under the last Concorde Agreement the new teams including Marussia did get some payout from FOM; it wasn’t a lot of money but it was a significant part of our budget, because our budget was so small. And when you take away things like that, it really hurts.”
A new Concorde Agreement – to cover the sport until 2020 – has yet to be signed, but it is understood that Marussia will lose out financially. Symonds, however, believes that in spite of their tight finances, their improvement demonstrates that money is being spent wisely.
“[Team Principal] John [Booth] and [President] Graeme [Lowdon] particularly, they’re in the Frank Williams mould. They’re not going to let this team go. So we will survive and the great thing about us is that we’re small, so if things get tough one day we can pull our horns in a little bit.”
“If we get more money we’ll use it wisely, because we’re used to not having much money. I think that’s reflected in our development last year. If you compare qualifying times in Malaysia between 2013 and 2012, Lotus and Force India both used softer tyres in 2013 than they did in 2012 but, excepting that, most people had improved by about 0.75 per cent. Marussia were 2.5 per cent quicker. Things like that make you think: ‘We’re going places.”