Is Formula One looking at a bright new future of supersponsorships from global brands, or is the outlook somewhat gloomier? Based on comments made by two team principals from different ends of the grid, it's all a matter of perspective...
“I think we are affected by the cycles of the economy of the world,” Brawn told Autosport
. “We cannot ignore that. There is a lot of positive and proactive work to try and contain the costs within F1. There is constant debate/discussion within F1 to see better ways of doing that, but I think we are seeing a lot of positive signs.
“We have had Blackberry join us as partners and there are other people joining F1 because they can see the value of it. It is a constant battle. We can never rest and say that it is okay. We've always got to be working to contain costs and improve the quality of F1 and make it more appealing to our partners and sponsors. And it is a constant battle.
“In the 30 or more years that I have been involved in F1 it has never been very different to be honest. There are always one or two teams at the bottom who are perhaps struggling to meet their budgets. It is cyclic – but there is still a very strong core to F1.”
Brawn was speaking before news of the Emirates deal
had broken officially, but it is very unlikely that the Mercedes team boss would not have been aware of it. But while the airline's decision to sponsor Formula One is great news for sport as whole, financially it's less of a result for the teams.
The hope is that Emirates' vote of confidence will attract the attention of cash-rich blue chip brands who might be tempted to invest in teams the length of the grid. At the back end, where Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock have both lost their seats to drivers with personal sponsorship to add to the team coffers, belts are the tightest they've ever been.
“I think the economic situation is worse than it has ever been for everyone,” Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul told Autosport. “I think there is one single team that has been able to do an amazing job both on track and from a commercial perspective, and that is Red Bull. But they have had the luxury of a shareholder who was helping at the start with no great sponsors. I think everyone else is suffering.”