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DATE News (chronologically)
01/13/11
f1
Most F1 teams struggling financially  (GMM)  Only four of F1's twelve teams have budgets in place for the long term, according to an analysis by Auto Motor und Sport in Germany.

The report said only Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes are secure from a financial point of view, with at least half of the sport's teams fighting for survival.

Auto Motor und Sport named HRT as the team with the smallest budget (EUR 40 million) and lowest head-count (120).

On the other end of the scale are the reigning champions Red Bull, spending 330 million annually.

The report said Virgin (60m budget and 220 head-count) and Lotus (70m / 240) are the other minnows, with Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso running on just EUR 80 million.

Williams and Sauber have paying drivers on the books for 2011, and Vitaly Petrov has reportedly doubled the money he is taking to the Renault seat compared to his debut last year.

Arturo Merzario, an Italian driver of the 70s famous for pulling Niki Lauda from his burning Ferrari, thinks the sport is living on borrowed time.

"It will go back to being a sport only for a few car manufacturers," he told La Repubblica in an interview.

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