Meteor Team Principal Kazuki Armos has criticised the choice of driver line up for Franklin F1 next season, blasting it 'mental'.
It has recently come to light that Franklin F1 have signed drivers Will Hoskins and Mattias Hirvonen. At present Hoskins sits in 5th place with 53 points while Hirvonen is in 25th with no points. This move has seen current championship leader, Nathaniel Powers, out of a drive, despite having a championship lead of 43 points.
Currently Franklin sit at the top of the constructors with 166 points, ahead of Team 23 with 109. With Franklin sitting at the top of the table, if this continues until the end of the season, they would have the biggest budget going into next season, an astonishing £32,000,000. It has been leaked that they have only paid a mere £8,500,000 for both drivers in total leaving £23,500,000 clearing in the bank, providing they of course win the constructors championship.
When Meteor Team Principal was asked whether he thought teams were jumping the gun by signing drivers, particularly Franklin. Armos responded, 'Well I personally think whoever is making those decisions at Franklin, I presume Jamie Franklin is mental. A team which I imagine will win the constructors, they have a massive lead, can afford to spend the cash on retaining your leading driver, particularly as he is leading the championship. Well at least they have kept Hoskins, but Hirvonen, that is just moronic, why would you swap you championship leading driver for a driver with no points sitting in last place, it is just mental.'
When asked if he thinks Nathaniel Powers will get a driver for next season, Armos was hesitant. Well the way it works is a minimum bid is required for a driver depending on the championship standings, it is a gamble, you could pay big early and make a big loss later if the drop down the order, but you could also make a big win by bidding on an underperforming driver who could improve, then of course there is the reward money. But Franklin's lead looks set to stay. Where can Powers go, Team 23? They are the most likely option, but then they have Jean Mattson and Elroy Wagner this season who have both performed very well, why change the line up. You also have to remember that the reward money is not just for drivers, it is for next season development, if Team 23 finish second they would be rewarded roughly £27,000,000, if they were to sign Powers, they would have to pay at least, £17,500,000, that would leave them with £9,500,000 for another driver and next season development, apparently they have signed Mattson for £11,000,000, with that in play they can't afford Powers. Next on the list is Mathershaw becoming Liverpool, I have heard they have retained their drivers, then if all things stay this way, it would be Scuderia Rossi, they have signed one driver, their budget would be borderline affordably for Powers but it would not be wise, even if things were to slightly change around there it would still be difficult to pay for Powers.'
So according to Kazuki Armos it seems like championship leader Nathaniel Powers will be out of a drive for next season, will anybody see the light fading for next season as it is for Powers?