Alonso vs. Newey: Is that the future ‘big question’ in F1?

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Interesting, but in so many ways disingenuous, comments coming from Lotus’ Eric Boullier ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

They revolve around the people partly behind the scenes: the technical experts. From Autosport:

“I think it’s insane to create a money war, when you start to pay your people crazy money.

“Formula 1 is very risky, it’s very demanding, it’s very exposed. There are big salaries in Formula 1 and most of the time, in every field actually, higher salaries than in any other industry. But what for?

“For me the company comes first, not fighting for a couple of hundred thousand pounds to keep an employee.”

His comments come after the high-profile “defection” from McLaren to Mercedes by Paddy Lowe, and looming behind everything is the crazy success during the past few years of Adrian Newey-designed Red Bulls. (And don’t forget that technical wonder that was the Brawn GP car.)

Autosport doesn’t quite take this story to the next, illogical level: technical experts being treated to driver-like salaries and perks. Or, more plainly: Will a point come when it is beyond-a-doubt clear that the technical side, including key designers, are more important and more valuable than the drivers? There aren’t any “pay technicians” out there, after all.

Are we inevitably coming to a time when snatching away an Adrian Newey will be more important than grabbing a Fernando Alonso? (Are we there already?)

(Oh, and I suggest his comments are disingenuous because of the sums of money being spent in F1.)

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