Initial reports from the F1 Strategy Group meeting seem to imply that the door has been opened to customer cars. This is not a new concept and they used to be an entry point for small teams back in the glory years. Former FIA president Max Mosley was instrumental in the March team and chassis options that folks could purchase and race.
Now, I know that Sir Frank Williams has always been against the idea of customer cars and when the topic came up last, it ushered in the option of three-car teams. That didn’t go anywhere either.
The fact is, some folks are for it and others against it and interestingly, you would think all the small teams would be in favor but I seem to recall even Sauber having concerns over the notion.
Is this the key to cutting costs? Sir Frank himself may not have gotten into F1 had it not been for customer cars. If memory serves correctly, it was the issue that prevented Dave Richards at ProDrive from entering the series several years ago.
The row prompted allegations that Toro Rosso was effectively using Red Bull’s chassis and that didn’t go over very well prompting the team to redouble their efforts and create their own cars from the ground up.
So could this be a grand equalizer given that topics on the table were centered on cutting wind tunnel work, widening tires, capping engine supply costs and more? It seems odd that those were tabled in favor for a discussion over customer cars but then this model worked in the past and could provide more cars on the grid so you could see why they went down this rabbit trail. What do you think? Good idea or bad?
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT