Will pressure to win trump cost cap in F1 arms race?

Dovetailing nicely with our discussion on cost caps in Formula 1, today’s news from AUTOSPORT brings an interesting dynamic to the discussion considering the teams, pressure and resources they have to bring to the sport and what impact that may have for the small teams.

Quoting Cyril Abiteboul at Caterham, AUTOSPORT asked about the big teams and regulation changes that may prompt increased spending and pressure to do well. Cyril responded:

“I think it is a small opportunity for us in that it is an opportunity to join the midfield – but I believe that we will only join the midfield.

“There is a reset but the midfield will be quite far away from the leading teams because I see the amount of resources that some teams are capable of putting into this.

“The other thing is that in 2015, you will have four players – Ferrari, Red Bull with Renault, Mercedes and Honda – that have an obligation to be successful.

“They need to justify the level of spending that is currently being put into it – and that obligation to win is going to create a massive arms race between them.

“That is a big danger for Formula 1 – that it will be those four and the rest of us behind.”

It’s a good point in that Mercedes has hired every top manager and key person they can find and that comes with a hefty price tag to be sure. The German carmaker is taking no prisoners in their effort to top the sport in a quest to find a form of motor sport they can truly lay claim to.

Ferrari have never suffered for passion in the world of F1 and would like to ring the bells in Maranello again as soon as possible while McLaren has a lot to answer for from their failed 2013 campaign and Red Bull have resources and 4 titles to defend their reputation as a legitimate racing team and not some peddler of sugared drinks.

There is no doubt that the resources are massive at the top teams and with the pressure to perform, will the small teams have a chance? This is the dichotomy of F1—the manufacturers can enter the series to try and win and if they do or don’t they can leave the series just as quickly. All credit to Ferrari, McLaren and even Red Bull who are racing teams voted most likely to stay in F1 for the long run. Mercedes, Honda, Renault and other manufacturers have come and gone.

The FIA’s turbo V6 engine gambit was ushered in for 2014 as a way of baiting the hook and luring car makers back to the sport but careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

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