It’s not like we plan these things. It just seems that every time we discuss a topic on one of our podcasts, a few days later, the actual subject ends up in the news. That works well as it adds to our conversation or in this case, clarifies something we were wondering about F1.
In our most recent podcast, we discussed the idea of having standardized parts as a way of controlling costs. Parts that fans can’t see, couldn’t care less about and have no impact on overall performance of the car—wheel nuts, bolts, wiring harnesses etc.
Today an article at Autosport adds clarity as to just how effective this would be in reducing costs as McLaren’s Zak Brown weighed in.
“There are some that think we should standardise some parts,” Brown told Autosport.
“Teams have shown they’re very clever.
“I don’t think you can control costs just by controlling what’s on the cars.
“We’ll just find other areas, the windtunnel being a great example: we pulled that back and now CFD budgets are through the roof, so I don’t think you can manage it only by standardisation of parts.
“You can do some of that and I don’t think the consumer knows visibly what the suspension on our car looks like, compared to the suspension on a Williams, as an example.
“So I think things can be standardised to reduce costs that don’t improve the show and the fans don’t recognise the difference.
“But I still think we need a budget cap, which most other sports have.”
Brown suggests that it would help reduce costs but still probably wouldn’t be enough and in his mind, a cost cap is still a good idea.
We’ve discussed the concept of a budget cap before and so has the FIA as well as the F1 Strategy Group and the conclusion is that it would be very difficult to police as most teams aren’t keen to have the FIA plow through their balance sheets.
As Paul and I discussed, curbing CFD work or wind tunnel time might be the lowest hanging fruit in a budget cut scenario but Formula 1’s new sporting director, Ross Brawn, may be more on point by suggesting the regulations be changed to enable competitive performance to be achieved with far less investment.
Hat Tip: Autosport