Horner pushes for customer cars in F1

Christian Horner - why not customer cars in F1 to reduce cost and level the playing field
Christian Horner – why not customer cars in F1 to reduce cost and level the playing field

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes Formula 1 must look beyond a budget cap and consider 'bold' plans like customer cars in a bid to help all teams survive the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking exclusively to Autosport for the #thinkingforward series of discussions with motorsport's leaders, Horner echoed the belief of many that radical solutions are needed for grand prix racing to come out of the current difficulties in good shape.

"Now is the time to be bold," he said. "Now is the time to influence change. We can tick off things, but I think you've got to grab the bull by the horns, excuse the pun.

"If I was running a smaller team, the fastest way to competitiveness at a cost-effective route would be rather than trying to reverse engineer and copy your supplier team, which is happening in many cases, why not just sell them the whole car that we finish with in Abu Dhabi? Let them have it.

"Then they can operate as a race team, they don't need all the research and development facilities. It's the fastest route to competitiveness, and the cheapest route as well. They could operate as a race team with a decent product.

"Plus, if they get the race team together, they could win races. We proved that with Toro Rosso and Sebastian Vettel when we were supplying them effectively a customer car back in 2008.

"But there's this paranoia about being a constructor and what you're giving up if you're not a constructor.

"It works in other forms of motorsport, in MotoGP. So if you could buy a Mercedes, buy a Ferrari or a Red Bull after Abu Dhabi, why wouldn't you?"

"I'm all for saving money and a cap is a reasonable thing, but if you don't go upstream and stop the flood of water, then you can't expect the cap to be the dam that captures it all," he said.

"It's very much about cutting off that supply of water upstream."

"F1 as a global world championship has been very heavily affected but I think that in times of adversity people do come together," he said.

"I've seen it in our own team and within the sport as a whole.

"I think by and large, everybody's focused on the right things in terms of ensuring that F1 survives, and that it does eventually get going, that it does it in a safe and responsible manner."

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