|Christian Horner now in favor of customer cars|
F1 has been an exercise in engineering for decades with F1 Driving Champions determined by engineering skill not driver skill. That was no more evident than this year when the Racing Point team somehow was able to copy last year's Mercedes and now all of a sudden the 'Pink' Mercedes team is going to give Ferrari and Red Bull a run for their money. Speed in F1 is 99% car and 1% driver.
It's time F1 decide what it really wants to be – a sport or and engineering business.
Whereas before the Chinese virus, F1 would never think about allowing customer cars be sold to the back half of the grid, but the virus, unleashed on the world by the Chinese government, has left F1 in a vulnerable position as there is growing concern that F1 could lose as many as four teams if the crisis is not handled correctly.
“If we were really serious about reducing the cost, particularly for the small teams, I would be in full favor of supplying for the next two years a full customer car," Red Bull boss Christian Horner is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
But why stop at two years? Keep that in place forever.
“The smaller teams wouldn’t need any R&D. They would run just as race teams and they would reduce their costs enormously.
“With the modern 3D photographic technology all teams utilize they are all trying to copy each other’s cars anyway," he added.
“Times change, things move. F1 used to have customer cars years ago. You could buy a car from March or from Ferrari and go racing.
“We need to think out of the box rather than just going round and round, beating ourselves up about numbers.
“If this is all about saving the little teams and improving their competitiveness, it would be a very difficult to argue against the logic of a small team being able to take a customer car."
With race income severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, Horner is convinced F1’s owners Liberty Media would step in to support struggling teams if needed.
“It could be an enormous blow and at that point the promoter has to decide," Horner explained.
“It is their business, they have to decide how do they keep these teams alive because they need teams to go racing.
“The Liberty guys would do whatever they can to ensure that 10 teams are on the grid and competing next year.
“In order to protect their own business I believe they would help to facilitate, which means paying, to ensure that those teams would be around to compete next year."