News and views on motorsports

Friday, May 29, 2009

The So Called Solution

So it has emerged that Mercedes have floated a compromise proposal to FOTA and the FIA regarding the rules for next year's Formula 1 world championship. In effect, a budget cap of 100 million would be in place and the smaller teams would be technically assisted by the current manufacturers, although this stops short of chassis supply.

What a load of bollocks! Why not simply allow customer cars? Toro Rosso have shown that the concept can work. Heck, even Super Aguri showed that its possible to show the works teams a thing or two. Lola, who apparently will enter the 2010 championship, is in the business of constructing racing cars and selling them off to teams in other formulae. If customer cars were allowed, they could supply the other entrants as well.

Interestingly, there are two different views within FOTA itself. Some folks led by Williams who are adamantly opposed to the idea of customer cars on the grounds that this would somehow jeapordise the constructors world championship. Again, completely bollocks. Then there's Red Bull, who were assured when they entered Formula 1 that customer cars would be allowed.

I still can't understand Williams' argument. We could easily add a team's title in addition to the constructors championship. For instance, points for the constructors championship could be scored by the top two cars of the constructor regardless of the team that won it. If Williams for instance supplied cars to say Campos, and such a team scored a one-two in the race, Williams as a constructor would collect points since they are the constructor of the cars. They would still gain the prestige of winning the constructors title. If Campos regularly beat the works cars, then the team championship would be won by Campos.

In other formulae and especially in sports cars we see different combinations of chassis and engines all the time. In grand prix racing, we see that its possible for the customer team i.e. Toro Rosso to win against the works team using different engines. In sports cars we regularly see the customer teams beat the works cars. It all adds to the interest in the sport.

Teams would be in a far better position to afford grand prix racing if they did not have to spend monies on research and development and maintaining production facilities. But nevertheless, they would still have to pay for their chassis. In fact, this would be a revenue source for constructors. Lola makes a living from this. And so could say the Williams team, who I'm sure with its still vast technical resources could make better racing cars.

Frank Williams is a complete ass. And so is his team. I'd never thought I'd ever say that. And yet now, I wish Williams demise from grand prix racing.

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