Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes the rules should be changed to allow larger teams such as his to supply smaller outfits will full customer cars over the next two seasons, in an effort to cut their costs during the coronavirus pandemic.
F1 teams are facing a major shortfall in income which is directly tied to the number of races in a calendar year, but with the current pandemic, it’s likely a reduced calendar will be run with far fewer than the original 21 scheduled grands prix.
Whilst F1 and the FIA have taken steps to alleviate the financial burden placed upon the teams, which includes delaying a major rules overhaul and introducing a budget cap next year, Horner says allowing customer cars would be a “serious” solution.
Currently the rules only allow certain parts, such as suspension, gearboxes and engines to be sourced from rival teams.
“If we were really serious about reducing the cost, particularly for the small teams, I would be in full favour of supplying for the next two years a full customer car,” Horner told the Guardian.
“The smaller teams wouldn’t need any R&D [expenditure]. They would run just as race teams and they would reduce their costs enormously.”
Whilst this is against the spirit of F1, Horner added that it wasn’t so long ago that customer cars were the norm.
“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,” he said.
“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.”