Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has reiterated his belief that Formula 1 should consider legalising customer cars, in a bid to cut costs and entice more teams into the championship.
Several Formula 1 teams outsource some components, most notably engines and gearboxes, but they must own and design their respective chassis.
Horner has been a leading supporter of customer cars being permitted in Formula 1 and reckons the desire to reduce costs, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, means the sport should seriously consider its introduction.
“Money is a hot topic among F1 teams right now,” he wrote in a column on Red Bull’s official website.
“The problem is, so much is made about the figure of the cost cap that I believe it is missing the point. F1 teams will always spend whatever budget they have available to them. Plus an extra 10 percent.
“I believe the solution should be looking at what drives those costs up in the first place and that is the R&D cost of building and developing cars in the hope of being competitive.
“I fully support the need to reduce costs and ensure that all 10 teams remain in the sport but there are many ways to accomplish that goal and they are not all just about lowering the cost cap.
“If the main target of a cost cap is about being competitive and helping the smaller teams, especially as we come through the current crisis, then I would be fully open to selling our cars at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.”
“Some people say that customer cars are against F1’s DNA to design and build your own car, well times have changed and we need to find the best way to make the smaller teams competitive and survive the current crisis.
“This approach works well in MotoGP and it could even attract more teams to the grid, which we would all welcome.
“Teams spend fortunes over winter copying others, why not just give them the opportunity to buy last year’s car?”
Horner feels Formula 1 has become overly concerned with the figure involved in a cost cap rather than the practicalities behind it.
“As the business model of the smaller teams evolves and they become more competitive with customer cars, they can bring in increased revenue and then look to build their own cars again,” he added.
“I truly believe the customer car solution could help in the short term and should be a serious consideration.
“There has certainly been some opportunism by some teams during the current crisis but I believe we need to look at all options rather than making a knee jerk reaction that could see many jobs lost.
“We should be less obsessed about the cap and more focused on making the sport competitive.”