Ecclestone reveals details of customer car plan

Formula 1 looks set to head down the customer car avenue within the next few years after the matter was discussed at length during a recent Strategy Group meeting.

Whilst a number of the smaller teams are totally opposed to the idea, Bernie Ecclestone is pushing ahead with it and took the opportunity on Friday to shed further light on what it entails.

"You would make all the chassis the same, and then we would do a deal with one of the engine suppliers. It should work," he said of the proposal which is aimed at boosting the grid and reducing the financial burden on the small teams.


The idea behind customer cars is to supply a standard chassis and engine for a set fee, allowing the teams to operate on a relatively small budget. This would affect constructor teams like Lotus, Force India and Sauber. Meanwhile the manufacturer teams, Mercedes, Ferrari etc, would continue as they are. The issue is it creates a 'two-tier' championship whereby the customer teams would likely never be able to compete for a podium place, and are therefore racing at the back, though many would argue that that is what they do at present.

"We'll supply two chassis, complete, by the first of January for $15 million," he revealed, adding that FOM would even pay for its development.

When it was suggested that this would create a two-tier formula, he replied: "Well what do you think we have now?"

The 84-year-old also believes it will eradicate the current 'pay driver' problem as teams will no longer be required to fund huge budgets.

"Instead of having to run around and find a driver who has money, they could look for a talented driver and put him in the car," he added. "You would then get a lot more new drivers with a lot more talent."