Weekend Debate: Should Haas F1 rivals stamp out, or copy their tech share model?
Innovation
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Apr 2018   |  8:17 am GMT  |  232 comments

The Haas F1 looked a very quick car in Melbourne and it was only the extraordinary double pit stop error that prevented the team from scoring double-digit points in the opening round.

Not surprisingly, after the guesswork and ‘phoney war’ that is the pre-season testing, now the gloves are off.

Rivals who spend significant money on designing and building all aspects of their own F1 cars – the traditional model of being a ‘constructor’ – are crying foul on Haas’ model.


Haas’ Ferrari DNA
The American outfit has always had a model based on deriving as much of the F1 car as possible from its technical partner Ferrari.

There are strict rules that list the prescribed parts allowed in this kind of collaboration. The rules draw the line at the actual monocoque the driver sits in as well as a short list of other parts, including the front impact and roll structures, as well as some of the bodywork. Haas has a team in Italy under Dallara that does that, but how many ex Ferrari people there are in that mix is not public knowledge.

The FIA has its way of assessing and policing the rules and the Haas has to have enough of its own IP in that car for it to be compliant.

It is a good model in many ways, because it means a team like Haas can come into F1 at a midfield level and race for under $100m a year. That’s still an insane amount of money, but they have shown that you can compete on that basis.

Peer group teams like Force India and Williams spend around $120-140m and McLaren another $40m or so on top again.

It’s good for Ferrari because it brings in extra money on their F1 programme for engines, gearboxes and all the other pieces not in the list of parts a team must make itself. They get extra revenue for their R&D and production work.

Red Bull has played around the fringes of this regulation on prescribed parts in the past; its 2008 season with the Ferrari engined Toro Rosso driven by Sebastian Vettel being a good example. It is now benefitting from having that junior team to bed in the Honda engine and there is a clear strategy there to fast track that process and bring Honda to the Red Bull team. It may be 2019, it may be 2020, but it’s quite clear that’s the way they are thinking.

But for independent F1 teams like McLaren and Williams especially, as well as Force India to a certain extent, this latest Haas car is a problem. You hear murmurs about it being essentially ‘last year’s Ferrari’.

It is certainly fast; Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were 6th and 7th on the grid, Magnussen a second off the pace of the Red Bull, but ahead of the McLarens, Williams, works Renault cars.


Rival teams unhappy
McLaren and Force India in particular had a grumble after Australia.

As Jonathan Noble posted in his analysis on Autosport.com “Fernando Alonso cheekily labelled the Haas a ‘Ferrari replica’, while McLaren’s executive director Zak Brown referred to the car as a ‘Faas’.

“We report what we are doing, like everybody else, to the FIA,” countered Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner. “That’s why I’m more than confident we are not doing anything wrong.

“I’m perfectly fine with how we do business. We design our own aero, as per the regulations, and yes, we use mechanical parts from Ferrari, but everybody’s known that for the past two years.

“We are well above board, and happy to be where we are.”

The battle for supremacy in the midfield, behind the top three teams, is set to be very intense this year and a lot is at stake. Renault on paper should finish fourth, but McLaren, Force India, Williams and Haas are all battling over fifth place. Get on the wrong side of that and you’ll find yourself explaining to sponsors and shareholders why you finished eighth in the Constructor’s table!

A showing like Haas’, with a net spend of probably half of what McLaren are spending, for example, doesn’t look good.

It is the way of F1 to arouse suspicions whenever someone makes a leap in performance like Haas has done and this will now be the subject of much scrutiny.

Ross Brawn
What will be the future model?

What is more interesting to me is what Ross Brawn and his team at Liberty Media will propose about the constructor model when they release their blueprint for F1 post 2020 next week. It’s possible that this initial reveal will be more top line, around engines, broader regulations and they won’t go into that kind of detail at this stage.

But if the goal is to reduce costs and make the teams sustainable, then the model Haas has adopted is attractive. Force India’s Bob Fearnley has always maintained that owner Vijay Mallya isn’t interested in F1 if you can’t be a ‘constructor’ in the truest sense of the word. But if money is tight and there is a sense that ‘everyone’s doing it’ among the independent teams, then he may have to review that opinion.

Ferrari’s Sergio Marchionne has spelled out that for the manufacturer teams there has to be a major point of technology differentiation between the cars otherwise Ferrari will not play in F1 any longer.

But he’s also benefitting financially from the Haas model (and Alfa Romeo Sauber too), so he has a foot in both camps. Follow the thinking through and it plays to his and Mercedes’ political position against Liberty that the midfield teams would be dependent on the manufacturers for their customer chassis, thereby making the manufacturers even more powerful.

Brawn’s strategy will no doubt want to counter that, so in theory the independents should take some comfort from that.

But F1 has to find a sustainable model; you can see why it makes sense for the midfield to go racing with parts derived from a top team, as Haas does. It’s a disruptor in the F1 ecosystem and as we see in so many other areas of life today, it’s hard to push back against disruption.

The only thing that can maintain the status quo is when you have a strictly regulated environment, such as we have in F1.

That’s why, what Liberty and the FIA have to say about this technical collaboration model post 2020 will be very interesting indeed.

What do you think? Leave your comments in the section below

Featured Innovation
INNOVATION BRIEFING
technical innovation from tata COMMUNICATIONS
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!
1

F1 has become so professional, that it’s very hard, or next to impossible, to come in and join the pack right away, like Sauber or Stewart Grand Prix did. That’s why most new teams are built by buying an old team first (like Midland/Spyker/Force India). We’ve seen it with Virgin, Lotus and HRT – they needed years to catch up to the back of the field of established teams and then they got stuck because of their limited funding. On the contrary Haas Ferrari and Super Aguri Honda got a good start by reusing everything they could, annoying every established mid field to backmarker constructor along the way – and rightly so. Customer cars will also just cement the importance and leadership of the top runners, like James already mentioned.

I think Formula 1 should create a hybrid solution: Any new team (i.e. new factory building and infrastructure) gets to buy a last year’s car in their first season, it is allowed the Haas model in their second and fourth season and will have to build everything but the drive train starting with in their fourth season.

2

IF there is a “problem” …it is the rules.

3

There have been customer teams forever – and they have beaten the manufacturers on occasion. I don’t see a problem – buy the whole car – the drivers, tuning, mechanics and strategy will be different. If anything it will make things more interesting!

4

I’ve never warmed to the HAAS/ferrari car but i bet if the HAAS was labouring at the back they wouldn’t complain which makes it petty.

The main problem could be more manufacturers copying the HAAS route and the character and intetest of F1 being reduced considerably as a result.

5

Cost cutting, how about we don’t let the teams transmit data outside of the circuit. That will stop teams like Mercedes who have what appears to be hundreds of employees back at their home base in Brackley analysing data. 24 hours a day while a race meeting is in progress and then transmitting back solutions and suggestions to the race team at the track. It would also stop the driver back at the factory running multiple full race simulations on the test rig. For the next step, we can then easily physically limit the number of data analysts/engineers at the circuit.

That’s a couple of pretty simple cost containment measures that would also equalise the race performance of those teams that can’t afford hundreds of engineers, 24 hours a day and simulators capable of duplicating the track conditions in real time while a race meeting is in progress.

6

The danger is how many teams could beat last years Mercedes? Could Ferrari? Imagine if Williams, Force India turned up in China with it and proceeded to outqualify the Ferrari’s courtesy of qualify mode. There needs to be a clear limit and in my view should be strictly limited to the PU and the necessary ancillaries to run that PU. If you can’t make your own car then F1 don’t enter F1.

7

What is happening at Williams ?

Despite new people at the top of several departments, the start to 2018 has been a disaster made far worse by the weakest driver lineup on the grid.

Responsibility for this must lie at the office door of Claire Williams who has been in charge for long enough to have had some positive effect.

If I were a Williams shareholder. which fortunately I am not, I would be demanding change at the top. Just because she has her Dad’s surname does not mean she is capable of running a successful F1 team.

Recent performance indicates that she isn’t. ( capable )

8

it certainly merits a look as Haas was truly struggling last year. Perhaps Ross Brawn can shed some light on how he took a washed up Honda works team in 2008 and made it a World champion car in 4 months???

9

Two words: double-diffuser

10

The double diffuser helped, but Brawn was not the only team to start the season with a double diffuser. Toyota and Williams had it too and they didn’t finish runner up.

There was more to it.

When Brawn arrived at Honda and testing showed the car was a lemon, he immediately put it on minimum maintenance and fully shifted the focus to the following year.

When Honda pulled out, Brawn had inherited a car that not only had a double diffuser, it also had half a year more of full time development than any other car on the grid, developed on the full Honda F1 budget. And much to his luck Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber were involved in the 2008 championship battle for most of the season, unable to shift their focus to 2009 early on. As a result, not only Brawn, but also Red Bull slipped past them in 2009.

11

New topic: Ross Brawn says he found it “personally offensive” when Ferrari’s chairman Sergio Marchionne accused him of dumbing down the sport.

You go Ross ! ! !

12

Garret, I saw that interview. Someone has to get tough with Ferrari and Mercedes, and as an ex senior employee of both companies, Ross is the man for the job.

13

That is fine or u can call intelligent management from HAAS however, this tactics will make force india feel robbed. To me it is perfectly fine rather Manor and Caterham approach whuch goes downwords and vanished in F1 at last, I feel this is much better way to go about racing. I ammazed Mc’Laren shouting about it. HAAS isn’t Ferrari B team as they did not let their junior driver Giovinazzi drive for them, this shows the influence they have over HAAS is limited. What make me worry is if Ferrari have same influence on Sauber F1 than there are too much influence on the engine call of Ferrari since there are three teams mostly dependent on them and they are getting clear support from Mercedes as well.

14
Hornershaftedwebber

Simple.

Standardise front and rear wings give freedom of all other aero parts and give each team a component that they must manufacture and supply to all other teams.

15

Honda to make all the engines?

16

Sergio Marchionne is such a hypocrite. He complains about Liberty’s regulation changes and that Ferrari will leave F1 if you can’t tell the cars apart technically. But he’s happy with the FAAS?

17

We have a saying in the U.K. “sour grapes”. It would be nice for just once Alonso not to moan, he needs to accept Haas have done an excellent job this year and get get over it.

Imagine if the new teams from a few years ago adopted the Haas model they would have survived and we would now have more cars on the grid.

18

I feel these so called listed parts should be sold by an independent company, not a constructor/competitor in F1. It’s great that HAAS has gotten speed, but have rules been broken or abused? The FIA should get an independent supplier to provide these listed parts, on specific orders.

19

It’s not the listed parts that’s the issue it’s the work on the unlisted parts. With such a close relationship between Ferrari, Dallara and HAAS some teams suspect that HAAS are getting assistance on the non listed parts that breaks the rules but they’ve no way of proving it and similarly this close relationship is benefiting Ferrari with their development.

20
Richard Mortimer

Andrew

That just means more cost! Plus, how is an independent company going to develop them? It’s crazy you have 9 teams building all this stuff separately.

The only way that would work is to have standard parts all the teams have to use! First candidate for that is the front-wing!

21

I would not standardize the front wing, as it is the most important aerodynamic part apart from the diffuser, and it defines most of a car’s aerodynamics.

I would cut its complexity, allowing for less freedom. You get to use 3 or maybe 5 horizontal elements and two end plates and then we need to limit their shapes in a way that they can’t use slits (not even as part of the outer border, like they do with the floor).

22

Surely the underscore in this article is the position of the mercedes customer teams. There has been enough time and enough personnel transfer (eg Paddy Lowe) for there to have been some form of a convergence toward the factory team? Yet Force India and Williams seem further away than ever. The Haas and Renault performance highlight how far down the relative pecking order they have fallen.

It wasn’t long ago that teams were clamouring over each other to get access to their donk, but it’s become abundantly clear that as a mercedes customer you are not being treated fairly by HQ.

Not good for the sport or their brand!

Will Toto be the man that killed F1?

23

I would say Mercedes would sell those parts too but their customer teams want to do it themselves.

Williams may have a better car than it’s drivers unlike HAAS but Force India could be helped by doing this.

I don’t see a problem at all. That HAAS has Ferrari suspension which means it can’t be a copy of last years car. The Dallara chassis isn’t as good but clearly they have a good suspension.

BTW they didn’t score points yet so some want to complain anyhow.

24
Clarks4WheelDrift

Isn’t he already ‘the man’ that has killed F1.

Whatever keeps Mr Big and the board happy, win at all cost to the sport.

25

Lkfe, you think Paddy moving to Williams should be enough to put them on a par with Mercedes?! What about the hundred million extra Merc spend on aero development? You really think ine guy can off set that? The idea that the Merc customer team’s are being kept down by the evil Toto not letting them get their hands on the good stuff is clearly nonsense, explain the lap time gap between Sauber and Ferrari, or between Renault and Red Bull…..

26

It is also very well publicised that they are not given the same boost frequency and volume as the factory team, so your last sentence is nonsense…

27

Lkfe, what you said was that there should have been “some form of a convergence towards the factory team”. You didn’t mention their position in relation to the other customer teams at all! Now who’s trying to obfuscate?!

28

God i hate have to quote myself…

“The Haas and Renault performance highlight how far down the relative pecking order they have fallen.”

Did you stop reading and start replying before you got to that bit?

29

Lkfe, boost frequency and volume? Where is this well publicised, should be dead easy for you to post a link.

30

No time for link posting, so i must be talking rubbish…or you could just go and ask Bob Fernley or Claire Williams…

31

Tim, did i say any of that??

I reflected the position of FI and Williams relative to the other customer teams, and relative to their previous position in the pecking order…all with the supposed “best PU”.

Oh how you obfuscate!

32

@LKFE… Whilst Mercedes may keep some “extra performance” for themselves, I don’t think this is the key reason that FI and Williams are falling behind…

33

Mercedes has no reason to hide anything regarding their engine from Force India or Williams. They have a car that is both mechanically and aerodynamically superior and they’ve got a huge budget to pull away from them in the development race by sheer brute force. Really these conspiracy theories are nonsense. It makes more sense to assume that the Force India and Williams cars don’t benefit from the “party mode” so much, because their cars can’t put the power down so well.

34
Craig in Manila

I have no problem whatsoever with the “buy what you can, build what you have to” method and the overall way that Haas is going about their business.

My only concern are the clear conflicts of interest that arise when Team B is :
(1) in a significant financial relationship with Team A
(2) when Team B are using drivers who are “owned” by Team A
There needs to be something in place to ensure that MASSIVE fines will occur if lines are crossed.
All it would take would be a driver from Team B to deliberately ignore blue-flags for a couple of corners to stop a driver from Team C getting a good quali run or to give Team A a couple seconds advantage in the race itself.
Sure, the driver might get a penalty but he’s also just inked his contract with Team A for a couple more seasons…

35
Richard Mortimer

Craig

Makes no difference. This has always happened. Of course, it is usually team mates doing it.

Remember the 1964 finale? Bandini took G Hill off to allow Surtees to win the championship. Graham said, “Bandini earned his salary that day!”

36

Perhaps the Constructors Championship should be renamed Assemblers Championship.

The Garagista shouldnt be complaining.

only Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault are true F1 teams in my opinion.

37

Maybe there needs to be 2 championships? Red Bull would lead this one.

38
Richard Mortimer

Grinch

In the movie isn’t the Grinch a misery? So, it looks like you are being true to the name you have chosen? Ha

Only Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault are true teams? Think you mean complete constructors in that they build the whole car, including engine? Or PU to be PC!

Ferrari have 16 constructors titles, Mercedes just 4 and Renault only 2.

Williams have 9, McLaren 8, Lotus 7 and Red Bull 4!

Remember all the current teams (including Haas) build their own chassis and do their own aero!

Nuff said…..

39

Meccano used to be sold as as ‘construction set’ so If you build a Meccano F1 car i think the FIA will agree that you constructed it!

40

@Grinch … and McLaren & Red Bull as honorary “factory teams” given the size of their operations.

41

It has been only ONE race!!

42
Tornillo Amarillo

Haas is one of the largest machine tool builders in the world by total unit volume. – WIKI-

A paradox they cannot really build the car ! 🙂

43

There’s a big difference between designing and making parts for a race car, and designing and building machines that make those parts.

44

That’s more irony I think. Excellent comment!

45

Why bother building your own when you can copy, sorry, get a piece of tracing paper and “simulate” another constructors creation……………No, no, no! That sort of thing doesn’t happen in Formula 1! Well apart from 2007, Surrey, 780 page document, Woking, intellectual property, blah, blah, blah, 100 Million Euro fine, blah, blah, blah……………

Putting my serious cap on though, when it comes to IP, when happens when say, Mr Paddy Lowe formerly employed by Mercedes as technical director and therefore responsible for the tub design of the Merc then is gainfully employed by Williams F1 to design their tubs? Does his knowledge of the Intellectual Property of Mercedes means he is technically committing “espionage” because he has brought that knowledge to Williams?????

Difficult situation really, isn’t it?

46

They don’t want to. Haas is not about to bankrupt his own company by spending his own money doing everything from scratch. Why build your own car when you can just go buy one from the dealer’s lot?

47

@Tornillo – they CHOSE not to build their own car.

They obviously determined that this is more suitable pathway for them (quicker/cheaper/less risky) to being competitive. Seems like a smart choice to me, but that’s not to say they couldn’t do it themselves, if they wanted to spend a few more $$$

48

They have built a car. It’s on the F1 grid.

49

What a bunch of [expletive deleted] whining crybabies!

THIS is what’s wrong with F1!!

Too bad Liberty can’t put a muzzle on them!

For gods sake just stfu and drive!

50
Clarks4WheelDrift

Unfortunately the ‘drive’ part has been neutered.

In F1 now it seems to be… stfu and SPEND!

51

Thank you Sir!

52

Of far more concern is the new engine formula. Liberty and the FIA need to ignore Mercedes and Ferrari and go for a simpler and cheaper power unit.

F1 would be far more sustainable if there were several independent engine suppliers including Cosworth who could provide a competitive unit at a price independent teams could afford. If it were a simpler unit, it would be easy for teams to swap engine providers as and when they see fit.

As for customer cars, it seems to me that the availablility of an off-the-shelf gearbox as in the Hewland days would reduce costs dramatically for the independent teams however it would have to be carefully managed as Ferrari and others would retain a big advantage with their fully integrated engine and gearbox designs.

To sustain F1 for the longer term, we need to get back to a 26 or 28 car grid without resorting to customer cars.

Whatever the threat from Ferrari and maybe Mercedes, costs simply have to be reduced and that cannot happen without a much less complicated power train and more restrictions on wind tunnel time.

53

To determine the commercial success of any business, you just take the revenue, subtract costs and you will have a positive or negative number, (yeah I know it’s more complex but basically that’s it). In F1 the focus seems to be on lowering costs for the teams, this to enable more teams to enter and have a more leveled playing field and therefore some real racing. So let’s say that FIA can restrict things and we will have a spending cap of ‘whatever’, how does this compare with hugely popular sports like soccer, tennis etc etc. It does not! Maybe, just maybe, FIA and Liberty should pay more attention to the revenue side. If and when they can increase that, (I know Liberty will want this), they might be able to give all teams a basic sum and on top of that a bonus for performance, (and why this not per race, so that sometimes an outsider can make some descent money too), and a bonus for the yearly performance as it is today. If there is more money to be gained by the teams and it’s been distributed in a more honest way and teams can actually make a profit, I am sure more teams will enter. Then imply more standardization without killing the development part of the sport, (to see teams gain performance during the season is always interesting), and we might see some exciting races again in the future. And as we all know, that is what we need in F1 and then revenues will increase and then…… etcetera, etcetera.

54

I think the better approach to F1 is to make F1 more interesting to sponsors and viewers again.

1) In the 90s, cars were full of sponsors. F1 still has a very good coverage, but can get significantly better. First you have to make access to the materials more liberal. Ecclestone milked race tracks and TV stations to the max and made Pay TV limit the amount of viewers, exclusive contracts made big revenue, but put media coverage into a cage that made less people view the content in the end. It got to a point where it is, IMO, more important to attract sponsors by giving them more viewers. First thing: Make access easy and affordable for as many people as possible and sponsors will get huge media coverage for their money.

2) The FIA overdid security and created a less attractive product in turn, it’s time to trust the best drivers in the world, insanely high paid people, to handle more danger again. It’s okay to have a Halo in the junior formulas – but in Formula 1, new drivers have to shit their pants on their first ride out on the track and the people on the screen have to see that: Cars that are insanely fast, hard to handle and that may occasionally hurt people. No one wants to see someone hurt, let me get this straight, but you can’t have excitement over dangerous activity without danger that occasionally shows (Downhill Ski, BMX, MTB, Bobsled, almost every extreme sports, even Karting, is more dangerous than Formula 1 nowadays). We don’t want someone dead and hurt each year, don’t get me wrong, but if not even a crash is exiting anymore and everyone walks away from these every time, drivers and viewers will lose respect. Get rid of the Halo already and give back those run-off-areas that actually make drivers uneasy put the pedal to the metal. Put some grass back to where we have tarmac now, Eau-Rouge/Raidillon for example. We also need some run off areas that will end a race. Yes it is frustrating to see your favorite driver make a mistake that will end their race, but this is part of keeping a race exciting from start to finish.

4) Teams in their competitiveness could not agree to meaningful cost cutting measures, because they feared to lose their edge (even though it might have actually boosted their income to spend less). Most money is spent on engines, aero research and endless iterations of parts that gain a minuscule amount of time. This is insane. Aerodynamics have to become less complex and less sensitive to bad air to get better racing. We need less percentage of downforce from the wings and more percentage of downforce from the floor. Aerodynamic rules should force a design that uses mainly the floor for downforce and the wings for some flexibility on balance. In turn we could relax the rules about weight distribution and also lower the minimum weight, as teams still need to have some playground. We should not change the engine formula either, but instead give the engines about 3 years more free development and then freeze and measure them. Every new competitor will then be allowed to come with any new concept and be allowed to freely develop an engine, until it is within the same ballpark. Any manufacturer is allowed to create a new engine with a new concept, but will be stopped they are when within the given parameters (i.e. it’s hardly worth it). This is more for promotional purposes or the rare case than a new competitor surprisingly gains a huge advantage using a different approach.

55

It’s a difficult one IMO, it’s great that a name like Haas could come into the sport and become competitive. However they will never beat Ferrari as their car will, by design, never be as good as the current Ferrari and something is just fundamentally wrong with that for me. You can argue that a Haas would never be as good as a Ferrari anyway so what difference does it make, and you would have a valid point but there’s always the (admittedly small) chance that a small team comes up with a world beater. But my counter thought is that the rules are so tight at the moment, the differences between the cars so minute and trivial, the cars are so similar anyway then it doesn’t make any difference!

I already think that the manufacturers have too much power in the sport. I am of the belief that constructors building their own cars is a fundamental part of F1 but if “spec cars” are going to be a thing then it needs to be done across the board and not just some teams. That said, back in the days of yore there were customer cars. Did Stirling Moss not drive a green Ferrari once?

56

Do you think in general circumstances FI, Williams or Sauber could win from Ferrari or Mercedes? Haas beating all of them and established teams with the help of XYZ how does this matter they know to challenge in upper level is really tough as you know Red Bull with their huge amount of investment. finding it tough to beat them so with such a small investment which is actually huge they are beating there rivals with almost half of the budget.

57

Yeah the manufacturers have too much power with maybe 2 exceptions.

58

If everyone follows the Haas model then you have Mercedes, Ferrari and a field of year old Mercs and Ferraris, then Renault dead last. So goodbye Renault and hello an eternal two horse race between Merc and Ferrari. Or rather Ferrari struggling to beat a field of last years Mercs.

59

Haas isn’t in Formula 1 for the sake of Formula 1. He’s there only to build his machine tools brand globally. It’s a marketing exercise.

60

Every Formula-1 team is a marketing excercise.

61

Really interesting and thought-provoking article and comments debate! If anything because it’s a fascinating subject matter and the article sheds light on the different dynamics at play.

These debates seem to have been going on in F1 for years. I think there are two options, both of which Max Mosley tried to push through when he was FIA President and failed to do so, which makes the job of Ross Brawn and Jean Todt difficult!

(1) – A budget/cost cap. Say to the manufacturers “you can have the cars distinctive, as per your USP, but you must do it within these costs.” Obviously, there will need to be a process of discovering what falls within the remit of the cost cap and what doesn’t; and how this cap will be policed. Here, manufacturers keep distinctiveness but on a level playing field on cost that they wouldn’t want.

(2) – If the cost cap is rejected, allow the standardisation of several parts to level the playing field and reduce the scope of what it means to be a constructor; all constructors only have to build/design/own IP of a certain range of parts. Here, manufacturers have budget freedom but the distinctiveness is reduced.

Interestingly, the devil would ultimately be in the detail. You could do a compromise whereby teams working within the cost cap derive certain benefits (e.g. more freedom to develop the cars) from it, albeit in exchange for having to receive some standardised parts. This was part of the 2009 proposal and MotoGP have implemented a similar process whereby backmarker teams, if they sign up for standardised ECU, get more freedom to develop their engines and chassis (the Factory vs Open system of a few years ago).

The one thing, as many readers have said, we cannot have a situation where brand new teams come in and cannot compete. Marussia Manor, Hispania/HRT and Lotus/Caterham all came in off the back of the 2009 proposal of a cost cap, then found the cap had been abandoned and they weren’t in a position to compete. In fifteen seasons (Manor were in the sport for 7; Caterham 5; HRT 3), they only managed two points finishes (Manor at Monaco 2014 and Austria 2016), despite the unfailing hard work and ability of their respective personnel. This cannot be the solution, and I applaud Haas in many ways for finding a way of entering the sport and being more competitive.

62

aero is the most expensive and least transferable technology. front wing dependence ruins the racing. beyond that the rules stupidly discourage innovation in the important things that are transferable. f1 without innovation isnt f1. rather than just trying to control costs, emphasis should be on return on investment for the development effort.

63

That’s exactly why we have the PU formula we have now; the manufacturers wanted them. Most of F1 is not transferable and never has been.

64

And that’s exactly what Sergio said F1 owners do not understand F1. Well said blouise

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation