FORMULA ONE chiefs can help save the smaller teams from going bust by allowing them to buy ready-made F1 cars – saving them millions.
Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto and McLaren’s Zak Brown have been up in arms over F1’s plans to bring in a £143million cost-cap.
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F1’s owner, Liberty Media, want teams to reduce their spending to make the championship more competitive, while also protecting the future of smaller teams.
And while the likes of Ferrari are concerned the figure is too low, McLaren still feel the cap is too high.
However, Red Bull chief, Christian Horner, says there is a simple solution to help save the smaller teams money AND make them more competitive in the short term.
He said: “There is so much being spoken about on the cost cap and trying to measure everyone’s business.
“But you are dealing with the wrong end of it. You need to focus on what causes the costs, and that is the development and the production of these F1 cars.
“First of all, you need to get that under control and we are working towards that.
“But if this is about the survival of the smaller teams in this current challenging climate and giving them an opportunity to be more competitive, then the most logical and swift way to deal with that would be to sell them last year’s car.”
Formula One was looking ahead to a fine campaign when the world of sport was brought to a halt in March.
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And since then, the Australian, Chinese, Vietnamese have been pulled.
It was revealed on March 19 that the Monaco, Dutch and Spanish GP’s had all been scrapped, with the race in Azerbaijan following on March 23.
And the Canadian Grand Prix then fell on April 8.
The French GP will have to be postponed after President Emmanuel Macron said restrictions on public events would continue until mid-July.
And Horner is keen to limit the impact of the virus where possible and added: “I would be fully open to selling our cars at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
“The smaller teams are all trying to copy last year’s leading cars anyway, as we have seen in preseason testing this year in Barcelona.
“That way a team could remove all its research and development costs and focus on just being a race team.
“It would lower its costs dramatically while also improving their performance.
“People will talk about being the DNA of F1 and being a constructor, but we have seen in other sports, like MotoGP, that customer teams can be competitive.
“Now would be the time to evoke change rather than being obsessed about how many lights you have on in your factory.
“If you were a small team owner, why would you not buy a Ferrari and have some decent drivers?
“We saw that at Toro Rosso in 2008. They had a customer car in and Sebastian Vettel won a GP at Monza in it.
“It does not have to be a long term solution as teams evolve and their own business models change but it is one that could help support the smaller teams in the wake of this current crisis and beyond if needed.”