Steiner scoffs at talk of customer cars

Michelle Foster
Guenther Steiner very unhappy

Guenther Steiner very unhappy

Guenther Steiner has issued a hard no to talk of customer cars for F1’s smaller teams, saying that means they will also be at the back of the grid.

With Formula 1 in crisis, the sport’s bosses are looking at various ways to reduce the costs of competing.

Already set to introduce a budget cap of $175 million in 2021, all the teams have agreed to reduce that to $150m.

However, some teams, most vocally McLaren, want that dropped even further to $100m.

This led to a proposal for a sliding scale or two-tier cap, one that would see teams that do research and development given a bigger budget than those who buy parts from them.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said why not go even further and bring in customer cars to help the small teams survive the crisis.

“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,” he told The Guardian.

“The smaller teams wouldn’t need any R&D. They would run just as race teams and they would reduce their costs enormously.”

Haas team boss Steiner has baulked at the idea.

At a time when Formula 1 fans are hankering for more competition at the front, the Austrian says Horner’s plan would ensure that the top teams maintain an advantage over the smaller ones.

“We would then be customer teams and the larger teams could actually manipulate our performance,” he told Ziggo Sport.

“It would be as if we had a car from last year.

“They will always stay ahead of us.”

He added: “With a budget cap, we still don’t reach the budgets of the larger teams, but we are closer.”

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