‘Customer cars a way to control smaller teams’

Date published: May 8 2020

Guenther Steiner very unhappy

Guenther Steiner has reiterated his belief that customer cars are just another for the big boys to keep the smaller teams behind them.

As Formula 1 debates lowering the budget cap, the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari have both stated they would rather sell cars to customer teams.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is adamant it is the best way forward for those who are struggling financially.

He told Motorsport.com: “If I was running a smaller team, the fastest way to competitiveness at a cost-effective route would be rather than trying to reverse engineer and copy your supplier team, which is happening in many cases, why not just sell them the whole car that we finish with in Abu Dhabi? Let them have it.

“Then they can operate as a race team, they don’t need all the research and development facilities. It’s the fastest route to competitiveness, and the cheapest route as well. They could operate as a race team with a decent product.”

Haas team boss Steiner has rubbished the idea.

According to the Austrian, all customer cars would do it make sure the smaller teams know their place.

“We’ve already tried that one and it was impossible,” the Haas team boss said in an interview with RaceFans.net.

“The people which are now saying we should be doing it, at the time were completely against it.

“I don’t understand that one.

“I think the only thing I do understand is if you get a customer car, that’s another way to control the smaller teams.

“That is the issue there.

“At the moment I don’t think Formula 1 needs a customer car, something as drastic as a customer car.”

Instead Steiner says the sport needs to look at ways to level the playing field, one that allows the smaller outfits the opportunity to work their way towards the front of the grid.

He added: “We should be making it more competitive, not less competitive, because what you do customer car…

“For someone coming in new I understand it but now you have 10 teams that are all could possibly survive. 10 good teams I would say, they are all managed pretty well.

“We should try to give the smaller teams a bigger chance to compete rather than give them customer cars and be uncompetitive.

“Even if it is cheap it will cost a lot of money.

“Customer cars at the moment are not a good idea. Maybe there will come a day when they are needed.

“We are not screaming for it.”

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