‘Customer cars a solution from the 1970s’

Michelle Foster
Zak Brown, McLaren CEO

Zak Brown says Formula 1 should not return to the days of customer cars, saying if anything goes against the DNA of the sport, it’s that.

As the Formula 1 teams debate ways to reduce costs, the sport’s bigger teams have found themselves in opposition to the smaller teams.

While the latter want the budget cap to be lowered from $145 million in 2021 to $130m the next season, the big teams – who spend $400m per season – fear it will lead to massive job losses.

They instead have proposed selling cars to those struggling financially.

“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,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner 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.

“With the modern 3D photographic technology all teams utilise they are all trying to copy each other’s cars anyway.”

Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto backed the idea.

“If the current emergency really put the existence of some of our competitors in this sport in doubt and made it necessary to revise certain cornerstones, then Ferrari would be open to it,” he told the British newspaper.

“It’s not even sacrilegious, given it’s happened before in F1 and happens today in series such as MotoGP.”

However, McLaren chief Brown says it is an antiquated idea that belongs to F1’s past.

In fact he reckons if anything goes against the DNA of F1, which Ferrari is always adamant it wants to protect, it is customer cars.

“The last time there were customer cars, I believe, was the 1970’s,” he told Motorsport.com.

“So, for Formula 1, which is all about being a constructor, I don’t see how that potential solution is consistent with other comments that the DNA of F1 is a Constructors’ Championship and technology evolution.

“That feels like a solution from the 70’s.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.