‘Customer cars mean no pay drivers’

Date published: May 23 2015

Bernie Ecclestone has been talking up the idea of customer cars, saying it could be what puts an end to pay drivers.

Earlier this month, F1's Strategy Group put customer cars back on the table in a bid to help the sport's smaller teams stay in business.

The idea, though, has not gone down well with many.

Not only do F1 personalities and fans alike fear a two-tier championship but many believe it would destroy what makes F1 what it is.

Ecclestone disagrees, adamamt it could be what saves the sport and what puts an end to pay drivers.

"You make all the chassis the same and we do a deal with one of the engine suppliers. It should work," the 84-year-old said in Monaco.

"We'll supply two chassis complete by the first of January for $15 million. We'll pay. If it costs more we have to pay more, if it's less that's good for us.

"And they have to race. The lowest team gets $50 million anyway, so they would have two cars, plus $35 million."

He added: "I want these teams to go racing for $70 million. Most of that money they already get from us.

"If that happens, instead of having to run around and find a driver who has money, they could look for a talented driver and put him in the car. You would then get a lot more new drivers with a lot more talent."

The F1 supremo also weighed in on concerns that it would create a two-tier championship.

He responded: "Well what do you think we have now? We could make this happen if we made a big enough effort."