Alternative cost cutting methods?


So MM and the teams are, slightly bizarrely in my opinion, talking about cost cutting measures. Personally, I don't see the point, if you can legally generate the cash to run an F1 team, as a few people obviously can, then it's just another aspect to the complete experience. Does it really make a difference if the bill is $500m or $600m a year?

So here's my take on how the teams could cut costs:
1) Freeze engine and drive train development over the course of the season, or have a single window for updates mid season. Pre-season engines to be submitted for control and random testing (via ECU) introduced to ensure continued compliance. Ratios and number of gears can be changed as long as they still fit the standard housing.
2) The basic car shape to be frozen as per the engines. No additional aerodynamic 'appendages' can be added during the season outside of the update window. Front and rear wing assemblies can be adjustable, but only within the initial design envelope. No track specific aero packages are allowed, but if the rear wing design can hold 3 elements
3) Limit each team to 2 articulated lorries per meeting.

If F1 is anything like the rest of the engineering world then the continuing development costs are the real cripplers. By developing a car that is more adjustable it would mean that the emphasis would be on long term performance and compromise.

Any thoughts on this?
It does seem a bit of a contradiction.
The supposed pinnacle of motorsport being constantly hampered by moves to restrict design and spending.
However, if spending was unlimited then it would only be a matter of time before all but the very richest teams remained.

The problem with freezing development during the season is you then have a load of employees with nothing to do.
As for limiting the amount of freight, this video may come as a shock to some as to exactly how much kit the teams take to a race meeting...

I don't really have any answers though.
Part of me misses the F1 of old when the sky was the limit in terms of design and cost, although admittedly it was a lot lower in real terms then.
However, in this day and age, with the current financial and corporate situation that is obviously not an option.
I think the past cost cutting measures have proved what's going to happen.
If your team has $100 million to spend in a season and yo have to have an off the shelf engine, gearbox and ECU then are you really going to give $50million back to your sponsors? No.
You'll find somewhere else to spend it, probably in the wind tunnel or on more and more complcated systems to optimise the car.

The only thing that will change is the amount of performance you gain per $ and so slightly reduce the gap between the 1st and last car.

Even if the Engine and gearbox and possibly front and rear wing were standardised then McLaren and Ferrari will still chase hundredths of a second, it just might be in wing mirror design rather than engine.

The only way to even things out is for the lower teams to get a larger share of the TV money. This would in effect leave the teams like McLaren and Ferrari supporting teams like Force india.

And then you have to remember Toyota and most of all Honda, both teams have massive budgets, I wouldn't be supprised if Honda's budget is bigger than Ferrari's.

And then Mad Max goes and brings in KERS, a new technology which will effectively mean the team with the most money to throw at it get's the biggest advantage.

It all seams a little contradictory to me!
I like veravista's suggestion to limit each team to 2 articulated lorries per meeting. That might actually work to some degree (as long as rules ban the new Mercedes 1km 15-unit articulated truck that would inevitably otherwise be developed).

Andrewj100 is broadly correct. The wealthiest teams will always find ways to spend money on slight improvements. The profits from F1 should be being divided up more equitably - nothing else will help the small teams. There's an enormous amount of money in F1 but most of it doesn't even seem to be going to Ferrari, let alone the back-markers.
That's the beauty of my original suggestions, by freezing the aero at the start of the season the car will have to be a compromise to work on all the circuits - basically not a new car for each race as happens now. By only being able to adjust wings, rather than rebuild a complete new front end then there is no advantage in tinkering in a wind tunnel. Similarly, if all you can do is to rebuild an engine to a spec with standard(ish) components (albeit made in-house) then the farcical 'engine freeze' we have at the moment could be avoided. Yes, it means less staff, but that'll cut the base costs rather than capital.
I agree with andrewj. Max places the emphasis on cost-cutting but the true scandal at the heart of F1 is the distribution of television, sponsorship and prize money.

Either the total should be increased (I believe at the moment the split is 50:50 between Bernie and the teams; or

The distribution of monies should be equalised - the top teams make more money in sponsorship from winning races and titles, they don't need more prize money on top.

Indeed there might be an argument for restricting the TV money to independent constructors, though of course how you define that is a tricky one...

I'm not in favour of a development freeze, because changing performance over the season is part of the sport's appeal. Imagine how grumpy Fernando would be now if he was still driving the R28 in Melbourne spec!
bombhead said:
How about a cap on the number of team personnel?

It could work to a certain degree if you are talking only about the number of people allowed in the garage/pitlane.

Otherwise: How would it cope with contracting out areas of work? How would you count the Toyota engine team towards Williams's head-count?

I've worked for an organisation that reduced head-count from 50 to 11 by contracting out the other 39 jobs at more than double the cost (to the tax-payer). A ploy that would advantage the wealthier teams again.
veravista - I think the problem your likely to run into if you freeze everything is that the WDC and WCC may well be decided at the first race. Or at least if the teams are not going to change anything if a driver get's 3 wins in a row at the start it's probably not worth watching any more races.

I agree with GM in that it's the technical aspect of F1 that set's it appart from any other sport possibly with the exception of moto gp which has a good rate of developement.

Croydon Bob - yep, I know of a publicly funded organisation that sold all it's IT and then rented it back to avoid a large one year expendature! And the contracting out thing could work, I suspect McLaren and Ferrari could muster up quite a few volanteers to just go and do a days work for nothing!
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