Should the number of teams in F1 be expanded?

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Which makes you wonder why they don't open the grid up to more teams and re-introduce pre-qualifying. Maybe that's a discussion for a separate thread.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Which makes you wonder why they don't open the grid up to more teams and re-introduce pre-qualifying. Maybe that's a discussion for a separate thread.

Sounds good in theory.But the cost implications rule that out.Fail to qualify and the team would get nothing in terms of appearance money or TV revenues.Sponsorship would very very difficult to come by unless they regularly qualified and then got some TV exposure.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Sounds good in theory.But the cost implications rule that out.Fail to qualify and the team would get nothing in terms of appearance money or TV revenues.Sponsorship would very very difficult to come by unless they regularly qualified and then got some TV exposure.

Surely if they made in madatory that pre-qualifying was aired live on its TV contracts around the world it would negate this a little bit by kind of giving the back runners a hour and a half show of their own?

Of course you could also have a B sprint race but not sure how well that would work
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
Sounds good in theory.But the cost implications rule that out.Fail to qualify and the team would get nothing in terms of appearance money or TV revenues.Sponsorship would very very difficult to come by unless they regularly qualified and then got some TV exposure.

Didn't bother Hesketh or Coloni or Onyx or Moda, they just went along for the ride until they ran out of money.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Didn't bother Hesketh or Coloni or Onyx or Moda, they just went along for the ride until they ran out of money.
True enough.But is that of any benefit to F1.
How many new teams would enter on these terms do you think.At best you would be lucky to get five teams taking part.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
When you consider that Wolf Racing started out with Harvey Postlethwaite, Patrick Head, Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey among their ranks then I think it's very worth it to have more teams in F1 if only to grow the future of the sport. For every dismal failure such as Andrea Moda or Life there were some success stories. The Toleman team had a dismal season and a half but then picked up a few points, found Senna and for a while made a name for themselves (before getting bought by Benetton).

Lots of the teams that never quite made the break through in the 80's were pretty decent at lower formula so that at the time there was little reason to suppose they wouldn't move on up. Let's not forget that Jordan were a pretty good F3000 team before stepping up into F1 with the fantastic Jordan 191 at the same time that established teams such as Lotus and Brabham could only just scrape on to the back of the grid.

There are several reasons why it won't happen though, firstly there is the fear by the teams ranked 10 to 6th at the moment that they will be eclipsed, loose sponsors, money etc and become also rans themselves. They receive a great deal of protection by the current closed shop attitude.

The second being, there just isn't the will out there for it. Most of the teams that applied in the first round of expansions under Max stood little or no chance of ever making it to the grid in the first place (just look at USF1). Until a situation exists such as that in the 70's when you could strap a DFV on the back and go racing for half a million quid (Wolf's total spend in their first season) (in 70's prices) then there isn't a huge list of people waiting to come.

It's a shame though because I agree that more cars on track makes for a better looking GP weekend.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Notwithstanding Monaco which has a limit of 26 (28?) due to the length of the grid, I think 15 teams or 30 cars would be the optimum number for F1.

Let's not forget that we should have had 26 cars for the last few season, if not for the shenanigans which went on when the new teams applied.
 

mjo

Procrastinating
Contributor
I think Monaco has a limit of 26 cars. And I think 28 cars would be just about right for f1 - enough so that there is room for new talent (both driving and designing), but not too many teams like some other racing series. Although - a thought - how about F1 and GP2 do a link up and have a promotion/relegation style arrangement, with 'B' and 'A' races taking place on the same day, so this gives an extra incentive for some of the lower teams to aim to get faster and to avoid that relegation spot - as well as giving extra excitement to races when the championship is done and dusted, like Korea onwards this year?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Personally I'd plump for 16 teams which would give us 32 cars. The top 16 from the previous official race result should automatically go through to Q1 whilst the other 16 should run in a pre-qualifying session with the to 10 going through to Q1. However the 16 who automatically went through to Q1 must set a faster time in that session that the driver in 11th in pre-qualifying!

Pre-Qualifying should be an hour long session and F1 should insist that in their contracts with all the TV networks that pre-qualifying must be shown live giving the little teams a chance to parade themselves and become more attractive to any sponsors they might attract. To help the smaller teams any car not qualifying for a Grand Prix will recieve 50% of their race entry fee back. At the end of the season the bottom 2 teams will have their place on the grid put under review and if it is deemed another candidate has something better to offer F1 than them they lose their place.

It should be also made clear that in order to run a team in F1 a team must demonstrate it has experience and knowledge and therefore a prefered candiate would be someone who has run a succesful team in GP2 or other lower Formula.

I also like the idea that once the regulations for the next season are decided the FIA should have a design team build what they view as a standard chassie that fits the regulations set down. Each team will be given one of these chassie's for 2 weeks to examie and explore and at the end of that time they can either chose to pay a fee to buy 3 of these chassies from the FIA and build upon them or to chose not to do this and build their own from scratch. Its likely that the majority of the big teams (Mclaren. Ferrari, Red Bull etc etc) will build their own which will probably be much better however it would be a way of keeping the costs down for the smaller teams and would ensure that the gap between the front and the back of the grid is not a massive leap. It would also clarify regulations before teams started building cars.

I doubt any of these things will happen but I can't help but think it would be good for the sport(and the fans) if it did.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Customer cars.No restrictions on how many teams an engine supplier can supply.

and also what happens when the customer car is in front of the factory car and the factory team say "move over sunshine" Just gonna create a whole army of number 2's for teams isn't it?
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
That could well happen.But it is the only real chance for a new team to get a chance of being on the grid for an affordable cost.
It costs a minimum of at least £40 million to put a team together and build and develop two cars.And thats doing everything on the cheap.
Some people talk as if money grows on trees.Glib references to many millions of $ without thought of how this money raised.
F1 in its present business form is unsustainable due to the huge costs involved by existing teams.
To enter F1 is financially virtually impossible and the chance of any recovery of your money is remote indeed.
Many of the existing teams are already feeling the financial strain of being in F1.Ferrari have complained about the cost.Mallaya of force India.Fernandes has stated that he wnats his team to be more self supporting.Mercedes have cut their F1 budget.The list is endless.
 

Blog Zbod

Podium Finisher
F1 supported an average of 18.5 teams from 1975 thru 1990, when nothing but free market forces governed the size of the field.



I suspect part on the reason for the artificial constriction is that winnowing the applicants enables Bernie to cherry-pick from the better backed teams, which are are less likely to run out of cash and bail before the end of the season. Which also allows him to charge advertising fees based on the guarantee that team or driver A, B or C will appear at race X, Y or Z.

Like other of Bernie's efforts to parlay tighter penny-pinching into more profit, this one, IMHO, also is a failed strategy.


The big spike in the early 1950s, BTW, was the result of several 1-car teams and teams that only competed in in a limited part of the season.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Even allowing in customer cars, the problem of the cost leap to becoming a full constructor would remain, so customer teams would be highly likely to remain customer teams indefinitely.

Furthermore the lower end constructors would lose competitiveness and have their business models wrecked overnight (why pay $50m to be title sponsor of Williams when you can pay less than half that to be title sponsor of McLaren 'B'?) resulting in a reduced number of full constructors and less variety on the grid. I could foresee a situation of three or four manufacturer teams being the only constructors, with multiple satellite customer teams, contractually prevented from challenging them.
 
J

johnnoble1990

Guest
I don't think this is an original idea, but what about F1 Division 2 or F2. Best team on the grid gets promoted, worst in F1 gets demoted. It'd be a stepping stone for new teams and new drivers - could replace GP2. Budgets could be capped, etc.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Don't forget that some big names in F1 today started out with customer cars.
Williams started by using a customer March chassis.McLaren ran for several years using Cooper customer chassis.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Don't forget that some big names in F1 today started out with customer cars.
Williams started by using a customer March chassis.McLaren ran for several years using Cooper customer chassis.
Indeed, and Enzo Ferrari started out as Alfa Romeo's team manager.

I've no objection to customer cars in principle, but F1 has such a different structure compared to those days that to allow them in now would be detrimental to the competition as a whole, in my view. If steps can be taken to make it easier for teams to construct their own cars (either by making those cars cheaper to design and build, or boosting the financial support available from FOM) then perhaps, as others have suggested in the past, teams could use customer chassis for their first one or two seasons until they became established and marketable entities.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Perhaps going back to the turbo/non-turbo days we could have some teams using new chassis and others using ones which are two years old (assuming they conform to the latest regs) in a separate Championship. Or, perhaps, have some sort of air flow restriction - sort of a B spec F1 - to avoid the embarrassment of an A spec team being beaten by their old car (as happened with Honda and Super Aguri if I recall correctly)
 
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