The cost cutters challenge

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Adam Parr of Williams last week accused F1 fans of not "getting behind" measures to cut costs within the sport.

I don't think budget caps would have ever worked. Much in the same way that filming and PR work has been used by some teams as a cover for some limited in season testing there would always have been a way around the budget limit.

The more money a team has, the more it can spend on improving its performance relative to the others. Cost cutting will always be supported by the least funded teams and resisted by the best funded teams.

The only way to prevent teams spending on R&D is to restrict, freeze or standardise areas of car development. The trouble is that the more this is done the more it will become a spec, one make series and move further away from the spirit of F1 being the top spec in motorsport.

I believe one area that could help is an idea similar to the new generation of Indy Car. The FIA could contract a chassis maker from outside of the current F1 teams, such as Dallara or Lola to construct a standard safety cell, cockpit, fuel tank, and floor. This would include front and rear suspension mounts, engine mounts, rear diffuser, mirrors and side pod openings. Teams would have a free hand to design front and rear wings, suspensions and over body aero packages.

By having a standard cell you reduce the need to crash test each teams cars prior to season start, and reduce the development of diffusers and under body air flow that has caused the bulk of team R&D expenditure. By standardising suspension and engine mounts it would ensure that the chassis isn't suited to one particular engine design.

The teams still have avenues of development to explore and by relaxing some of the regulation governing wings and over body aero teams may find different ways to maximise their packages.

So, what would you do to see costs cut in F1?
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
This is from 2006, might be worth seeing what has changed since then (engine freeze, no in season developments...) Intresting none the less.

 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
The problem with being too restrictive in the car and engine design is that it forces the engineers to look for much smaller improvements which gain 1/100ths of a second rather than 1/10ths or whole seconds. A far more liberal approach to design would allow teams to follow different routes, some would work, some wouldn't and it would open up the possibilities for the smaller teams to have larger innovations and maybe win some races against the big boys.

Perhaps restrictions on the number of engineers a team can employee would be a start. Problem there is that diversified teams such as Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren could use other parts of their huge organisations to develop bits for their racing cars.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
That's the very problem isn't it. Neither option (restriction or opening up of development) allows for cost reductions. As you said FB, restriction means that more money is spent chasing a smaller improvement and the opening up of regulation means that those with more money can spend it on the best engineers or investigate more areas than those with less.

It really is a no win situation all round.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Those who can raise more money will spend it. I won't offer any suggestions since I think the restrictions have already gone too far.

I suppose one answer might be to reverse the FOM prize money - pay the most to the least successful? It might lead to some odd racing, though.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Well they are trying to get more manufacturers in, one way to do that it, is to loosen the rules a bit let them play around like the do for Le Mans.

The engine freeze is becoming a bit of a farce, gearbox's lasting for several races is not a bad idea.

If the small teams can't keep up with the costs of F1, then leave....

The costs in F1 are a bit high (understatement) but it always has been, and by tightening on some developmen will cause... t (I will quote ciders post)

The trouble is that the more this is done the more it will become a spec, one make series and move further away from the spirit of F1 being the top spec in motorsport.

And I am sure nobody wants that...
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
I suppose one answer might be to reverse the FOM prize money - pay the most to the least successful? It might lead to some odd racing, though.

That is'nt as crazy as it sounds, the top teams should still be able to draw in far more sponsorship cash (since the cameras will always be more focused on those at the front)/attract staff who want the prestige of being associated with winners rather than cold hard cash, where as the bottom teams would actually have money to fund development to catch up, and if a top team (williams) started to go backwards they would find themselves with extra funding to bridge the gap...there's no way FOTA would accept it though...
 

Andyoak

Race Winner
A variation on that may be to have an equal investment / development fund for all the teams (£x-million each) that is issued by FOM. That is the only money that is allowed to be spent on nuts and bolts development (including air tunnel hire / building etc).

Any additional funding for a team comes from sponsorship. The more successful they are the more sponsorship they should get. This money can only be used for wages and administration / share bonuses; it cannot go directly into the car development.
 
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