It seems that Red Bull Racing is not the only F1 team thinking of starting a farm team. Today's F1 rumor has McLaren-Mercedes establishing a second team.
This is the law of unintended consequences in action once again. The FIA's "low cost F1" rules for 2008 and beyond were intended to support smaller, independent teams (Minardi, Jordan…) in two ways, first, by allowing teams to sell cars and parts to other teams, and second, by eliminating the $48M "performance bond" currently required of a new team. This would make it easier for new teams to start up, and for existing independent teams to survive. Yes, but…

Larger teams have figured out that there is strength in numbers. It doesn't cost twice as much to build two sets of cars, and it gives you an edge in testing and at races. Larger NASCAR teams have taken this idea and run with it - Jack Roush runs five cars. And of course, it gives you a larger driver pool to draw from.

And here's the kicker - under the "Concorde Agreement" (the business agreement between the teams and F1 management) only the best 10 teams receive revenue, and the maximum number of teams is limited to 12, to maintain the value of each team "franchise." Small, underperforming teams will not be able to compete with the 'B' teams, and will be unlikely to receive the share of team revenue that currently keeps them alive.

No doubt Paul Stoddart (Minardi) sees the writing on the wall and is selling out while he still can.


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