• Oct 8, 2007

Teams aren't teams in Formula One, they're constructors. It's part of the definition that makes F1 what it is: each team builds their own cars. Engines can be obtained from a major manufacturer – though BMW, Renault, Honda and Toyota have joined Ferrari in doing it all in-house – but in theory, at least, each team is supposed to have its own chassis.

That notion, however, is coming under fire. Red Bull and its satellite Scuderia Toro Rosso used a common design this year. Super Aguri is preparing a chassis acquired from its engine supplier Honda, and newcomer team Prodrive just announced it'd be fielding cars bought wholesale from McLaren. The potential result is being billed as "super teams", essentially giving several racing outfits four cars instead of two.

The jury is still out at the FIA as to just how "kosher" this development is, and in the process the fates of several teams lie in the balance. Never prepared to sit on the sidelines, Ferrari is rumored to be considering providing a complete car instead of just an engine to one of the teams it currently powers, though while the motorsport press is suggesting Toro Rosso as the potential recipient, its tie-in with Red Bull Racing might leave the recently sold (and soon to be renamed) Spyker team a more likely partner. For McLaren's part, however, having two teams in which to split their star drivers could prove the most convenient of all.

[Source: F1i.com]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Customer cars must die.

      Sorry Dave, I respect you a lot, but build your own chassis. While you are at it, make sure Torro Rosso & Super Aguri do the same.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think they should have 40 cars on the grid, get rid of blue flags and put sprinklers along the track. That'll do the trick!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The current gripe about customer cars is not about tradition, but about money. As it's stated now MANUFACTURERS get to split the (I think) TV revenue. As such, competitors running customer cars are not MANUFCATURERS so the pot should get smaller. Spyker brings up the challenge this year because they went broke making / supporting there own car, they would like to see a return for their investment.

      As it stands, the wording for the money hasn't changed, so next year those that make their own car want a larger piece of the pie (on top of the money made selling the cars). This has never been about what is right, just about who gets paid.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Customer cars should be allowed in order for teams to get started - say for the first two or three seasons a team exists. After that, they're on their own.

      At the end of it all, F1 technology has become so advanced and so expensive, it is beyond the interest of the fans. High speed gearboxes, ECUs and aerodynamic nuances are well beyond the interest or understanding of even the most avid fan. And it renders the sport inaccessible for all except the mega wealthy and manufacturers, requiring an investment of at least $200 milion per year to be competitive.

      What we need is 24 cars racing wheel to wheel for 18 races per year. We need it to be affordable, so that all 12 teams are sustainable and can be competitive. If customers cars can be allowed in a manner that that allows this to happen and doesn't turn F1 into IRL, so be it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      F1 is putting itself in a stupid situation. Customer teams were meant to become legal in 2008 to secure a strong grid for the future. This is what Prodrive was banking on when it got accepted in it's 2008 proposal. Now we are approaching 2008, and the FIA might turn around and say "no, we have changed our minds, you can't have customer cars anymore" and Prodrive is left with no car designed because it was told it wouldn't have to. Who will the FIA hold responsible for this screw up? Prodrive!

      And this is a complete joke anyway, if customer cars aren't legal then why have no teams been banned for the customer cars that have ran over the years? The 1995 Ligier was a 1995 Benetton B195 chassis, the 2003 Sauber was a 2002 Ferrari, the 2007 STR is a 2007 RBR, the 2007 Super Aguri is a 2006 Honda. If customer cars are legal, then just say so. If they aren't legal, just say so. But currently they are illegal and a blind eye is being turned to it!
        • 7 Years Ago
        You are correct, it doesn't make sense. Bernie operates FOM, who are not responsible for the rules which F1 use. That responsibility goes to the FIA, which is run by Max Mosley. Mosley is more of a problem than Bernie ever has been.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Prodrive HAVE NOT announced they will be using McLaren chassis. There is rumor and speculation but nothing has been confirmed yet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Once upon a time Cosworth supplied engines to everyone in F1 except Ferrari. Lotus built their own cars and sold customer cars, as did others. Customer cars in F1 are nothing new and there are several teams and that would never have existed without them. There was also a time, as recently as the sixties, when factory teams like Ferrari would enter as many as four cars in a race with others entered by a privateers. Whatever the current F1 rules are, there's nothing sacred about them. They can be changed just as all the rule sin F1 have changed many times over the years.
      • 7 Years Ago
      NASCAR has also been in the same situation for what 10+ years now? Atleast here there are multiple ways to get around it.