All that may be about to change, however, as the sport moves into a new round of debates over customer cars. The issue, as you might have guessed, revolves around the potential for some of the bigger teams (like Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes GP) to supply complete cars, ready to race, to smaller teams.
It's an issue that has been moving back and forth over the course of recent years: you may recall that, until a couple of years ago, Red Bull was designing and building the cars for Scuderia Toro Rosso – its B-squad – until the regulations put a stop to it. Meanwhile McLaren, for example, has signed technical partnerships with teams like Force India (pictured above) and Virgin Racing that have seen the front-running team help the back-markers get a leg up.
For its part McLaren isn't interested in supplying complete cars to its customer teams, but Ferrari is. It's something Maranello already does with its sportscar programs, and until its collapse, was doing for the A1GP series. The current regulations prohibit such deals from taking place in F1, but with the debate set to start anew between the teams, Formula One Management and the FIA, things could change.