D he Formula 1 is groaning under its greatest crisis Story. Nobody knows yet how it will end. We can see 15 Grands Prix this year or none at all. Only in late summer will it be possible to estimate what traces Corona will leave behind in the premier class.
Only then will it be clear how many races will actually take place and how much money will really stick with the ten teams. And only then can it be assessed whether all teams will survive this crisis. In his gloomy forecast, McLaren boss Zak Brown spoke of the danger of losing four teams.
Isn't it presumptuous to dream of luring new teams into Formula 1, the club of ten expand to twelve teams? Not necessarily. Bad times can also be good times. Especially for newcomers. Because there is never a better time to start again when everything is down.
The current teams will emerge from this crisis weakened. Each in his own way. Because they were thrown from their usual routine with a forced break of 63 days. Because their plans to develop two cars at the same time have to rethink. Because some of them have to get by on less money. In short: Because at the moment there are so many uncertainty factors that also present the established teams with new tasks.
The Haas model can work
One thing is clear: every team that wants to join by 2022 at the latest needs a billion-dollar investor with the racing bug in their blood. Automakers are not looking at any at the momentlet in new motorsport project of the order of magnitude. We have to be happy if Mercedes, Renault and Honda stay with us.
Since the blood refreshment with Caterham, Marussia and Hispania failed, only Haas has dared to get into Formula 1. In contrast to its predecessors, the US racing team quickly gained a foothold. Because you had a good plan. Because his model pushed the limits of the regulations. Haas bought from Ferrari what the rules allow. In principle, only the chassis, the aerodynamics and the radiator come from in-house.
Racing Point and Alpha Tauri have now copied Haas' path. Both have even gone a step further. They have largely copied the predecessor cars of their partner teams. The message to the outside world is: This model can work if you manage to get a good team together.
And that would be an invitation for anyone who is thinking of getting into Formula 1. He just has to do it quickly. Once the new Concorde agreement comes into effect, Liberty will have to pay an entry fee of $ 200 million. In contrast to the past, you never see the money again.
New rules from 2022 are a leveler
There are even more good reasons why you should consider joining the premier class right now. First of all, there is the reduction of the budget cap: $ 145 million is no longer quite as utopian as $ 175 million. And this number should later drop to $ 130 million.
Those who jump all entry hurdles and ultimately participate in the distribution of the income will be able to cover between 50 and 70 percent of this amount, depending on their success. The gap to the top teams will then be significantly smaller than before. With efficient management, newcomers to aerodynamics can work on a budget similar to everyone else. And that ultimately determines the lap time.
The new cars, which will not debut until 2022, will be another leveler. There is a lot less wiggle room to yourselfaerodynamically set off. Experts fear that one or the other will land the golden shot, but that would last for a year at most. Then everyone else copied it or it was banned. Those who start in 2022 can fully concentrate on the new rules from January 2021.
The biggest problem for newbies so far has been getting a functioning team up and running. Formula 1 demands specialists who are not so easily found in other motorsport series. The effects of the corona crisis and the reduction in the budget cap will wash around 1,000 skilled workers from all disciplines onto the market within the next two years.
Not only Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari have to give up. McLaren and Renault, with over 700 employees, are also disproportionate for the post-Corona era. That would be enough to equip two new teams with it.
Customer teams are not the solution
The big teams, however, reflexively defend themselves against expanding the field. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suggests pure customer teams that completely take over a previous year's model. Ferrari also prefers this route.
Interestingly, it is precisely the two teams who see the DNA of Formula 1 at risk with every planned disarmament. But the much-invoked DNA is maximally damaged if someone can simply buy a car.
The background of the lobby policy is obvious: With customer cars, these teams would be better under control. If you only buy certain parts like Haas, Racing Point or Alpha Tauri, you theoretically have the chance to beat the big teams with better aerodynamics. It's better to keep this competition at bay.
It would be short-sighted to prevent new teams from entering Formula 1. From the point of view of the series operator anyway. Each additional team reduces the pressure in the crisis. With twelve teams, the loss of one or two participants is easier to get over than with ten.
If half of the teams buy the previous year's model from the others, Formula 1 becomes even more dependent on somefew participants. Twelve teams only mean less money for the individual in the short term. The bigger the field, the better the show. And in the end it can be sold more expensively.
It is very easy to protect yourself against parasites that simply bring two cars to the starting line in order to grab money: If you don't work for at least 90 percent of all over a season Stakes 105 percent of the best time in Q1 will not participate in the payout. This money will be distributed to the rest.