F or Lotus, Force India and Sauber, it's about survival . Maybe soon for others too. The bitter truth at the end of the shrunken field looks like this: 100 million dollars will soon no longer be enough to run in midfield. There is too much to die and too little to live with. Because the top teams spend more than twice as much. And rigorously reject a fairer distribution of income.
That is why the new poorhouse of the premier class has hatched a model that makes more out of less. It operates under the word 'Co-constructor'. You could also call it semi-manufacturer.
The regulations require every team to develop certain parts themselves. For example, chassis, aerodynamics, certain chassis components. Lotus, Force India and Sauber have therefore said to each other: Why don't we throw our resources together?
One production team for everyone
And this is how it could work. All teams who want to join this club employ the same design and production team. They agree on a wind tunnel, a simulator and standardized test stands. The central office puts a basic car on the wheels, which the teams can then upgrade with their own upgrades.
To save costs on the drive side, they would buy one-year-old drive units for 10 million dollars from the engine manufacturers. Overall, the costs for a team in the price range from Lotus would drop by up to 50 million.
The top teams reject this proposal. Although they are not affected by it themselves. You could continue to spend as much money as you have before. One of the strongest opponents of the interest group is McLaren. Team boss Ron Dennis is afraid that the teams from this club will spoil the sponsorship market.
Because a smaller budget allows them to ask less money from the sponsors. Ron Dennis wants to keep the prices high. Whereupon he had to put up with the question from Lotus: 'How many sponsors has McLaren landed in the last few years? It will be fewer rather than more.'