A couple of interesting reports today for those following the arguments over whether customer cars are good or bad for the sport.
Admittedly Ross Brawn is not exactly a neutral observer in this debate, being employed by one of the manufacturers that has just been forced to stop supplying said customer cars. But here are his thoughts, as reported by ITV F1:
Brawn: Customer cars good for F1
Honda Racing boss Ross Brawn believes the teams that objected to customer cars were prioritising their own needs over what was good for the sport.
Brawn was speaking after the demise of Super Aguri, which had benefited from a ‘customer car’ style arrangement with Honda — running versions of the works team’s old chassis.
“I think it’s extremely difficult to see a privateer coming in because of the investment and the facilities needed, but it’s viable for a lot of manufacturers at the moment, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be viable for other manufacturers in the future,” he said. Read full story here…
Meanwhile Mark Gallagher, former head of marketing at Jordan and current team principal at A1 Team Ireland, has written a long and thoughtful article for Pitpass. He discusses the chances of F1 simply running out of gas if it carries on at its current profligate rate rather than adopting a saner business model. A1GP, of course, is already taking steps to introduce biofuels.
Here’s the introduction to his piece, which is well worth a read in full:
Super Aguri: an inconvenient truth?
The demise of the Super Aguri Formula One team is a sad reflection of the fact that the sport has backed itself into a financial corner that it seems unable or unwilling to get out of. With the exception of Williams, the current business model of Formula One leaves no room for team owners other than car companies and billionaires who are each happy to subsidise their teams to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars; teams for which the concept of genuine third-party income exceeding expenditure, and thus running like a proper business appears to be a hypothetical concept. Read the full piece here…