Formula 1

Red Bull’s Horner – F1 must consider customer cars to beat coronavirus

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Red Bull Racing‘s Christian Horner believes Formula 1 needs to look at all the options available if it is to survive the COVID-19 crisis, considering more than just a budget cap.

Horner believes one practical solution which could be put in place, even for the short term, would be to give the smaller teams the opportunity to buy previous customer cars, in an attempt to reduce money spent on development.

“Now is the time to be bold. Now is the time to influence change. We can tick off things, but I think you’ve got to grab the bull by the horns, excuse the pun,” said Horner, speaking to Motorsport.com.

“If I was running a smaller team, the fastest way to competitiveness at a cost-effective route would be rather than trying to reverse engineer and copy your supplier team, which is happening in many cases, why not just sell them the whole car that we finish with in Abu Dhabi? Let them have it.

He went on to say, “Then they can operate as a race team, they don’t need all the research and development facilities. It’s the fastest route to competitiveness, and the cheapest route as well. They could operate as a race team with a decent product.”

Horner said it is not a new concept, being one which Red Bull used effectively in the past.

“Plus, if they get the race team together, they could win races. We proved that with Toro Rosso and Sebastian Vettel when we were supplying them effectively a customer car back in 2008.”

Talks about cost saving have mainly revolved around an increased budget cap – but Horner believes other measures should also be taken into consideration – such as development freezes – as it would be more practical to reduce the need to spend compared to a limit on how much could be spent.

“I’m all for saving money and a cap is a reasonable thing, but if you don’t go upstream and stop the flood of water, then you can’t expect the cap to be the dam that captures it all.

“It’s very much about cutting off that supply of water upstream,” he said.

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