With the 2017 season edging ever close with new and ‘exciting’ regulations, to some it is yet another major cost and challenge for the teams to overcome. We have already seen one team disappear from the grid before the season starts, and the retrenchment back to 10 teams for 2017 shows there is more work to do.
The wider track cars with more downforce and wider tyres have been created to appease those who thought Formula One was too tame, too easy for the drivers to perform and in some case not even work up a sweat racing. Although the new cars have had a mixed response if they are going to be more exciting to see race, there is no question that they are going to be substantially faster through the corners this season, and quite rightly there have been safety concerns with the higher corning speeds.
Starting with that in mind, Zak Brown was reported in Autosport today that cost control is very much on the agenda again, this time looking at standardised parts something which has been considered but not implemented in the past. Wiping the slate clean with Liberty Media now running the sport, and Ross Brawn heading the technical side of Formula One – a man who knows a thing or two about designing cars and running an independent team. Larger teams have always been doubtful a budget cap could work in Formula One, but there are other methods the sport can employ to bring costs down for all.
Standardising parts might not be too difficult to implement – with suggestions from Brown that a regular spectator wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from one teams suspension from another, despite the fact they are all custom designed to each team. With teams sensitive about aerodynamics, it would be unlikely to stretch to standardised bodywork.
A budget cap, cost reduction or any other way of making the sport more affordable will only be good in the long run, ensuring that it stays a healthy, competitive and a opportunity for all to perform. Any fan would prefer to see 13 competitive teams on the grid, and not a depleted and sorry looking field of the haves and have not’s.