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During the waning years of his tenure as FIA president, Max Mosely was a champion of cost caps and mitigating Formula 1 team expenses. Sure, he argues—in an AUTOSPORT article—that the way the commercial rights holders are running things could be more equitable and measured so as to cover the entire cost of a season for all team but that’s not how things are ran.

Perhaps more telling is his comment about the errors he made during his time as president of the regulatory body of F1—more specifically his attempt to drive costs down through regulations. This, as Mosely explains, did not work:

“Eventually I realised that it didn’t matter what we did with the regulations. We demonstrated that you cannot control costs through regulations. We had to bring in a cost cap.”

Depending on your level of trust in Mosely’s words, you could make the case that he is completely correct in that any regulatory change hasn’t spared F1 of massive spending. What he offers now—with the beauty of hindsight—is a competitive incentive for small teams that keep them in the same league with top teams. He may have a point here:

“Why not allow a Formula 1 team which is prepared to operate within a very small budget to have greater technical freedom to bring them within a second or so of the frontrunners?” he said.

“To me that is so logical. It lets you demonstrate that somebody sitting in the grandstand will not be able to see the difference between the £50million team and the £500million team.”

Perhaps this is a similar realization to the system in MotoGp where small teams have open software and other advantages such as tire selection etc. The ability to have greater technical freedom would, perhaps, see small teams remain more competitive.

Using MotoGP as an example, the small teams are not beating the Yamaha and Honda factory efforts but they are qualifying better and some remain relatively competitive and high in the points at the end of races.

The result of MotoGP’s format has been met with pro and con support but perhaps there could be a level of freedom for sub$100 million teams?

Perhaps a third tire compound that is grippy and last the whole race for teams at the back? Maybe open software for more performance or unrestricted fuel flow? Maybe the chassis itself is different in dimensions and restrictions?

Do you think this would be the way to move forward? As Mosley says, the series can’t control costs through regulations so maybe teams that allow for closer scrutiny of their balance sheets get a host of technical incentives to be more competitive at a lower price. Sounds good but would it work?

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Fred

    Here is another idea (I think it came from motorcycle circle track racing)…anybody can buy the winners car for X dollars.

  • StephenB.

    How do you determine “back of the grid” and would some teams close to a $ cap for the rule dip below to gain an advantage (ie laying off staff)? What if financial success for one of these teams puts them over the cap for this rule? What if a team excluded from this rule is consistently beat by a team within this rule? The same goes for special tires. What if Williams discover by laying off staff they can have access to a tire that could win them the race based on current pace only to win a WDC or WCC and then use the money earned to bring all of those members back the next season?

    All of these are questions and concerns I could see being raised.

  • Christian

    Seems like Toro Rosso has another strategy: child labor. Verstappen confirmed for 2015

    • The Captain

      There little hands can sew.. I mean, find the buttons on the steering wheel better.