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Dovetailing nicely with our discussion on cost caps in Formula 1, today’s news from AUTOSPORT brings an interesting dynamic to the discussion considering the teams, pressure and resources they have to bring to the sport and what impact that may have for the small teams.

Quoting Cyril Abiteboul at Caterham, AUTOSPORT asked about the big teams and regulation changes that may prompt increased spending and pressure to do well. Cyril responded:

“I think it is a small opportunity for us in that it is an opportunity to join the midfield – but I believe that we will only join the midfield.

“There is a reset but the midfield will be quite far away from the leading teams because I see the amount of resources that some teams are capable of putting into this.

“The other thing is that in 2015, you will have four players – Ferrari, Red Bull with Renault, Mercedes and Honda – that have an obligation to be successful.

“They need to justify the level of spending that is currently being put into it – and that obligation to win is going to create a massive arms race between them.

“That is a big danger for Formula 1 – that it will be those four and the rest of us behind.”

It’s a good point in that Mercedes has hired every top manager and key person they can find and that comes with a hefty price tag to be sure. The German carmaker is taking no prisoners in their effort to top the sport in a quest to find a form of motor sport they can truly lay claim to.

Ferrari have never suffered for passion in the world of F1 and would like to ring the bells in Maranello again as soon as possible while McLaren has a lot to answer for from their failed 2013 campaign and Red Bull have resources and 4 titles to defend their reputation as a legitimate racing team and not some peddler of sugared drinks.

There is no doubt that the resources are massive at the top teams and with the pressure to perform, will the small teams have a chance? This is the dichotomy of F1—the manufacturers can enter the series to try and win and if they do or don’t they can leave the series just as quickly. All credit to Ferrari, McLaren and even Red Bull who are racing teams voted most likely to stay in F1 for the long run. Mercedes, Honda, Renault and other manufacturers have come and gone.

The FIA’s turbo V6 engine gambit was ushered in for 2014 as a way of baiting the hook and luring car makers back to the sport but careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

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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.
  • Rapierman

    I think the better question will be “Will the Human Race abandon it’s “kill or be killed” instinct (the basis of a majority of all decisions). I’m betting the answer is “no”.

  • Steven M

    As much as I understand the plight of the smaller teams, a cost cap will never work in F1. The dominant team in each season will always be seen as spending over the cap. Everybody knows RedBull spends more than the rest of teams, they have they money to throw at it. Not only that, there will be countless inquiries and protests from team to team. Teams will have a way to survive, and tobacco adds may have to be allowed back in…

  • Worm

    I blame everything on the internet!!!!

    Had it not been for the internet everyone would be watching tv and f1 would have way more sponsorship money so that they can waste loads more fuel and emit more carbon emissions so I don’t need to turn on my heater at night.

    Also screw batteries in cars! They are the reason I have a stop start function in my car. The car everyone thinks I stall at every red light.

    I do however like squirrels.

  • Worm

    And no. Cost caps will not work in f1 unless the fia or another organisation sends individual auditors to work in each teams accounting department.

    Cost is subjective in accounting (what constitutes cost is dependent partly on the company’s constitution). U can easily make something cost more than the sticker price in the books for higher depreciation benefits. U can also work with suppliers to decrease the sticker price cost if u wish to show lower value assets in records. Been done for years in a bunch of industries. They can trade supplies for advertising on the car. Since it has no cost and it’s fair value is subjective (for unique components), the teams can use a market based financial model they deem is fit. I.e that can manipulate the ‘costs’ with or without cost caps. Just turns into a more complex accounting issue and nothing else.