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Teams remain divided on B-teams

NEWS STORY
19/03/2019

Aside from sister teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso, over the last couple of years we have seen Ferrari form close ties with Haas and now Alfa Romeo, while Mercedes has a similar bond with Racing Point and Williams.

With F1 seeking to introduce a budget cap which would seriously limit resources, it is widely believed that one way around this would be for the bigger teams to forge even closer ties with rivals, essentially forming B-teams.

Only last week, Renault boss, Cyril Abiteboul, warned that such a move would cause the French manufacturer to reconsider its future in the sport, a claim he reiterated in Melbourne at the weekend.

"It's already a challenge for a team like us to compete against the top three teams who have thirty to forty per cent more resources than us," he said. "But if they are now capable of combining their resources with other teams, or getting the benefit of synergies within the scope of a budget cap, that's a problem.

"That's a problem for us," he continued, "that's a problem for at-least two other teams in the field. And I don't want to talk for them... but that could also be a problem for a new entrant, willing to enter Formula One and willing to be competitive.

"So, that's a serious topic because it's maybe that we are now saying 'OK, we have three top teams and that will be it', and anyone joining with have to accept they will not be in a position to be competitive.

"I'm not here to complain or moan," he insisted, "we know the regulation but obviously we are extremely careful about what's going to happen in 2021.

"For now, we are not convinced about the safeguards or the containment measures that have been put forward, despite the fact that you can trade some parts in the context of a budget cap - but we will continue to work with governing bodies to hopefully get to a more satisfying outcome."

"I think mainly the benefit is for that of the smaller teams," argued Christian Horner. "There wouldn't be a Haas if that model wasn't available.

"The affordability of Formula One is extremely expensive," he continued. "So, Toro Rosso, they're using an awful lot of components from the RB14. So, it's effective for them within the non-listed parts they're permitted to do. They don't have to have the design resource, the R&D infrastructure - so therefore the cost for them to go racing is affected by that.

"I think that there's ultimately a sensible offset between needing to be a full-blown constructor team and being able to acquire those non-listed parts," he added. "So, personally, we don't have an issue with it, and feel that, for the smaller teams, it's been demonstrated that it's cost-effective and works."

"The Haas model has shown how good it is for such a team," said Mattia Binotto, "and I think at the end it's a good thing for F1.

"As we're looking ahead, I think if there are any concerns, it's up to us to understand what are the concerns and make sure that we are mitigating, or avoiding them - but I think that the model in itself is the right model."

Asked for his thought, Toto Wolff, boss of the third big team, smiled and said: "Nothing to add to what the two said," referring to Red Bull and Ferrari.

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1. Posted by Fambank, 19/03/2019 20:39

"If Renault had been doing a better job on engines but moreover on the chassis, aerodynamics and the integration of all that, they would not have been defacto the B-team of Red Bull for the past few years.

As a that big manufacturer they should be able to do way better than they do, and other teams would
want to use their engines. I think Mclaren are going to regret the way they handled Honda..."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by FQITW, 19/03/2019 16:06

"Yes ‘B’ teams are a problem for Renault but a necessary evil in these hybrid days.
Unless of course if you want 3-4 teams like Williams and McLaren (no disrespect to either) or no Haas/Sauber/Toro Rosso.

However had Renault not insisted on the sport being hybrid and the FIA not caved in to Todt’s insipid ramblings about F1 being ‘relevant’ we would not be in this mess.

If you can’t stand the heat etc
"

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