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Customer car argument comes to a head

Frank Williams has launched an appeal against customer cars for 2008. It seems that if the 2007 Concorde Agreement rolls over into 2008, any customer team will not be inline for any FOM revenues.
The problem is that the FIA court of appeal may just rubber stamp the customer car issue in order to please Mad Max, what a disaster that would be.
I have never understood why Prodrive with all their facilities could not design their own chassis. After all they are already inline for an off the shelf engine and gearbox.


  • Why take the customer route? Could the answer be, by any remote chance, money?

    All power to FW for taking Max on, and he's in the right of course, but I too fear it will get rubber stamped.
  • Prodrive's entry could be in doubt because of the failure of the teams to agree a new concorde agreement. If no new deal is reached the old agreement will still be used and that states that customer chassis are illegal. I think the new agreement should guarantee that each entrant has to construct its own chassis within 3 years of its entry into the championship.
  • Of course customer cars are going to happen. The Prodrive F1 operation will have about 80 staff, I seem to remember. Richards is not interested in anything bigger than that.

    In 1985 Minardi had 13.
  • I've got my doubts. Sir Frank has already said he's not going to accept a Mosely sanctioned rubber stamp from the FIA court of appeal. The civil courts await.
    How the **** does Richards expect TV money running a turnkey operation of 80 staff?
  • So why are do they bother now. Aguri and Torro aren't driving their own build cars for two years now. Plenty of time to appeal before...
  • One of the most anticipated things about F1, besides the start of a race is the presentation of a new car.

    To see what new ideas the engineers and aero guys come up with.

    Sadly, the business plan of F1 could resemble champ car. Instead of 1 chassis type, there might be five or six, and the rest clones.

    Enzo will be turning in his grave.
  • I would say it's the beginning of the end, but the end has been underway for some time. Well done Spyker for holding out, but the game's up.

    I think it might be a NASCAResque business plan we are being dragged into. There's a whole lot of money in that WWF-on-wheels circus.
  • hmmmmmmm.... I can remember being at Watkins Glen and watching James Hunt finish 2nd to Ronnie in 1973....and James was driving a March 731 that was entered by Hesketh Racing and not March.....and I remember JYS driving a March for Uncle Ken in 1970.....and I remember in 1972 Pescarola driving Marches for one Frank Williams...also I remember Jacques Laffite finishing 2nd at the 'Ring for the same Frank Williams in 1975 in a car that was not constructed from said Williams....hmmmmmmmmmmm...........

    since I've seen this occur with my own eyes, y'all will understand that I'm not buying into the end is nigh arguement..... especially when it is only a matter of time when some of the manufacturers bolt the series..... anybody looking forward to 10-12 car grids??? or allow constructors to enter 4 cars per team??? (BRM is back !!!!)


  • It's because the manufacturers will go that the current customer car plan is so dangerous. No chance now of a few kit car teams setting up in the place of those who chuck in the towel.

    They should have done something more restrictive on the technical regs to prevent the manufacturers cash advantages being readily converted onto advantages in lap times. That's easier said than done, of course, but it was what Max said he'd do - until he changed his mind.

    Something will survive, but what?
  • Off course I do not have data to support the following opinion, but it seems to me that back in the 70's and 80's the people that bought other people chassis were creative people who had not the resources to build their own car, and their creativity was the fact that made them competitive with other solutions, pushing up the bar level.

    Today, it seems that people who only have the money (or some of it) are the ones who want to buy chassis, so the general fear that it goes against the F1 spirit.

    That's why I believe Murph's comments are correct, and hard or impossible to deny on a rational basis, but I still do not like customer chassis.

    Albeit four Ferraris and four Mcladras on the grid would be fantastic (but the drivers should hate each other)...
  • Just feels wrong...Maybe the future always feels wrong.
  • Nuvolari

    The difference between the 70's and early 80's (pre-Turbo Era) and today is very simple to understand.....

    F1 in the 70's and early 80's was a SPORT....... nobody really did it for the money.....TV was basically non-existent.....teams like Lotus or Brabham might be made up 10-12 members....but this was the "kit-car era"...all one needed was a Cosworth V8 and a Hewland with some Goodyear or Firestone feet....

    F1 today is a BIG BUSINESS.....it's all about the $$$$...... Toyota's yearly budget is reported to be just over 700 million dollars....and I gotta be thinking that there is something wrong there !!!

    Still, I would imagine that only organizations such as Prodrive would get envolved because of the costs involved..... only teams with $$$ and a clue would/could become part of the circus.

    I know I'm still living in the past....but I can remember when Roger Penske's privateer Ferrari 512M and many Porsche 917's in privateer hands were more succesful than the Porsche and Ferrari factory teams.....

    ciao y'all

  • Super Aguri is more successful than Honda ...
  • Murph

    You surely gotta a point. But I think that, in the kit car era, as anyone could have one, only the better, the creative ones, would do well. I guess that it is not a coincidence that you mentioned Roger Penske. Those people WANTED to compete, and the low cost allowed them. Now, if you assume that people want to make money, low cost would attract the ones more eager to make money.

    People like Ferrari, Mercedes, Toyota, BMW, etc, ALREADY have a lot of money. You can stil say they're only after more money (which is a strong affirmative. They are, but maybe not only), but at least they must compete at high level to achieve that goal.

    Prodrive is involved in motorsport, I know. But the way things have evolved
    I'm happy their out (fresh news from Interlagos). The sad part is that when the FIA made that kind of selection some time ago, a lot of potential manufacturers where ruled out.
  • Interesting news from Interlagos - Bernie says no customer cars. Huzzah! we're saved! common sense triumphs at last! and all that, but what a shambles! That's a quarter of the '08 grid knackered up - at this late stage. Where do they go from here, I wonder?
  • The example of Roger Penske that I used was his success in the Championship of Makes, not F1. In F1, John Watson did win the Austrian GP for Penske but in a March/Penske "hybrid"..... and Penske ended his foray in F1 after 3 years because of losing his sponsorship.....

    A number of years ago (late 1990's I think) Uncle Ron was quoted that there were only 3 F1 teams that actually cared about winning races....Mclaren, Williams, and Ferrari. He was taking a shot at one Eddie Jordan, and rightfully so as EJ was not reinvesting $$$ into his team but was just adding to his own bank account. Today, I would add BMW and even Honda as 2 more teams that are in it to win....I would also add that though Sir Frank is in it to win, right now he isn't in a position to win as the odds against a privateer winning constructors championships are very very steep. I am one that wants to see the privateers in F1.... how else will we ever see a new version of Frank Williams/Patrick Head rise from the bottom and become major players in the future???

    Well, I'm off with the missus this weekend to play with me grand daughter.... I'm looking forward to reading to her the Mac and Lauren books I bought for her and her brother (written by Uncle Ron's wife, Lisa).... though I will modify the story line a bit and change the title to best fit the McLaren 2007 story...... "Cheaters Do Win"... just trying to figure out how I can incorporate Peter Windsor and James Allen into the story with both having Lewis Hamilton's baby.....and the ensuing "cat fight" between these two shills.........'sigh


    murph.... AKA to the grand kids as "Pap Pap Irish"
  • quotes from the article in Atlas....

    "Ecclestone said, however, that he did not think customer cars should be allowed in F1 and made it clear he would prefer another manufacturer to take the 12th slot.

    "Probably not," he said when asked if customer cars should be allowed in F1. "The teams say that the real constructors are spending half a billion (US dollars) a year and Prodrive's budget was about 75 million. It is not fair.

    "I should think there will be 11 teams next year. (For 2009) let's see who the 12th is, it is open. Let's have a look and see.

    "I would like to see another manufacturer coming in. There is one or two sort of having a look." "

    hmmmmm..... nothing here that suggests that one-quarter of the grid is "knackered up" for the 2008 grid as BE is concerned about who will make up the 12th slot (Oh Yeah Baby !!! Team Kia ???? if that doesn't get the old juices a flowin.....)

    He seems to be content with the eleven on the grid....then again, Bernie rarely reveals what he really means/wants.


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