MARCH 12, 2002
Two teams per engine supplier?
THE F1 Commission will also discuss whether or not there should be a new sporting regulation which forces automobile manufacturers to supply more than one team. This is likely to be met by some resistance from the car makers which would obviously prefer to concentrate all their efforts on one team although it has to be said that Ferrari has very successfully supplied Sauber and Prost in recent years without disrupting its own programs.
The argument in favor of such regulations is that it will help small teams cut costs, but unless the engine manufacturers agree to supply engines free of charge it is hard to see how this will make any difference as Ferrari and Ford are currently claiming around $25m a year from customer teams.
Clearly, if such a rule was to be agreed then the smaller teams would be much better off but there is no incentive at all in big teams agreeing to supply extra engines for free as they have little to gain and a lot to lose.
There are dangers in such ideas for the small teams as well as they may find themselves without a political voice as manufacturers will, no doubt, try to exploit the situation and insist on conditions as part of their agreements over engine supply.
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