SEPTEMBER 8, 2005
The assault of the B teams
The new F1 rules for 2008, when they are fully agreed, will include the sale of cars and car parts from one team to another. The logical extension of this is that some teams will expand to run two operations because it makes sense with economies of scale. Building cars for two teams does not cost twice as much. And if one team does it, then it is logical from a strategic point of view for the others to follow suit. The problem is that only 10 teams will receive payments under the Concorde Agreement and at the moment the fields are deliberately restricted to 12 teams in order to keep up the value of the individual franchises.
The new plan will put added emphasis on success and will mean that the smaller independent teams are likely to be forced out by B teams, being run by the bigger operations. Already there is talk of Red Bull buying a second team and now come rumours of a similar arrangement with McLaren reportedly in advanced negotiations for a five-year deal with Direxiv, a Japanese company which in involved in GP2 and in the Super GT Championship in Japan. This is fronted by beauty queen Misato Haga. A deal with McLaren is entirely logical as the David Price Racing team would probably be involved. Price has long been involved with McLaren, notably as a supplier of composites to the team.
One of the reasons for the rumours about Minardi being up for sale is that with the emergence of B teams, the smaller less competitive operations will slip behind the new operations and gradually be forced out of F1. Thus it is logical to sell now.
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