Stay with me on this one. The inequality between Formula 1 teams, in terms of money, plagues the sport. Each year the big-wigs (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault) receive more prize money than the other teams on the grid. Ferrari in particular receive a startling amount in comparison to those smaller teams such as Sauber. The obvious solution – give the smaller teams more money and less to the bigger teams – is unlikely to happen. The big teams such as Mercedes and Ferrari hold too much power, and I fear that if their deals are substantially changed they will just walk from the sport.
So what is the answer? Well, why not divide our sport into two classes? We can have the big manufacturers in what would effectively be LMP1 of Formula 1. Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Red Bull. Those teams that receive bucket loads of cash can be part of this elite class. The smaller teams such as Williams and Force India can compete in an LMP2 class. All still part of the world championship, but it gives the chance for these privateer teams to compete for a realistic victory.
In turn this second class would encourage more smaller outfits to join our sport. Part of the problem is that the sport is far too expensive and the chances of victory are far too slim to make it justifiable for these smaller teams to enter. Cutting the costs is another, and very important matter but if we could give these teams a more realistic goal then they may be more inclined to enter our sport. We want to see full Formula 1 grids again. The winner of “LMP2” would qualify for “LMP1”, and the loser of “LMP1” would move down “LMP2”. This too would only increase competitiveness, especially within these midfield teams.
Now I am sure many will disagree and suggest that this would undermine the status of the championship. Such is the gap between the top teams and the rest of the field, that this world championship is being undermined as it is. This solution is not giving any team an advantage, or any more money or resources. It gives the opportunity for privateer teams to achieve something much more meaningful again.
Having seen many tweets and photos from Williams’ 40th Birthday celebrations at Silverstone today, I was prompted to write this article. A team with such a great history and rich heritage deserves to be fighting for wins. Back during the 1990s they were the pinnacle, the ultimate aim for all teams to aspire to. Lets see these privately owned teams – the backbone of our sport – fighting for something more than fourth, fifth and sixth places. Lets reinvigorate their love of Formula 1.