Sauber says customer cars in F1 would be “total disaster”

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Despite good performance, no points for Sauber during 2015 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Despite good performance, no points for Sauber during 2015 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says that a fresh push to introduce customer cars would be a “total disaster” for Formula 1 if it came to fruition.

As well as the reintroduction of refuelling and technical changes aimed at making cars considerably faster, it was also decided in last week’s Strategy Group meeting that leading teams would draw up proposals for how customer cars would work in the sport.

Kaltenborn, who has long been a vocal critic of such a scheme, reiterated her belief that customer cars would be “devastating” if they happened.

Speaking to she said that F1 risked a dangerous point of no-return if the plan was implemented.

“If you’re in the sport as a team you always have that aspiration [to compete at the front],” she said.

“It would be devastating for the sport if a system is established by which there would be ‘competing’ teams and ‘participating teams’.

“That’s a total disaster. Nobody’s here just to participate; we are here to compete.

“We have shown in the past, even in times when we had a much smaller budget, that we could do an occasional podium, which gives the whole show a different impetus.”

Smaller teams hobbled

Kaltenborn also highlighted that a move towards customer cars would be an irreversible one, as it would permanently rob the smaller teams of their capabilities as constructors.

“If after a year, like with many ideas that come from the Strategy Group, we realise it’s not a good idea and we should revert back to how things were before, we can’t because our capabilities have been ruined.

“And if a supplier no longer wants to be in the sport, what then? Or what if the supplier hikes up the price by 10 million one year, like we have seen with the engines – what then?

“It helps certain teams for a limited period, and destroys others.” –



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