Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Are ‘B teams’ the solution to F1’s small grid?

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Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015The FIA’s announcement on Thursday that it is inviting a new entrant to compete in Formula One potentially from as early as next year has prompted speculation that a potential new team is waiting in the wings.

While car manufacturers like Volkswagen and Renault have repeatedly been linked with works F1 campaigns, another possibility is that one of the existing major teams could be looking to set up a satellite junior operation, much as Red Bull has done with Toro Rosso.

An obvious candidate for such a move would be McLaren, which stands to benefit from having an extra team to develop its Honda engines, and a destination for junior drivers Kevin Magnussen, Stoffel Vandoorne, Nyck de Vries, and potentially also Honda’s Nobuharu Matsushita.

But does F1 need more ‘B teams’ in the mould of Toro Rosso? Would it not be better served by having more independent or manufacturer-run teams like Mercedes, Sauber or Lotus?

For

Without ‘B teams’ like Toro Rosso, the Formula One grid would be even more sparsely populated than it is today.

And while smaller independent teams like Sauber often have to resort to hiring much-maligned ‘pay drivers’, B teams can be used to bring the best new racing talent into F1.

Against

‘B teams’ can never expect to become genuine players in Formula One because they only exist to train young drivers for more senior squads. They occupy spaces which could be taken by ‘real’ competitors.

They also leave F1 more vulnerable in the event that their ‘parent’ team pulls out of the sport. In 2008 F1 not only lost Honda, but also its ‘B team’ Super Aguri.

I say

Formula One is so short of teams at the moment that any new entrant should be welcomed. But when the FIA comes to decide who deserves to win its tender to enter F1, the ‘B teams’ should be bottom of the pile.

F1 teams should be out to win for themselves. While Toro Rosso can give Red Bull a run for their money on the track on any given day (and are doing a particularly good job this year), they will never benefit from the same kind of resources as their parent team, nor sustain the kind of driver line-up which will allow them to compete with the front runners.

And judging by the frequently indifferent response I see to articles about Toro Rosso on F1 Fanatic compared to other teams and the lack of support they appear to have, I don’t believe they inspire the same kind of affection among fans that ‘proper teams’ do.



You say

Do you agree F1 should have more 'B teams' like Toro Rosso?

  • Strongly agree (12%)
  • Slightly agree (36%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (8%)
  • Slightly disagree (17%)
  • Strongly disagree (26%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 343

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 94 comments on “Are ‘B teams’ the solution to F1’s small grid?”

    1. Does it work in Motogp? I don’t think so.

      1. @lockup To be fair I don’t think we shouldn’t compare anything to the mess that MotoGP is.

        So, in short, no, I don’t think so either.

        1. @strontium Motogp shouldn’t be compared with F1 mainly because the situation is even worse in F1. B teams are created to earn more sitting votes, get through freeze/budget restrictions and the occasional aid on track, besides the testing drivers bit. They were never meant to compete.

        2. excuse me, but MotoGP is no mess compared to F1.

    2. As you say its not the best solution but whats the other realistic options. 1, 3/4 car teams route, which i personally endorse. more. 2, Manor & HRT style teams with no money hiring the highest bidder to there teams and struggling to go race to race, Like Minardi having 2 of these teams makes it a story 1 or 3+ is a embarrasment to see so many cars or two lonely cars so far behind.

      If F1 cant encourage manufacturers to join the sport or more brands like Red Bull to buy teams then this is perhaps the best of a bad situation.

      1. I slightly agree with the proposition of B teams, it worked (ish) for Super Aguri and works (ish) for Toro Rosso, but a big concern would be “collusion”, i.e. blocking for the A-spec team or even data sharing, etc. The deck is really stacked against the minnows in the era where areo is so important. The B-spec teams (potentially Haas, Stefan GP, or some GP2 team looking to step up a notch) would still be behind the top teams because they wouldn’t have the few extra tenths that all that dosh buys, but at least they would be potentially in for a shout at points more than Marussia, Caterham (green Lotus), or HRT have been.

    3. yes, f1 needs more teams.
      yes, b-teams should be considered.
      no, i’m not a fan of them and will probably never be.

      look at vettels career. had the toro rosso team not existed in 2008, where would he be now? same with ricciardo, he’s had a great season last year but would it have happened if he didn’t have a good season with toro rosso?

      i look at it this way, toro rosso is a team which you can only support the drivers, not the team itself, like many people do with verstappen at the moment. when i was at the 2013 race in germany i didn’t see a single fan that was wearing toro rosso shirts or caps. these teasm exist only to prepare drivers, which is actually not really a bad thing because they won’t be needing pay drivers.

      at the moment f1 is not a very attractive sport for new teams. b teams are the only way we will get to see a full grid in the next 10 years.

      i say, yes to new teams and more seats in f1! (but i’d prefer proper race teams)

      1. @rigi, in the case of Vettel, it should be borne in mind that he spent a number of months on loan from Red Bull to BMW-Sauber – he drove for the team in practise sessions in 2006 and 2007, and took part in the 2007 US Grand Prix before he was given a slot at Toro Rosso in mid 2007.

        As for Ricciardo, let us not forget that he actually started his career at HRT in 2011, where Red Bull provided the team with a small sponsorship deal in return for running him. He may have come through Toro Rosso after that, but that came on the back of his performances in HRT, where Red Bull were pleased with Ricciardo’s development.

        Equally, we have seen other drivers come through smaller teams that were not “B-teams” for the larger teams, but aligned with a larger team – Bianchi and di Resta are recent examples of that.

      2. agree Rigi — I think an ideal situation would be for a team to buy a chassis from one team, an engine form another, etc. Mix and match… a RBR chassis with a Merc engine? If you can make it work, then go for it…

    4. Those young McLaren drivers are locked in; they’ve no chance of racing for Williams or Sauber so instead of driving a McLaren-coloured GP2 car, they might as well be racing in F1 where people can see them. (Why can’t they be loaned to another team anyway, like Ricciardo, Alonso and Button once were?) And McLaren has enough capacity (and far too many managers) to run two teams with significantly different cars. Even a three-month-old McLaren is almost a separate car from a brand new one.

      The Red Bull programme seems to be improving the breed, even if it appears to be run by an impulsive madman. I thought Kvyat came of age in Monaco with his first proper result in F1. And if either Sainz or Verstappen was kicked out of Red Bull, I suspect they’d find another team, unlike the drivers who came (and went) before them.

      1. @bullfrog, with regards to driver loans, McLaren had intended to do exactly that with Magnussen – their original plan was to loan him out to another team (thought to be Force India). It was only when that other team withdrew from the proposal that McLaren then chose to run Magnussen in their own team.

        Technically, you could argue that Bianchi was also on loan from Ferrari to Marussia – Bianchi was still enlisted in Ferrari’s Young Driver program and was a nominated reserve driver for Ferrari for a number of years.

    5. The best argument against B teams I can think of is the 2012 Brazilian GP. Vettel ends up at the back of the field and needs to get into the points to secure the championship. And there are THREE cars on track you know will jump out of his way as soon as he gets close, thats not what racing is about.

      1. That is like the most absurd argument against B teams I’ve ever heard of. I thought you were gonna say something like “Vettel ends up at the back of the field and needs to get into the points to secure the championship. And there are THREE cars on track you know will crash into him as soon as he gets close”. Vettel overtaking the backmarkers or most of B-teams is a given, but what happens sometimes is those cars crash into championship contenders which is not very nice – especially at the end of a championship. Wouldn’t be the strongest argument against them, but makes more sense I think.

      2. In fact, in that race in 2012, even schumacher driving for mercedes did almost parked the car to let Vettel pass… what a shameless move

      3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        1st June 2015, 12:51

        Wasn’t that the race where Webber blocked him at the start which caused him to make contact with another car and spin? So maybe two other cars, not three! Lets face it, what we have now is similar to what we would have if B teams came along. Now…. top teams with massive budgets racing at the front, smaller teams with smaller budgets racing very closely midfield to back and easily overtaken on track by the big teams. How would B teams change this?

    6. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      31st May 2015, 12:49

      I think a B team shouldnt be so criticized as people do with Toro Rosso. You say they will never have the chance to equal the senior team budget, but lets be realistic: just few teams have a real top budget, and it seems to me that this year Toro Rosso are better prepared than Sauber, Lotus and ForceIndia.

    7. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      31st May 2015, 13:00

      …and the same goes about resources. If for example, a great engineer appears at Toro Rosso, they are sometimes sent to Red Bull… but we have already seen how those talents are also hired by other teams. Would an engineer who turns out to be “the next real deal” decline to leave his job at, lets say, Manor, just because he feels he works in a “real racing team”? I wouldnt blink to go from Manor to Toro Rosso, or to any other team up the ladder.
      Another good example about resources is being able to use top notch tech. Both Toro Rosso drivers spent countless hours in the advanced RB sim, while Sauber boys may have to play

      1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        31st May 2015, 13:06

        … F1 games on a console. (Sorry for the split comment, crazy cellphone).

    8. It cant be a solution, if a team wants a B team its a different matter all together, but don’t force it. GP2 is where drivers are trained, not in a F1 ‘B’ team. The drivers then wouldn’t have much freedom of choice of which team to switch other than their A team.

      1. Bravo! Common sense. Something not read around here very often.

      2. yes, but GP2 is not the same (ERS, DRS, etc) — surely it makes sense to have rookies cut their teeth at the back of the grid for a season or two instead of suffering from Grosjean-itis until they get their heads screwed on right.

    9. The best example: STR vs RBR. Seeing this season, sometimes it reminds me of 2008. In 2008, STR finished higher than RBR. There were some other reasons for the situation, but when it happens it makes a very interesting story for Formula 1. It was something truly inspirational and will always be one of those magical stories.

      1. And funnily enough they got their first win in 2008.. a year before Red Bull.

        1. And the next year @strontium, they were rewarded by having to wait months before the got their updates from RB to make sure they didn’t repeat that.

          They have a role to play, but aren’t a solution.

    10. I think B teams could be an interesting idea, but the idea should be reworked.

      In my opinion, the rules should allow B teams with sister cars but only for a short time. It could be useful for new teams to start as a B team with an old car for a couple of years. It would help the team to develop itself, learn how to develop cars, manage a season, get competitive, without racing at the back of the grid. They could even start with limited resources : the A team will provide resources for the first years, while the new team attract popularity and sponsors. The A team could provide the team some young drivers from their young driver program, and could get some data back from their development.

      After a couple of years (decided by rules), the new team will have to build it’s own car, after they have had some experience developing it, and then some years later, the y will have to become completely independent.

      Overall, if properly done, it could be a very good system of helping new teams entering F1, especially in a time when private testing is not allowed.

      1. What’s difference between what you are proposing and RBR-STR relationship?

        1. B teams are presently not allowed to have old car from the A team (they could get some parts, but they still need to build their own chassis). What I propose is that the partnership should be a temporary one, and after some seasons, the B team should become a team on it’s own.

          The STR-RBR partnership has been there for 10 seasons, and it could still exist in 10 more seasons if the two teams wish it.

    11. We’ve pretty much got ‘B’ teams now and they ain’t much good or they aren’t allowed to be (engine customers). What the proposal really means is that we will probably get better ‘B’ teams! I’m for it….

    12. Andy (@andybantam)
      31st May 2015, 14:21

      Crazy idea. Crazy.

      If some of the larger teams want Satellite teams, fine. No problem. But not at the expense of the independent teams.

      If we hypothesise that running ‘B’ teams becomes normal and thus becomes the only way to give your ‘A’ team the necessary strategic advantage to win, how does this improve F1 in the long run?

      It doesn’t.

      If we’re struggling to find enough quick teams to fill the grid at present, how is having to look at running four cars to be competitive going to help?

      Be careful, F1. Be careful.

    13. I still don’t get why it’s so hard for F1 and its fans to think about this whole thing differently. Why must it be “A” teams and “B” teams???? Why can’t F1 people simply look at it as MULTIPLE teams, the way it’s done in NASCAR? If you’re a team owner in NASCAR and want to field 3 driver, 4 drivers, or 7 drivers, you can. Each team is a semi-autonomous entity, under the umbrella of the team ownership. Makes it MUCH more interesting for fans to follow their favorite driver, and makes for great racing. F1 organizers AND fans are stuck in the past and unable to think outside the box.

      1. Andy (@andybantam)
        31st May 2015, 14:54

        Bare with me…

        McLaren ‘B’ are not there to be competitive. McLaren ‘B’ are ultimately help McLaren ‘A’ be more competitive. That doesn’t mean they won’t race their parent team, but it undeniably waters down the dynamics of true competition. Something you probably don’t hold so dear in NASCAR.

        F1 cars cost millions of pounds a year to run, by comparison, NASCARs cost about 48 pence. This also makes the dynamics of true competition within the respective sports quite different.

        You can’t argue the case for the way American formulas do things because those teams buy ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions for their cars. F1 teams can’t do that. It’s all prototype machinery – and that’s the way it should be.

        If you were to argue for F1 to accept ‘customer’ teams that were privately run and their interests insulated from the works teams, then I could accept your point, but ‘B’ teams are not the same thing.

        1. Again, I think you are seeing this in a limited fashion. You are assuming things MUST be a certain way — which is, in fact, the only thing KEEPING them that way. There is absolutely NO reason why McLaren or Mercedes or Ferrari could not run multiple cars using identical machinery — regardless of whether it is prototype or not. I understand fully the difference in machinery and cost between F1 and American series’. So look at the WEC. Also prototype machinery, and there are teams there fielding more than two cars. They are NOT A, B, or C teams. They are simply MULTIPLE CARS.

          To be sure, fielding multiple cars in F1 would be untenable at CURRENT spending levels. Teams are at their breaking points already. But there is nothing other than willpower and vision stopping teams from fielding multiple cars and on equal footing.

          The argument that American racing series are not as competitive or exciting ultimately holds no water, as recent races have shown. Because the cars are closer in spec, and because drivers are allowed to race each other without so much interference from either team leaders or stewards, American racing is infinitely more exciting than F1 — Monaco last week, and Bahrain, 2014 notwithstanding.

          This year and last you have Nico and Lewis battling it out in similar machinery. Imagine if Mercedes fielded 4 identical cars. You’d have 4 drivers duking it out between themselves. Would the price per car necessarily drop? Perhaps. Which would drop Mercedes back into the thick of things with the other teams. Sounds like good racing to me. Imagine if Williams last year had 3 or 4 cars in the field and could strategize a way to keep the Red Bulls behind, making the championship that much closer. Doesn’t sound uncompetitive to me.

          There isn’t a single argument I’ve heard to date that convincingly states a case against multiple cars. I have heard LOTS of arguments against A and B teams, which I agree with, but that whole scenario misses the point: that it is possible to have multiple cars and NOT designate one or a pair as the ‘A’ team. Race them as equals. There’s nothing stopping it from happening except vision and desire.

      2. The big difference there is NAPCAR still has a huge grid. When Hendrick, Roush, Penske, Gibbs, etc. run multiple cars each, there are still a very large number of distinct teams that don’t share ownership structure and garage space.

        OTOH, if the big teams in F1 ran 4 cars each, though, you’d end up with only 6 teams on track: it would be 4 Mercs against 4 Ferraris, 4 Mclarens, 4 RBRs (we effectively already have this), and 2 each of whichever independent teams don’t go belly up.

    14. I’d rather see an oversubscribed grid full of B teams than the under-capacity grids we have right now. But then it would be obviously more desirable to have 13 individual teams that are all capable of hiring the best drivers and have financial stability. I don’t like the idea of B teams, but since we will NEVER see 13 individual teams as long as Bernie keeps giving preferential treatment to the richest teams, I suppose it’s better than what we have now.

    15. It’s a better scenario than having sparse grids, so I’d be happy to see more B teams if that’s what people consider them. Drivers and engineers have to start somewhere in F1, and the less teams there are the tougher it’ll be for real talent to get through. If I were to be cynical though, I’d suspect that many of the people voting “strongly disagree” are likening this proposal to full-on customer car teams.

    16. B-teams can’t race for the win. They are just Sisters or Incubators.
      Are they called the RACING TEAM? No!
      F1 is not a school.

      what’s the difference between the B-team solution and 4 cars for few teams?
      OK. The car livery is the difference. and?…Nothing!

      I think the Only solution is fair redistribution of the prize money.

      1. We must think that Why Franz Tost wanted to independent from Red Bull. Why he wanted to Renault.

      2. “Sisters or Incubators” LOL

    17. F1 already has “B teams” or “customer teams”, beyond just Toro Rosso. All the Mercedes customer teams occupy an inferior place place in the pecking order with respect to Mercedes itself, and their have been many claims from the customer teams that Mercedes is keeping certain high performance engine maps to itself.

      Williams in particular seems to occupy a B team status with respect to Mercedes. See e.g Toto Wolff’s ownership stake in WIlliams, his wife being test driver for that team, and their sometimes seeming reluctance to take a win at Mercedes expense last year.

      There’s probably no getting around this in modern F1. The engines (or power units) have to be closely integrated with the chassis, which gives the engine building teams a big edge over the engine buying teams. The days when some small privateer outfit could build a good chassis, bolt a Cosworth in back and go win races are long gone.

      1. Well said. Every customer engine team is in effect a B team.

        Provided the B car teams design their own cars and what-not, I’d rather have more of them than three car teams, or customer cars.

      2. Exactly. The actual status of being a “B-team” doesn’t really matter since the teams who buy engines are basically testing for the manufacturer of said engine anyway – effectively becoming B teams. In other words, basically everyone aside from RBR, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes is a B-team – even proud teams with amazing traditions like Lotus and Williams. In football, feeder teams are not allowed to play in the same leagues as their feeders. Two teams with the same owner also aren’t allowed to play each other in UEFA competition.

    18. Yes we need customer cars in Formula One, it’s the only practical solution that the teams will agree to.

      BUT why does that have to mean ‘B’ teams? I hate the idea of B teams and an F1 with customer cars shouldn’t have to be such. Customer cars should be for the current years regs anyway and not an updated previous year car as some suggest.

      Remember, the last time there were customer cars in F1, I don’t think people were calling Tyrrell the ‘March B-team’ when they raced a March chassis to the championship in 1969.

      Personally customer cars which teams can then develop will help new teams become successful. I’d prefer to all cars having a standard survival cell, suspension, diffuser, crash structure etc etc and then just give the teams some aerodynamic freedom with the nose/sidepods/wings. But no one will agree to that even if it’s a good idea.

      1. Personally I believe that customer teams should be banned and that every team on the F1 grid should run their own unit. Of course this will never happen because Toyota, VW, Ford, etc, just aren’t interested anymore. Instead, works teams shuld not be allowed to sell/give units to other teams on the grid (unaffiliated units may be used by more than one team). B-teams can exist but only for the development of talent and NOT cars. They should also be be allowed, and encouraged, to compete freely with their parent teams.

    19. B-teams are only either there to keep sponsors happy or to train young drivers. Young drivers should be trained in lower formulae and drivers who are only there to keep sponsors happy alone shouldn’t be on the F1 grid at all. I like Toro Rosso, and I liked Super Aguri back in the day, but that’s it. I don’t feel the same towards them as I do towards a main team, and I would be in the same boat if ART made the jump up to F1.

    20. The focus should be on the financial structure, Distributing the prize money in a fairer way & looking at ways of reducing cost’s so that the small teams can compete without the need for gimmicks like B teams, customer cars or a 2-tier series.

      One of the problem’s with those gimmicks is that they remove the incentive to fix the problems that cause the perceived need for them. If you have the bottom half of the grid funded as b teams or running customer cars or whatever, Who’s going to be pushing for cost reduction & a fairer prize fund distribution?

      There is also a risk that you do sometimes see in other categories that have B teams, 3rd/4th cars or whatever in that those extra cars can be used strategically to help the A team & hold up competitors.
      When Sauber were more in bed with Ferrari for instance I recall a few instances where Sauber’s looked to make lapping them harder for Williams & McLarens while jumping out of the way instantly for Ferrari’s.

      I’d rather see 10-13 teams run completely independently from one another each running there own cars than have B teams or any other similar gimmick.

      1. honestly speaking, giving the poorer teams more money does not yield a greater incentive to challenge their factory masters. It just gives them more of an incentive to shut up and do what they are told.

        Risk includes the possibility of failure. If you can’t fail, you are really not risking anything, if you are not really risking anything, there is no reward, with out a reward there is just mediocrity and politics. Too big to fail is BS.

        The problem lies with the rule makers turning F1 in to a shooting gallery for the factories where the smaller teams occupy barrels from which to be shot at. There isn’t enough risk in F1, if there was, the factories would have to spend more money trying to cover more opportunities, costing them more. F1 needs to make it difficult for the big manufacturers like Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, and encourage risk taking. F1 needs a shake up, it needs to lose a lot of dead weight, weight that exists only because there are handouts and easy money.

      2. I think what you’ve said is exactly right. There needs to be some sort of guaranteed “appearance” money for the cars that actually get onto the start grid (the 107% rule and stewards vetting of cars meaning teams have to be up to “racing standard” to get to the starting grid), and have this paid at regular intervals through the year.
        Also, I think there needs to be a guaranteed amount of “TV time” for each team, to encourage advertisers.

    21. Objectively, B-teams belong in the lower categories, in my opinion. It means lower running costs for the manufacturers, it allows development drivers to follow the complete road towards F1 and it helps the support championships as well, generating interest and maintaing their role in the greater scheme of things.

      Realistically, F1 simply needs more cars on the track and since no other manufacturer (except Renault, who will probably buy into an existing team anyway) seems even remotely interested in joining the championship, since Ecclestone looks set on throwing the existing privateers out, and since customer cars will probably happen at some point, B-teams might become a feasible and plausible solution for F1 soon enough.

      Allowing this to happen, however, will mean another knee-jerk, ignoring-the-real-issues reaction from the same people that threw the championship into this mess. It will just make F1 ever more hierarchized and corporate, it will take even more out of the soul and passion of it all and will make the whole championship even more artificial and clinical.

      B-teams, with all due respect to the people involved, will just play their role and will always dance to the tune sung by the parent teams. I don’t expect them to challenge for podiums and wins unless they’re told to and I don’t expect them to produce surprises unless they’re orchestrated in advance in order to serve a specific purpose at a specific time. Even if they’re being run by passionate people like Franz Tost, they don’t have a choice really, because you do what the guy who is financing your business wants you to do.

      F1 in its ideal form needs more privateers, without a question. F1 in its current form could probably be fooled into thinking that B-teams and/or customer cars are what it needs and if that is the case, it might as well start to think about introducing classes and categories.

    22. Apex Assassin
      31st May 2015, 16:16

      And I say this argument is nonsense. The solution is better regulations and distribution of wealth to attract more manufacturers which will in turn lower customer costs for things like engines, gearboxes, and tyres.

    23. Thinking out loud and just sharing ideas, here:

      The Positive of B Teams are

      -Add young talent to the field, beyond the usual batch of “pay drivers”. Are not afraid to test them and give them a chance, since its their job to prepare them for the A team.

      -Same for young engineers or new talent in development teams. A B team can have new talent that can venture in much more revolutionary designs than the A team, albeit with a lesser budget. They might end up promoted to the “A” team.

      While they do have the tendency to perform worse then the A team, they can be competitive against the midfield, which is good for the show, vs some entrants that as independent as they are, are seconds of the pace of the middle pack.

      Negatives

      B Teams are not there to win, but to nurture new talent. So They have no identity, no need to create empathy with the fans.

      They might take the place of a true, independent team willing to invest to win in Formula 1.

      Now beyond this superficial analysis, the truth is other factors need to be taken into account as well. Currently there are only 4 teams that have a realistic chance of being champions: Ferrari, Mercedes, Mclaren, Red Bull. These are teams with Manufacturers backings in the chassis and/or engine. What this means is that F1 either is too dependant on engines being from manufacturers, or its just demanding too much money to be competitive. These 4 teams are the ones with the best facilities and have the most money.

      The question that needs to be asked is: will B teams change this for the positive, or the negative? In my opinion, no.

      The question we need to ask is if F1 right now is working, or not. If it is, if having the top 4 with the occasional outsider fighting for the top 5 positions enough, than B teams can be a positive addition. However, if we want F1 to allow the Saubers, the Williams. Lotuses and Force Indias to have a realistic chance to be competitive, then something needs to change in the regulations front. How? To allow innovation, talent and creativity win above budget. And how to achieve this? That is something for the very well paid FIA Officials and Bernie’s team. Now do they want that? That is the million dollar question!

    24. Again, people keep talking about ‘B’ teams instead of multiple teams. Such a narrow and limited view to assume that an owner or manufacturer can’t field multiple EQUAL teams.

      1. @jeangirard
        That’s because we all know that nobody can run multiple teams as equal competitors.
        After a few races there would be one driver with a better chance of becoming WDC and anyone with any experience would put more resources into supporting them, which obviously means the other drivers/teams would be left playing a supporting role.
        It’s hard enough for teams to give equal treatment to 2 drivers, giving it to multiple teams would be impossible, one team would be the A team (either through reputation or results) and as such would get more resources allocated to them.
        Few manufacturers are willing to fund one team, funding two makes no sense unless you go down the Red Bull/Torro Rosso route, in which case all we’d have is a few extra midfield teams with very little chance of winning anything and under strict instructions to stay out of the way of the A team – that’s not my idea of equality and not what I want for F1.

        1. And, yet again, what you describe is simply a matter of past behavior dictating future performance. It’s far from written in stone. Look at Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR as an example of what is possible, or the Porsche LMP-1. Hendrick has FIVE entrants in the top tier of NASCAR. All are competitive. Obviously, it’s a spec car, which makes a huge difference. But, even so, the teams are under the same umbrella but given enough money and autonomy to be competitive week in and week out. The Porsche LMP-1 situation is an even better example. You have THREE teams, all running prototype machinery, but the machinery is the same across the three teams and they compete as equals. If it’s possible in NASCAR, and it’s possible in WEC, prove to me beyond doubt why it’s not possible in F1. The ONLY reason it isn’t is small-mindedness.

          1. http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/16/red-bull-infographic-compares-and-contrasts-nascar-and-f1

            That may be a few years old but it shows that running 5 entrants in NASCAR is still cheaper than running 1 F1 team, I just don’t believe there’s anyone willing to invest the sort of money it would take to run two competitive teams and risk letting them race each other.

            1. Yes, I’m familiar with that data. It’s true NASCAR is far cheaper. And I mentioned in a previous post that i wouldn’t expect a team fielding multiple cars would be able to do so at the current levels of spending. So let’s look at that. Let’s say the dominant team today (Mercedes) were to field 4 or 5 cars. They’re already supplying engines for as many cars as that, so it’s not unreasonable to think they could do it. Wind tunnel and aero development wouldn’t increase substantially, because it would be the same design used for each car. So, the major cost increase would be logistical (transporting and maintaining) and staffing. Now let’s assume even that is unreasonable. What does that mean? That means a big team might field more cars but would have to spend less per car than they are currently. What would that mean to competition? Possibly, it means that a team that runs 4 or 5 cars, distributing finite resources across them, would have a slightly slower or less dominant machine than that same team devoting those resources to just two cars. Now look at the reverse: assume you didn’t have to have two cars. Do away with the two car minimum. Now those small teams that are strapped for cash can devote ALL their resources to running one car, and therefore develop a stronger, more competitive machine. They can also more reasonably deal with the logistical challenges of running an F1 team when they have to focus only on one car. I really don’t see a downside here. The whole mindset that F1 MUST be teams of two cars is just silly. There’s absolutely no logical reason for it — it’s completely arbitrary. Let teams run to their capacity and field fewer or more cars as they see fit. Give each car autonomy. Let it be the “Lewis Hamilton team” the “Sebastian Vettel team” etc, under the umbrellas of the different manufacturers. And let the strategize independently of each other. Then we’ll see some real racing.

    25. Torro Rosso is already the RBR B team. They share development data with RBR and take orders from RBR. We already have B teams in F1. Making it official would make it more fair.

      This is how I’d do it:
      1) Completely optional.
      2) Only your top 2 finishers per race will be classified (points wise). So Merc having 4 cars and finishing 1-4th, will make no difference to a team like Ferrari who’s finishing 5th and 6th, as they then get 3rd and 4th’s points.
      3) Make the B Team’s cars start behind all the A Team’s cars. This would force good cars to work their way up past the slower teams cars, creating an interesting and fair situation.

      1. @joshua-mesh That would just be confusing, Especially for newer fans.

        Also if a driver is 3rd/4th of a 4 car team & therefore not able to score points whats the point of his been there?
        And is it then fair for a championship contender for instance to finish 3rd/4th & not score if there behind 2 team mates?

        Take Hamilton at Monaco, Would it be fair if he’d dropped to 3rd/4th behind 2 other Mercedes & gone from winning the race to not even been eligible to score points through no fault of his own.
        And then what if Mercedes had told the ‘b’ team driver to pull over to right the teams mistake & get Lewis back in the points, Would that be fair on the B team drivers?

        The whole B team, 3 car team idea is stupid to begin with & not what F1 should be looking at doing. I’m certainly not sure I have much interest in watching F1 under such a system.

        1. I was more referring to the constructors championship.

    26. Best case scenario: F1 has all truly independently owned and operated constructors competing against each other at a high level.

      Plan B: F1 has some B teams independently operated with some support from A teams such as STR/RBR.

      Worst case scenario: F1 becomes a spec series with the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, Red Bull all running virtually the same chassis, motor, etc. (It caused some pain to even write that sentence.)

      At least with plan B you get the possibility of the B team beating the A team sometimes. It has given great pleasure to see that happen with STR at times this season.

      1. @bullmello The worst case scenario you have described simply cannot happen. Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren would all refuse to race somebody else’s car with their name on it.

        1. @strontium – Exactly. And yet some people are still suggesting it as a way forward. It could be a way forward, but it wouldn’t be F1.

    27. Strongly disagree.

      As much as F1 fans welcome the return of Manor to the grid, reality shows that it’s much more interesting with a race at the front rather than at the back/middle. A team that comes in as a contender for the championship will be much more amazing, one that can challenge RedBull/Williams/Ferrari/Mercs right now.

      Although it’s not the “solution”, if all else fails, I guess a few “B-team” can stir up the race a bit. At least it’ll be the place where big teams test their young drivers so that more talented drivers can make their way to Formula 1.

    28. To be blunt, if you’re at the point where you need B teams to make up the numbers, you’re in a world of hurt as a sport.

      I think B teams should be allowed but not actively encouraged. In fact, I’d be happier with just removing the restriction on 2 cars per team. If Red Bull or McLaren or Ferrari really want to run 4 cars and 4 drivers, why go through the charade of pretending they are a different team? Combine Red Bull and Torro Rosso into one team and be done with it.

      1. @k-l-waster Problem is we then have the ‘three car teams’ argument (or four in this case). That would cause so many issues.

        1. I’m not sure those issues go away just because you slap a different name on the cars. Torro Rosso is there to allow RBR to evaluate drivers and try things out. It’s not there to actually compete with RBR, and it’s budget ultimately comes out of the same marketing fund at Red Bull.

          If you fired Franz Tost and had Helmut Marko call the shots for both teams the on-the-ground difference would be undetectable.

    29. Screw ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. Let all the teams field as many or as few cars as they’d like. 4 Ferraris? Great! 5 Mclarens? Bring it on! Race everyone on the team as equals and let the drivers prove themselves and be the heroes we all want them to be. Stop being sissies about the slightest of contacts — racing is about being aggressive, not moving to the side and letting someone by. Let’s fill up the grid and let the drivers be drivers.

      1. Would having 3-4-5 Mercedes really be the best thing for F1 right now given there dominance?

        Having the top teams running more than 2 cars isn’t exactly a positive for the smaller teams either who would just be pushed further down the order struggling even more to score points.

        If you had 3+ Mercedes, Ferrari’s & Red Bull’s it doesn’t leave any room towards the front for anyone else & then your going to put Force India, Lotus, Sauber, Manor out of business & maybe even put Williams in trouble.

        1. Actually, having multiple Mercedes might be JUST the thing for F1. Imagine watching 5 drivers at the front duking it out instead of 2! Imagine Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Rosberg, and Button or Raikkonen all in Mercedes, fighting it out. Or what someone like Hulkenberg or Grosjean could do if placed in one of those 5 hypothetical Mercedes. I think the racing would be DAMN exciting. And, if you do the financial math, it’s unlikely Mercedes would have as dominant of a car if they were splitting their resources 5 ways instead of 2. The car would likely drop back, because there’s only a finite amount of money Mercedes or any other team would be able to throw at the car, regardless of how many they field. And think about what some of the smaller teams could do if they could pour all their resources into just ONE car, instead of being required to field two cars. If Force India, Sauber, or Manor could put everything they had into just one car, they’d likely have a more competitive team. I think the whole requirement/limit of two cars per team is a big hindrance. We need to be open to other ways of doing things.

          1. This is a bad idea, using your logic, one can say let’s get rid of “teams”, let’s have Mercedes or Ferrari build cars for every drivers and let them race, surely 20 drivers in the exactly same car would bring about the most “exciting” race!

            Team battles have been a historical thing for F1, and furthermore, no teams are going to agree to what you’ve said. Ferrari, Mercedes are in F1 to market their brands and research new technologies; Red Bulls (including the Rossos) are in it for the advertisement of the energy drink. Small teams are ran with the money from sponsors.

            Now, imagine if there are 5 or 6 Mercs, the losing teams will be pushed behind, the cameras will only focus on the Mercs battle. Red Bull will be furious that their advertisement campaign isn’t working out; Ferrari will threaten to quit if the rules don’t change; Williams and Sauber will collapse with the withdrawal of sponsors and F1 will be a mess.

            I don’t think there’s any era when a team, no matter how big or small, is allowed to enter unlimited car, and they do that for a reason. Even the rules stating some teams will enter 3 cars if neccessary is objected enough, let alone *unlimited*

            1. Again, all your hypothesizing is based on conjecture and what has or has not happened in the past. For every hypothetical reason or example you can give me for why this wouldn’t work, I can give 3, 4 or 5 REAL WORLD examples of how it HAS worked. Would it be easy? Probably not. Would there be lots of questions to be figured out? Sure. But I still have not heard a real, logical, inescapable argument for why it isn’t at least possible. In fact, your very answer points out the sort of small-minded thinking that keeps it from happening: Your answers, more or less, were “no teams will agree to it” — which is precisely the small-mindedness I’m referring to –, “it’s never been done before” — which is precisely the lack of imagination I’m speaking of — and “all hell will break loose” — which is nothing more than fear of trying something different.

              Multiple cars works in other series. It can work in F1. Freeing up teams to field fewer or more cars than the required 2 allows them to allocate their resources in the way that best works for them, leading to more competitive racing across the board. Further freeing up the individual cars to be their own autonomous racing operation puts the focus on the driver, allowing each team to capture sponsors based on the following of the driver and how marketable each team is, and getting rid of the other bane of F1 — team orders. Imagine an F1 with no team orders, more parity of machinery, and racers free to race each other. Isn’t that exactly what we all want?

            2. In the 50s and 60s Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Mercedes did run more than 2 cars (in some races they ran up to 5). It’s really only been since the 80s that the 2 cars no more no less rule has been in effect.

    30. No, There should be no ‘B’ teams or customer cars or anything of the sort.

      Instead of using more band aids, Fix the problem thats putting teams into financial issues to begin with… That been the absurd distribution of the wealth that flows into F1 each year.

      A sport that made over $1.5 Billion in 2014 should not have teams in financial difficulties, Its inexcusable that the mid field teams get so little of that & all these silly suggestions do nothing to fix that absurdity, In fact it could make it worse (More money going to the top teams, less available to any smaller teams trying to compete on merit for themselfs).

      If they go along with these dumb idea’s then its time for Bernie to use his GP1 trademark because it sure as hell wouldn’t be F1 anywhere & its certainly not something i would have any interest in following.

      1. Totally agree! TOP teams (Merc,Ferrari, McLaren, RedBull) would still be top teams because they have more money internally, more sponsors and more exposure! So take away those crazy extras just because you are considered “a top team”, equalize the rest and only make the difference (bonus) according to the Constructor’s Championship!

    31. If there isn’t enough money in Formula One for 12 or 13 teams then where will the money come from for the B teams?

      True there will be some efficiencies but the real solution is to make it cheaper to be competitive. Better still make it possible for smaller teams to compete closely with the richer teams by framing the rules more carefully.

      An example would be to make sure the engines are VERY, VERY powerful, slightly wider tyres and much reduced aero effectiveness. This means we would get races in the dry which were a bit more like those in the rain which is a leveller (even the less good engines would have too much power). Lap times could be similar to currently.

      Very more importantly the driver would make more of a difference.

      In this way a smaller team with a talented driver and a little bit of luck could win races… and attract sponsorship … and need I say more?

    32. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      31st May 2015, 20:43

      It all sounds pretty useless. More teams, more B-teams, more cars whatsoever. Economically, what this all boils down to is that we already have a very wealthy sport (F1 made 1.000.000.000 + usd is what’s said above), wherein competitors run into trouble because they have to spend too much, and the solution proposed is to throw more money at it.
      Let F1 fix its problems using the wealth that’s already there.
      One genius once said: “mo money, mo problems.”

    33. A negative I have not seen mentioned yet is the possibility that ‘B’ Teams could actually make it harder for drivers not associated with an F1 team to make it to F1.

      Like Red Bull the other top teams all have young driver programs & if they had ‘B’ teams then like Red Bull its probable they would be pushing there young drivers into those teams.
      If your then a driver with no links to those teams the chances of you making it to F1 could then be less likely.

      There is also the problem that its effectively limiting the number of teams in F1 so there’s less places for drivers to move to if there not happy at there existing team. And also If the ‘B’ teams end up been used just for young drivers then you are going to have experienced drivers left with nowhere to go if they get dropped from or want to move from one of the ‘A’ teams with no other seats available at other ‘A’ teams.

      If you just want to guarantee a full grid then fine, But if you want a truly healthy grid with variety & more options for young & experienced drivers then its not the right direction for F1 to go.
      There are consequences that seriously need thinking about & the possible negative’s to ‘B’ Teams far outweigh the positives IMO.

    34. I’m undecided. I think a B team is better than a perennial back marker like HRT, Caterham or Manor as we’ve seen far better track action from Toro Rosso over the years. But that was with just one B team.

      Realistically Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes will probably also run one given the push and incentive of ‘customer cars’.

      That’s 16 cars based on potentially race winning chassis. Sounds like a great way to get competitive racing, but it will completely screw Sauber, Force India, Lotus and potentially Williams out of points.

      I think it would need a points system revision as well, maybe extending them down to 15th if we have a 26 car grid.

    35. Why put more teams that realistically won’t even compete for the championship? Best case scenario we have more competitive mid pack, which already the case usually for every season. Worst case scenario instead of each row locked by a team in the grid, we will have 2 row locked by a team and its B team acting as buffer to protect the main team.

      I don’t want more team entering F1 without the goal to win the championship. I prefer to have 16 cars but all of them is competitive instead of 26 cars but only 6 that actually competing for the top spot. For new drivers, well, motorsport isn’t school. They are not entitled to have a shot in F1 after competing in feeder series and win the championship. People like Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso, and Verstappen already proved if you’re that good, F1 bosses will find a way to get you. I know this sound harsh, but if only 16 cars available then I only want to see the top 16 drivers in the world, instead of crying to add more cars just because I like the 17th driver. I know the reality is different because pay driver (and usually they are bad compared to other F1 drivers) but it is another problem.

      Also, we hate all artificial things in F1 lately, and to me, this is just another artificial solution for low grid. Remember how we complain about there’s no overtaking so they add DRS and the awfully degrading tires? We should be happy because now F1 has more overtaking than ever, but instead we hate those DRS passes because reasons. Same thing here.

      1. I don’t want more team entering F1 without the goal to win the championship. I prefer to have 16 cars but all of them is competitive instead of 26 cars but only 6 that actually competing for the top spot.

        @sonicslv I am pretty sure I heard this exact sentence somewhere at some point. It was a certain fella named Bernie Ecclestone who came up with it in the midst of HRT’s collapse.

        No, F1 DEFINITELY doesn’t need a field made up of 16 cars, all manufacturer teams and superstar drivers. F1, like any other sport, need its midfield and its underdogs and not only it should let them race, it should give them a chance to prove themselves as well.

        Remember back when Herbert won in a Stewart, or when Panis won in a Ligier, or when Mark Webber scored his first points for Minardi? I don’t remember any of those teams being championship contenders (or setting that goal for themselves).

        F1 without the midfielders and the privateers isn’t F1 anymore.

        1. @tony031r F1 CAN have a field of more than 16 cars but they also need to be competitive. midfield and underdogs will be formed naturally but I prefer those midfield and underdogs only 1s slower than the winners if possible, also there won’t be any drama if that those B drivers used to help A drivers win the championship. Remember Schumacher-Barichello and Schumacher-Massa era? I’m sure a certain red team will use everything they can to ensure their top driver win, regardless how the fans will like it or not.

          For all those your example lets also add how Bianchi get 9th position in Monaco. It’s awesome yes, but its also 90% more luck than skill involved, as evidenced by they never really make that impression again in the same machinery. They want to prove themselves? That’s what feeder series are for. Why they need to start proving themselves in F1 when the like of Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso, and Verstappen already making their name heard even before they got into F1? If you not good enough for F1, you don’t get into F1 (again, we have pay driver situation but its different problem).

          I may sound crazy, but instead of B teams, I like Bernie’s idea for 3rd car better. Making one more car is definitely much more cheaper than creating a new team, bumping up the field by 33% (with 10 teams we have now, it will be 30 cars possible if all teams build their 3rd car) and they are more competitive right away (if we have 5 top team now, then its 5 more car possible to win on merit instead of [2 x the number of new unproven team]). All I remember why the team rejects it is because they only want proper heads up notice (1 or 2 year ahead) for fielding 3rd car.

    36. I “strongly agree” — but have a problem with definitions — “B” teams denigrates their intent, which should be to get onto the grid and try to win. Let’s call them new teams — the history of F1 is full of them. Who did we have in 1950 (the first time I went to an F1 race): Ferrari (still here), Talbot-Lago, Alfa Romeo, ERA, Maserati and maybe some I’ve forgotten. Since then Chapman/Lotus, BRM, Cooper, Vanwall, McLaren, Matra, Benneton, Brabham, Williams, Tyrell, Renault, Brawn, Red Bull have all won the constructors championship (and there’s many more who didn’t quite get there) plus the returning pre-war Mercedes.)

      Were they all “B teams”? Of course not, so why put them down? Maybe some of today’s “F1 Fanatics” don’t even remember the names, but these were the teams who brought new blood, new ideas, innovation — exactly what we need today.

      Let’s throw Ecclestone and his money out the door, let’s stop this silly idea that ‘tobacco’ can’t support our sport (think Chapman-JPS) but ‘alcohol’ can (think Williams-Martini); lets stop the gimmicks (helmet design, exhaust noise, titanium plates for sparks, DRS); lets stop computerized games (virtual safety cars); let’s stop mega-rich, non F1 governments building monotonous Tilke tracks and canceling the French — maybe more — GP.

      Let’s get more cars on the grid; lets get (concession to today’s media) more “free-to-air” broadcasts; let’s get an FIA who understand that 100kg fuel per car per race is totally stupid compared to their Boeings flying the circus as far away from F1 origins as possible.

      Let’s go for it, let’s save F1.

    37. No to B teams. Or any other no-hoper teams for that matter.

      Let’s get to 3 car teams to have more than 2-4 drivers be involved in the championship battle.

    38. At the moment, it seems only one B-team is even linked to entering, which is ART, so I have no problem with that. Considering McLaren want to have Vandoorne and Magnussen on the grid and to help Honda get more feedback, it would make sense for them. I think many fans would welcome ART in, even just to see that line-up on the grid.

      As for the others, Mercedes already have links to Williams, Force India (Wehrlein could test for either) and Lotus (Ocon in the future). They are possible destinations for placing Mercedes’ youngsters in the future. Ferrari have Sauber, Manor (where Bianchi was on loan) and in particular Haas (Vergne and Gutierrez linked) coming in, who seem to have a close relationship. Same as Mercedes, they could probably place youngsters in any of these teams.

      So I don’t think Mercedes or Ferrari require B-teams right now.

      If we just had two B-teams, that would be reasonable. The grid could increase up to 24 cars with Haas entering and if Manor stay, 22 if not. If there were any more B-teams it would probably start to get out of hand.

    39. I think definitely not.

    40. I strongly disagree with the idea of more ‘B’ teams. Ultimately I think having more ‘B’ teams would reduce on-track competition, as demonstrated by the Red Bull/Toro Rosso relationship. In fairness the Toro Rosso’s have seemed more punchy against Red Bull this year, however if ‘B’ teams did become more common I think we’d see a lot more tactics being fed through from the ‘A’ team to the ‘B’ team which isn’t right.

      Maybe it would help have more cars on the grid, but I’d like to see a complete grid of teams that all want to beat each other and dream of winning the world championship, no matter how crazy it may sound. I think there must be a better solution to F1 becoming more cost effective than it losing a degree of competitiveness.

    41. The fact that we’re debating the use of B-teams and customer cars is simply masking the fact that F1’s in a position where not enough teams want to enter the championship. Think about that for a minute and apply it to other sports you might follow, it’s ridiculous to think that there’s a shortage of takers for slots in the most prestigious category in motorsports.
      B-teams are the equivalent of putting F1 on life support, I just hope that the condition’s not terminal.

    42. The teams already have such arrangements in place in some form. Red Bull has Torro Rosso of course, but Ferrari have quite an intimate relationship with Sauber (and last season with Marussia). Mercedes seems to have some cooperation deals with regards to their engine (placing their junior drivers). McLaren already had their deal with Force India, but seeing how they have no major sponsor themselves yet, it probably would be Honda who would need to fund the B-team.

      Not entirely sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it seems more like an ‘inevitable’ thing and not definitely not a ‘new’ thing either.

      The statement that these B teams will never be full fledged teams is irrelevant. Teams like Sauber and Torro Rosso would never be ‘real’ competitors either. They just don’t have the money for that.

      I doubt that there will be a lot of takers for full B-teams though. Red Bull is stuck with Torro Rosso, but I have always got the feeling they’d rather have gotten rid of it at some point. Seems more like there was a lack of buyers rather than that they intended to hold on to it.

      It made a lot more sense when they could still share technology and the STR was basically a rebadged RB car. Nowaydays it’s a team spending an extra 100 million or so on developing their own car. That’s a lot of money that the mother team could better use on their on car instead. Smaller deals would seem more fitting these days.

    43. ColdFly F1 (@)
      1st June 2015, 8:44

      Prefer not.
      The only reason in favour is the need to have more teams; but this should be last resort.

      One of the strongest reasons NOT to have them is that they do not build their own fan base.
      The other one is the risk that the mothership ‘encourages’ the B team to help them with their strategy. No I’m not talking deliberately spinning; but making overtaking for the competition of the main team just a tad more difficult. This is another reason that ALL pit-car-pit communication should be shared!

    44. One downside I haven’t seen yet: B-teams (and any other customer car team structure) undermine the ability of small independent teams to stay afloat as they can go racing a lot cheaper because they don’t have to build their own car. F1 as it is currently constructed is such that money is the primary method one uses to go up or down the competitive ladder, so this has a much bigger impact than it did in the 1970s (the last time customer cars were officially permitted for an extended period of time). So the customer team would immediately outperform the independent team by a small amount, barring major blunders on the new team’s part, causing sponsors to go from the independent teams to the customer team. (What, did you think they’d leave the blue-chip teams? Or get new ones in this climate?)

      Yes, it would be good to lower the minimum cost of competing, but in F1’s current state, doing that using a customer team set-up would likely lose us Lotus, Force India, Sauber, Manor and Haas (unless the latter converted to a customer team – I don’t think any of the others is interested in the expensive de-investment process that would also feel like a demotion in the same way as being sent to GP2 would). Possibly even Williams depending on how extreme the discount is.

      So you’d have to have 5-6 customer teams simply to make the numbers back up to current levels. How many teams out there could supply a customer team? Well, it would cost an estimated $30 m to supply a third car – we know the estimate because teams have quoted it when mandatory third cars (already agreed to if numbers fall below a certain level). So that would be an estimated $60 m to run a full customer team. That’s not only more than Manor are paying to compete, but it’s outside the ability of most if not all of the marketing departments of manufacturers to fund. So putting in B-teams would simply make the decrease in teams go faster, aggravating the problem it was meant to slow.

      NASCAR may have multiple teams with the same owner, but the majority of its cars are not customer cars or B-cars or anything even slightly analogous to that concept.

    45. B Teams are not uncompetitive. They are anti-competitive.

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