Team principals from Formula 1’s smaller outfits doubt they will become significantly closer to their larger rivals even when new regulations come into force in 2021.
Sauber team principal Freseric Vasseur believes plans to introduce a budget cap and revise F1’s prize money distribution from 2021 will address this, but the effect will not be immediate.
“The target of the global future is to increase the show, basically,” said Vasseur. “The best way to do it is to close the gap between the cars.
“If you want to have an exciting race you have to have the guy in P10 be, in certain circumstances, able to fight for the podium. It’s not the case at all that, if you look on the last races, even the guys [in] the top six, if they were lapped or they two-stop in the first lap, they were able to come back and to finish in the top six again.
“The [decision] to introduce the cost cap is one thing, and to have a better spread in terms of the prize fund will allow the teams in the second half of the grid to catch up a little bit the gap.
“But I’m still convinced that it will be difficult for us in 2021 to fight with the top teams – but that needs to be closer.”
In response to a questions from RaceFans, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes the scale of the big teams’ operations will make it harder for the smaller teams to catch up.
“The big three will have an advantage starting which is just so big. Also, their infrastructure, what they’ve got there, their testing facilities and all that stuff is just so much more developed than what we have got so they will have an advantage but at least.
“I think the aim is not that we are going to overtake them in ’21 [or] that we are going to win races. But that we close the gap and that everybody has a chance of ending up on the podium or at least fighting for it and keeping all the 10 teams, that we put a good show on.
“That is the aim, that we don’t have these two shows and we don’t really know if we are racing together or not.”
Read the new RacingLines column today on RaceFans for more on the new obstacles F1 owner Liberty Media faces in its efforts to make F1 more competitive.
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2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year