There was much talk during the team principal’s FIA press conference of cost cutting being a priority in Formula One. No sooner had the press conference finished, than it became apparent the teams who make up the F1 strategy group met on Thursday to discuss a number of issues as has become common at most GP race weekends.
It appears cost reduction was not one of them.
After losing one of Ricciardo’s allocated four engines for 2015 in Melbourne, Christian Horner requested the group consider increasing the annual allocation to five before penalties are awarded.
“I suggested the idea,” Horner told Motorsport.com. “The objective is really to make sure that cars are out on the track, otherwise as we get further into the year it’s going to become harder and harder and teams are going to become more restrictive.
TJ13 expressed concern following the Australian GP, that the reduced Friday running we saw in Melbourne, if replicated throughout the year would short change the fans. So more Friday track time from the cars as supporting argument for an extra engine – becomes a proposal few can disagree with.
Horner reveals, “There seems to be unanimous agreement on it, so that’s a positive sign.”
Not quite the case Christian. This proposal must receive agreement from all the teams, not just those within the strategy group and then the FIA would ratify the plan.
Yet having heard much about cost reduction over the past two weeks again, this move increases costs to the teams. Mercedes customers’ bills for engines this year was due to fall by 1 million euro’s but the strategy group agreement did not include a cap on customer engine cost.
The extra engine will come at a price.
However, the can of worms is already bursting at the seams because Niki Lauda revealed to AMuS that Mercedes agreement on the extra engine is conditional. If this idea is to provide more on track Friday action, then he questions how this will be enforced.
Horner believes if the extra engine is designated as a Friday only engine this would resolve this problem, but admits this proposal is not concrete. “It’s to be decided,” said Horner. “I don’t mind whether it’s a Friday engine or we just go back to last year’s rule, it doesn’t matter.”
Behind the spaghetti mess that is Formula One’s priorities, there is a circular algorithm is becoming clear.
Talk about cost reduction – refuse to agree on any such proposals – then make a proposal which puts costs up – justify it by the ‘fan experience improvement’ argument = SPEND MORE MONEY.