Strange Times
F1 Racing UK|March 2018

CAN FORMULA 1 BUDGETS EVER BE CAPPED?

Kevin Eason

Somehow it feels like déjà vu all over again, to quote Yogi Berra, the great New York Yankees baseball catcher. Berra had a reputation for mangling English as a player and manager, but maybe he was on the money with this one.

As if Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren chief executive, making a comeback to Formula 1 was not enough of a trip down memory lane, he is charged with taking us back to the hapless concept of the Resource Restriction Agreement.

The premise is simple: the ten teams spend astronomic amounts of money on staff and technology to devise stuff that has no use to anyone outside of Formula 1. There are chaps with PhDs and Masters degrees, who might otherwise be employed on space-programme research, but instead sit hunched in front of a windtunnel blowing over bits of carbon fibre. They tell me that a lovingly crafted front wing of an F1 car can cost as much as £200,000 and the teams go through dozens of them in a season. Madness, eh?

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