Bernie Ecclestone reveals his plans for Formula 1 customer cars

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is convinced the idea of customer cars can work, following the subject being discussed by the Strategy Group last week

Bernie Ecclestone reveals his plans for Formula 1 customer cars

The idea of F1 reverting to such a system from 2017 dominated talks in last week's meeting, even though it was kept off the agenda in an FIA press release the following day.

AUTOSPORT has learned there is serious opposition to the proposal from the smaller teams being targeted by such a plan.

But Ecclestone feels it would immediately solve their financial issues, even if they would ultimately lose their status as a constructor.

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"I've been pushing, pushing, pushing for single chassis, single engine, and run it exactly the same as now, but they [the teams] can't muck around with it [the car]," said Ecclestone.

"So you do that with four or five teams and you leave the constructors alone. You let them do what they want to do.

"You would make all the chassis the same, and then we would do a deal with one of the engine suppliers. It should work."

Ecclestone has revealed he would effectively serve as the middle man for the interested teams.

The 84-year-old added: "We'll also supply two chassis, complete, by the first of January for 15million dollars.

"We'll pay. If it costs more, we have to pay more, if it's less, that's good for us."

TWO-TIER COMPLAINTS DISMISSED

Suggested to Ecclestone it would lead to the creation of a two-tier championship, he replied: "Well what do you think we have now?

"We could make this happen if we made a big enough effort."

Ecclestone also feels it would signal the end of the pay driver in F1 as talent would finally have an opportunity to flourish in teams no longer dependent on the income such a driver brings.

"Instead of having to run around and find a driver who has money, they could look for a talented driver and put him in the car," said Ecclestone.

"You would then get a lot more new drivers with a lot more talent.

"And these bigger teams are silly because all of a sudden they might find one or two bloody good drivers they could take without having to pay the money they are having to pay at the moment."

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has already told AUTOSPORT her marque will never become a customer car team.

One of Kaltenborn's concerns was that no sponsor would want to be associated with such a team that has precious little chance of being on the podium, never mind winning a race.

But Ecclestone countered: "Of course they could get a sponsor.

"If I was one of the major teams I wouldn't be happy because I know one of those other teams would easily be able to get a sponsor as they would be in a position to charge less money, and they'd still get good television.

"Look at the racing in the middle of the field we have now, so it will be televised well. What difference does it make what the car is?"

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