FIA monitoring potential 'servant teams' Formula 1 controversy

FIA Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting says the governing body is keeping a close watch on the increasing levels of collaboration between teams

FIA monitoring potential 'servant teams' Formula 1 controversy

The issue came to a head during Force India's period in administration, when Renault, McLaren and Williams all initially refused to sign a document allowing the team to keep its commercial rights.

They feared that under new ownership Force India would become closer to Mercedes, and wanted clarity on the prospect of B-teams.

Fears over F1's 'servant team' future are growing

One of the main concerns is that smaller teams can help their engine suppliers by contributing R&D resources, which will become even more critical as F1 enters an era of cost caps and other restrictions.

Whiting says that the FIA is well aware of those concerns, and pointed out that since Ferrari partner Haas was formed there has been a clampdown on how much R&D a new team can undertake - that might be beneficial for a partner team - before it goes racing.

"It's something that we should be concerned about, and it's something we will be discussing," Whiting said.

"The [Haas/Ferrari] relationship started it. We knew exactly how that was possible in the beginning, and there was a loophole in the beginning which has been closed to new entrants, which is what [Haas] were able to do, a lot more work than a current team, before they were established as a proper entrant.

"But the sort of things we're hearing about are alliances between existing teams. I think that needs to be looked at very carefully."

McLaren boss Zak Brown stressed that in the context of Force India's future he had talked to the FIA and the F1 organisation about the prospect of alliances leading to B-teams.

"I'm very concerned," he said. "I think that's exactly what would happen if the FIA and F1 don't get involved, as you'll ultimately see the big teams working more closely with the small teams to figure out a different way to spend their money.

"And that needs to be addressed and I'm glad that the FIA and F1 are well aware that that's the direction the sport would head if they don't do something about it.

"I'm very concerned, but confident they will do something about it.

"We were given assurances that B-teams are going to be dealt with because it's ultimately getting away from what we believe Formula 1 is: everyone being a constructor, then you buy power units, and now it's just going to the extreme and that needs to be unwound from the future of F1."

shares
comments
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff wants three-car F1 teams for young drivers

Previous article

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff wants three-car F1 teams for young drivers

Next article

McLaren F1 team not interested in Red Bull's terms for James Key

McLaren F1 team not interested in Red Bull's terms for James Key
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021