Lotus becomes latest F1 team to speak out against customer cars

Lotus has become the latest Formula 1 team to insist it will never switch to customer cars

Lotus becomes latest F1 team to speak out against customer cars

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone this week outlined details of the plan he claims could happen "if we made a big enough effort".

But despite the proposal dominating discussions at last week's Strategy Group meeting, so far Force India, Sauber, and now Lotus have voiced their strong opposition.

Lotus CEO Matthew Carter told AUTOSPORT: "We're exactly the same. We wouldn't want to be a customer team either.

"We don't sit on the Strategy Group any more, but I don't see how the customer car idea is going to work anyway.

"When it was talked about in the Strategy Group last year, it was using a year-old Mercedes or Red Bull, or whatever, which obviously wouldn't work.

"Even with a new chassis it doesn't work for us as a business model because of the set-up at Enstone and everything we do. We'd head downward.

"The one thing is I guess it makes entry cheaper for those teams wanting to come in, which isn't a bad thing."

Carter has, however, voiced a positive response to some of the other ideas aired in a bid to take F1 in a more upward direction again.

On the table is the potential introduction of bigger rear tyres and wider cars to increase grip, downforce, and ultimately speed as the aim is to make F1 cars faster by five to six seconds per lap.

"That's something that's certainly viable," added Carter. "Downforce is the key.

"When they narrowed the rear wings [for 2009] that affected the downforce, and there were also rules over the front wings as well.

"So if they open up those, then yeah, we could make quicker cars.

"But then it's how they loosen the regulations so it doesn't become an arms race again, with the bigger teams throwing increasing amounts of cash into developing the cars."

REFUELLING A WORRY

Like many others, Carter has expressed concerns on the potential return of refuelling, which was banned at the end of 2009 due to cost and on safety grounds.

Although the majority of the current F1 drivers are in favour, the reasons for the ban remain the main worry now.

"As far as I'm aware nothing has changed to make it any cheaper or safer," said Carter.

"I know the Technical Working Group will decide whether it makes sense or not.

"I don't know if there is a way to bring the costs down, maybe the same rig for all the teams. I'm sure there is something they could do."

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