Answer me this: Which manufacturers will quit?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Williams Cosworth, Interlagos, 2006The disappearance of Cosworth from the 2007 entry list points to a very big change that has taken place in Formula One: all the teams are now run by a major car manufacturer, or dependant upon them for an engine supply.

In some respects this is great: it proves that Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing and is the best showcase for modern car technology.

But it also makes the sport very vulnerable.

Only last week we saw a major dip in the shares market – a similar drop over a prolonged period could force some of the teams out.

Toyota could soon become the world’s biggest car maker – but how long can they justify spending over USD $400m per year on F1 for little return?

Fernando Alonso, Ralf Schumacher, Suzuka, 2006At the other end of the success vs. outlay scale is Renault – with the sixth-largest budget of the 11-team grid they have nonetheless won back-to-back double championships.

But will there come a point when the management decides it has conquered F1 and it’s time to move on?

Every other manufacturer team is beholden to the same commercial responsibilities. Only one of them can be champion. So how long can the rest keep making excuses to their board of directors about why the trophy case is bare?

Which manufacturer will go first? Or will they remain indefinitely? Have your say in the comments below.

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