Does lack of testing in F1 hurt newcomers?

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    With the lack of testing and increasing reliance on aero and tyres, is it harder for new teams to join the sport?

    Is it even more difficult for well-heeled car manufacturers who have a reputation to uphold like Porsche, BMW, Audi, Jaguar to enter the sport?

    After all, there’s the possibility that they may be fighting with Marussia for 2-3 seasons at a cost of 1 billion dollars.

    Is the only strategy to have 2 teams to double the testing or partner with one of the top teams? Ferrari would never partner with Audi but Red Bull or Lotus might.

    The latter option can not really be considered a true newcomer as one team is just rebranded into another team.

    Curious to hear perspectives.



    Lack of money is new teams’ problem. BMW, Audi, etc. got the money but they know how much they have to put in F1 before they see any gains and do not consider it worthy. WEC is cheaper, but less popular. Maybe popular enough for them?
    The other thing about the big car manufacturers is that they want to join a series and win immediately. And F1 does not want that. F1 has a reputation, too. Competition of the best. How can F1 teams be the best there is if someone can show up from nowhere and beat them in their own game?



    Interesting – I never saw it from the existing teams’ perspective that they’d want to keep their places which is understandable.

    Quite ironic that Red Bull, a relative newcomer, is wiping the floor with everyone out there. I’m sure that doesn’t sit well at Maranello and much less so at Woking:-) Can you imagine showing up in front of Ron Dennis or LDM with a can of Red Bull?

    “Care for a sip anyone? Well, I just wanted to talk about my upcoming promotion…”:-)

    I wonder if Horner has thought of sending McLaren and Ferrari a case of Red Bull just to rub it in.


    Iestyn Davies

    “Here’s some Red Bull, which you’ll need if you are to work all night long, which is required as a minimum to be able to overtake us!” Would be an apt message to accompany such a shipment methinks.

    It definitely hurts the drivers coming in, that’s for sure. Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Bianchi, Bottas, Van der Garde have all required a year of FP1s to get anywhere near as prepared as drivers from before the testing ban, and even then it’s still only a fraction. Tougher still for those mainly relying on YDTs like RB juniors.

    As mentioned elsewhere, Kimi did the equivalent of 2 seasons in his debut season, 1 from racing and 1 from testing mileage. Vettel was already testing and taking part in F1 FP1s while Di Resta was focussing on besting him in Euro F3. Hamilton’s rookie year was like Hulkenberg’s second or third season pretty much! I would class them two as of a similar calibre, e.g. Dominant junior drivers who won GP2 first time out. So they are a good yardstick for the differences in the eras.

    From a team perspective, Caterham got near the midfield with almost as much budget but less people (260 vs 300) in the factory. Surely a big car maker could latch on to the midfield from the start if they spent around Lotus’ budget, €195m, still double that of the midfield down bar Williams (€145m). Caterham set up from scratch in 6 months, with only half that budget for spends each year (€96m)!

    Not sure how much the start up costs were, but a big car maker would have most facilities already. Lamborghini would be good, but I’m sure Volkswagen would prefer Audi if any. Toyota, Honda, particularly BMW could return if they ran a sensible budget, but that’s never going to happen! Renault would be the easiest to return surely, simply by buying back Lotus F1. If Red Bull ever quit, Jaguar should definitely buy it! And BMW Sauber.. Or even Williams.. Honda could buy out Mercedes if they decide to depart.

    The teams are pretty much like franchises now. It’ll be easier to just return as an engine manufacturer, but I feel F1 will be happy with 4 engine suppliers – Renault, Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda. 3x teams is good and even with 2 for the newbie, say McLaren and Williams/Lotus.

    PS. I asked my successful business friend for new teams he thinks should enter and he said instantly Lamborghini and Pagani!



    “Quite ironic that Red Bull, a relative newcomer, is wiping the floor with everyone out there.”

    This overlooks the fact that Red Bull Racing was started off the back of the farce that was Jaguar Racing and that Jaguar had taken over Stewart Grand Prix. Stewart Grand prix was the de facto Ford works team in F1 for all intents and purposes. So Red Bull Racing are a relative newcomer sure, but on day one they had all the infrastructure (including staff) of a modern, professional, well funded f1 team.




    Yes indeed! So Red Bull took option #2 which is to buy an established team as opposed to building a new team from nothing. The same goes for Toro Rosso which used to be Minardi.


    You’re definitely right – the drivers also have a much harder road to travel without inseason testing. It’s also harder for them to keep their seats in F1 when they can’t use the time to improve – people learn at different rates.

    Imagine if Messi wasn’t allowed to practice during the season except before matches or if Michael Jordan couldn’t spend the time to improve his game.

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