Red Bull's 'extreme' idea to save F1 teams from financial collapse

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed an "extreme" idea to save Formula 1 teams from financial collapse.

Currently, drastic cost-cutting measures are being discussed and agreed to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus, which has cancelled or postponed nine races so far with more expected to follow.

Recently, much of the emphasis has been on the budget cap, with bigger teams suggesting a staggered reduction to $130m by 2022 but if that doesn't go far enough for some, team boss Christian Horner suggests going further.

“If we were to go to a complete extreme, I would have no issue at all for a short-term period, for one or two years, to say to the smaller teams – ‘you know what, let’s get rid of all of your R&D costs, let’s get rid of everything, you just need to be a race team, and we will sell you our car in Abu Dhabi [at the end of the year]. Take that car!'," he told Sky Sports.

“That would be the quickest way to be competitive at a low cost.

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“Now that would probably deal with four of the teams. Haas you would think, AlphaTauri for sure, Sauber [Alfa Romeo], probably Racing Point as they’re all trying to copy each other’s cars anyway," Horner claimed.

“And then that leaves those teams in the middle sector – McLaren and Renault – that are the odd ones out, but it’s always going to be impossible to get a compromise that suits everybody."

The Red Bull boss also believes the emphasis on the budget cap, particularly by McLaren, is misplaced.

“A lot of the focus has been put on the cap at the moment when it’s actually the cost drivers that are where the most emphasis needs to be," he added.

Horner has also pushed for F1 to delay the new technical regulations, originally set for 2021, until 2023 after an initial one-year postponement was agreed.

But explained why one team is blocking the move.

“As dear old [former McLaren boss] Ron Dennis used to bang on [about], he said ‘if you want to save costs in this business, don’t change anything, and he was absolutely right’. That’s why I have a slight problem with introducing a complete overhaul of the car for 2022,” he said.

“There’s not a single component that’s carryover from 2021 to 2022. We’re going to be forced to go tyre testing, build mule cars, and it just seems an unnecessary pressure on the system, to put that cost into 2021.

“So I would’ve pushed the rules a further year back into 2023, but if you’re a team, for example, Ferrari are saying ‘yeah, from a cost point of view we get it, we agree, but our car might not be that competitive, we want a clean sheet of paper’.

“And of course all the teams further down the order think that a clean sheet of paper will change the pecking order.

“In reality, it will change nothing, but it will impose an awful lot of cost drivers into the business next year.”