Sky Sport F1 commentator Martin Brundle believes McLaren and Williams have been left in “a void” between Formula 1’s manufacturer teams and the sport’s B-team structures.
McLaren and Williams form a big part of Grand Prix racing’s heritage, their success in the sport since its inception in 1950 surpassed only by Ferrari.
But sadly both British outfits have lost their former lustre, their last win dating back to 2012, with the advent of the hybrid era in F1 leaving both teams well behind, and occasionally at the tail end of the field.
Speaking at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, Brundle says McLaren and Williams’ have been left them in a space where their traditional models struggle to match the benefits enjoyed either by works-supported teams or by outfits affiliated with manufacturer teams.
“The problem with Williams and to an extent McLaren is they are outside where you need to be these days in Formula 1,” explained Brundle.
“You either need to be a manufacturer team or a Haas and Toro Rosso-style B-team with the hand-me-downs.
“That leaves a void in the middle where Williams and McLaren find themselves because they’re not works teams and they’re certainly not B-teams.
“Let’s wait and see if that works for them. I hope it does, in a way.
“But it’s tough for them when they’re fighting a team like Haas, that has a completely different business model, and they’re getting a lot of stuff from Ferrari and Dallara.”
Haas’ model, thanks to which it enjoys a tight technical partnership with Ferrari, has been heavily criticized by several of its rivals, like McLaren and Force India which have called into question the US outfit’s status in F1 as a constructor.
But Brundle believes that protecting F1’s independent teams would necessarily imply banning the “B-team” concept, a move that would only reduce the grid.
“We’ve only got 20 cars on the grid. You’ve got to look after your maverick billionaires, you’ve got to look after your manufacturers as well,” added the former F1 driver.
“There’s got to be something for everybody.
“I’d imagine [F1 sporting boss] Ross Brawn is fighting over this every morning and every other morning and afternoon trying to somehow find a template for the future of Formula 1.”
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