Customer cars "not a solution for F1"

Formula 1 would be better off spending time finding solutions to keep the grid full rather than wasting efforts on an emergency 'franchise' car plan, claims the Manor team.

Customer cars "not a solution for F1"
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C34 and Felipe Massa, Williams FW37 battle for position
Graeme Lowdon, Manor Marussia F1 Team Chief Executive Officer in the FIA Press Conference
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber F1 Team
Roberto Merhi, Manor Marussia F1 Team
Roberto Merhi, Manor F1 Team
Graeme Lowdon, Manor F1 Team Chief Executive Officer
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The bigger F1 teams met at the Canadian Grand Prix to begin putting together a plan for customer cars should grid numbers fall.

But Manor sporting director Graeme Lowdon thinks that the focus is being put in the wrong area, and F1 should be looking at ways to make itself better so all teams can survive.

"I've read all the comments about franchise cars and customer cars," Lowdon told Motorsport.com. "And it's clear it is a contingency plan; it's not a strategy.

"It is definitely not a solution for F1. It's the equivalent of carrying a spare tyre in your car; it is handy to have it, but do you really want to use it?

"Are customer cars something you want to try to build a global business from? I honestly don't see how it would make value for the industry."

Best brains in the world

Lowdon adds that his frustrations are increased by the fact that F1 has some of the cleverest people in the world working for it, which means finding the best solution for the sport should be easy.

He suggests that before pursuing plans like customer cars, F1 needs first to understand exactly what problems are trying to be solved.

"There are a lot of easy things you can do as a sideshow, a lot of gimmicky things, that sound good initially," he explained.

"But if you really studied the fundamentals, you see a lot of the focus is on solutions to things that aren't actually the core problem.

"One of the big assets of F1 is its ability to solve problems that are really clever: technical, commercial, political and legal. The people in F1 are brilliant in solving problems, but the exact problem has to be correctly defined for them to solve.

"What we are seeing is that a lot of time is being incurred by people to solve problems which are not actually a priority."

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