The FIA announced the 2009 rules some time ago. It was the first time that the series featured a KERS system and it also meant the return of some features like Slick tyres. Both changes are fine and doesn’t influence Formula one’s status as the pinnacle of autosport. But higher rear wings, no aerodynamic flaps, testing ban and a customer car principal did.
This season (2009) biggest characteristic is the fact that the slowest car is just a second behind the fastest car. This is achieved because teams can buy almost whole cars from other manufacturers. The Force India for example is actually a Mclaren Mercedes rapped in a Force India chassis, as is the Torro Rosso with the only difference being that that car is exactly the same as the Red Bull car. What a joke that every manufacturer is being limited in so many ways just so that B teams and drivers actually get a shot at the highest price for racing car drivers the Formula one title.
In 2010 the gap between the cars is set to be even smaller. How? By introducing a budget cap of 40 million pounds and by introducing a cap for customer parts. Big manufacturers from then on may not anymore decide the price for the engine and gear box because this will be limited. So even teams with low budgets can now afford great parts from Mclaren or Ferrari.
What these rules will mean is that every car will be more or less the same. In addition teams cannot spend much money in research and such which leads to new technology that ultimately makes their way to road cars. A Force India can now fight for the points something that is a disgrace to the sport that calls itself the pinnacle of auto racing. Seriously how can teams that represent a huge brand like Ferrari or Renault now get their name in the right spotlight? In an age that teams like Torro Rosso can beat a Ferrari just because the Maranello engineers may not spend money or put things on their cars.
Lastly the 2010 rules makes it affordable for teams to be in the class of racing and this caused for huge interest in joining the sport. Several low budget teams like Campos (Who knows them?), and a few others I don’t feel like Googling. Can American teams without serious money and passion soon join the pinnacle of motor racing? Will huge manufacturers remain in a post where everyone has more or less the same cars? These questions will be answered soon.
I want to leave you today with this: If Porsche would sell their high end cars for EUR5000. It would probably still be high quality, still a desirable car and still a Porsche. But it won’t have: the status and exclusivity it once had.