A shortcut to success in F1?

Toyota is reported by Le Parisien to be offering its Formula 1 design for 2010 for sale, hoping that one of the new teams will decide to cut its losses and buy the design.

There are just a few weeks during which this is a feasible option for a team with money as the cars should already be in the production phase. The value of the designs will then tail off dramatically although it is possible that there might be one or two aspiring teams out there who would pay for such a car in order to get up to speed quickly for longer-term projects. There are believed to be several organisations who are watching to see what happens with the new F1 teams and believe that opportunities will arise in the next 24-36 months if some of the existing outfits fail. These teams have no desire to buy existing F1 teams which have much more equipment than is now needed.

It is unlikely that any of the new F1 teams will go down this route as they have all invested in building cars and work is underway (to a lesser or greater extent) at all of them. Campos is using the Italian firm Dallara and is already crash-testing chassis parts; Manor is using Wirth Research, which seems to be at a similar point in the development process, Lotus is slightly behind the others because the project was started later but is on schedule to appear in time for some tests in February, while USF1 says that all is well and that the car will come together as sub-contractors deliver parts.

The F1 design is of no use at all to Toyota and so the price could be very reasonable if there is a team that wants to use such a design as the basis for a car in the longer term.

14 thoughts on “A shortcut to success in F1?

  1. Seems a sensible option for Toyota to recoup some money, but what sort of price tag would they put on it? Would they be able to examine the plans before purchasing them, ‘kicking the tyres’ if you like?

    The 2009 Toyota was massively inconsistent, sometimes locking out the front row, other times bringing up the rear and looking awful. If the new teams could afford it and get a handle on the problems of the’09 car, that might well give them the opportunity to be the best of the new teams, as they’ve all stated is their main aim for 2010.

    Would this also get around the issue of customer cars? Maybe that’s the future for small teams, buying the plans from a larger outfit, building them and developing them with their own resources?

  2. Joe, first off congratuations on the blog – I enjoy your no-nonsense posts.

    So it would seem from the above that the team are definitley selling assets and closing it all down – I suppose there’s only room for one “Brawn” every so many years!

    I’ve read many times over the years that simply copying items and putting them straight on a car doesnt work – due to the complexity of a given car’s philosophy or team’s favoured design approach.

    I wonder if any existing team can just manufacture the designed parts and in effect build the “Toyota” or if it would lead to problems. The purchasing team may not know why things are designed the way they are and therefore could make mistakes building the car or running it at races? Does that sound possible?

  3. if someone buys toyota F1, do they get guaranteed entry onto the grid, given the team did sign up to the concorde agreement…

  4. Would this qualify them for waiving of any penalties in terms of breaking of the concord agreement? If they give away or sell their design for cheap to one of the new teams, in order to help the others get up to speed.

    Or maybe the FIA should look at puchasing the design sheets, they might learn something about F1 car’s, instead of constantly making
    useless rule changes to slow cars down.

  5. Buying team assets does not automatically entitle you to their entry, as Pheonix found out a few years ago…

  6. A perfect deal for USF1, in fact I believe that there may already have been some contact between both companys to make such a thing happen.
    This would short cut many things for the highly organized team from Charlotte.
    Then they would only have to finish building what Toyota has already done and they are nearly ready for the first race of 2011.
    The really sad thing is that the FIA dont seem to have seen through the smoke and mirrors.
    Just think of the approval process the FIA must have had in place to take USF1 over a company that can make its own motor! No wonder that company appealed the EU about the selection process. If only they had engraved “Cosworth” on the cam covers while they were being assessed.

  7. If Toyota is so keen to recoup some losses why they aren’t trying to become an engine supplier. The engines are all fixed (except Cosworth) so no new development costs would be accrued, they would simply keep building the ones they already make. Why Toyota (and Honda and BMW) would just throw away all this engineering investment when teams are scrambling to PAY for a powerplant is the biggest mystery to me. Honda once did very well with their Mugen engine deals, what’s different now? I was certain that McLaren would buy the BMW engine program so that they could start building their own McLaren-branded engines, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. This is the biggest waste of development resources I’ve ever experienced.

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