A New Approach for Automotive Manufacturers in F1

November 3, 2009


Will Renault follow the Mercedes approach to F1?

If we put Ferrari to one side as a special case, and omit Toyota, as it remains unclear as to whether or not they will continue into 2010, we are seeing a new kind of involvement from those automotive manufacturers who plan to remain in F1.

The emerging model appears to be far closer to that of the eighties and nineties where the car manufacturers focus on engine supply, but with the added commitment of full or part ownership of teams. The engine scenario for 2010 looks to be dominated by Mercedes (McLaren, Brawn, Force India) and Cosworth (Williams, Campos, USF1, Manor, Lotus) with Ferrari and Renault also supplying engines to Toro Rosso (and also Sauber if they secure a place) and Red Bull Racing respectively. It looks likely that Mercedes will be aligning their brand more strongly with Brawn, but also that they may be seeking to identify a separate identifiable brand in the way that Cosworth will no doubt do. The other interesting question is Renault. Will the team be looking to find a buyer and shift to the kind of model which Mercedes are developing? – I suspect so.

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