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F1 must protect regulations that attracted manufacturers



F1 must protect regulations that attracted manufacturers

The level of participation by manufacturers in Formula 1 has varied throughout the years due to factors such as economics, society, fashion, and automotive trends. Currently, there is a resurgence of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) drawn by the same factors that could potentially harm their involvement.

Automobile companies have had a significant impact on the development of Formula 1. Although the number of car companies involved has fluctuated, the recent commitment or interest shown by Ford, Audi, and General Motors (using the Cadillac brand) indicates that we are currently in a period where these manufacturers are drawn to Formula 1 like moths to a light. However, this also carries the risk of potential harm.

Manufacturers are not inherently malicious, and they have had a positive impact in the past. However, their very nature can sometimes cause difficulties.

One of the primary factors attracting car manufacturers to Formula 1 currently is the cost-effectiveness of the investment. This applies to various levels of involvement, including sponsoring teams like Stellantis with Sauber which promotes Alfa Romeo, to operating full-fledged factory teams, or anything in between.

The presence of a cost limit, which also covers engine expenses starting from 2026, along with regulations aimed at ensuring competitiveness for all teams, is what has made Formula 1 attractive to manufacturers. Additionally, the increasing popularity of F1 and the compatibility of current engine technology with the evolving road car industry due to the use of hybrid systems, has further contributed to the trend.

However, the involvement of manufacturers often results in increased costs. The irony of manufacturers in Formula 1 is that although the high cost of competitiveness keeps them away, their presence often leads to further expense. The current scenario is different as the twin cost restrictions are now in place to control spending.

F1 must protect regulations that attracted manufacturers

Formula 1 is still adjusting to the current cost control measures. As a result, those who have the financial resources to invest are currently pushing the boundaries and testing the limits, which raises the concern that they could potentially cause harm.


This behavior is not motivated by harmful intentions. The competitive environment in Formula 1 leads to a belief that others are pushing the limits, so it becomes necessary to do the same. The drive to win leads to the exploration of boundaries, and the tendency to improve is often to increase investment. The more funds available in Formula 1, the higher the risk. Additionally, those associated with manufacturers are always striving to convince their partners to allocate more resources to the sport.

The irony is that cost is often cited as the reason for manufacturers leaving Formula 1. Although there may be additional factors, such as a change in economic conditions that make F1 appear like an extravagant waste of funds, it is typically the easiest budget item to cut. This is particularly true if the team is not performing well, as manufacturers usually do not depart while they are successful (though there are exceptions, such as Renault’s exit after six years in 1997, during which they won 11 out of 12 drivers’ and constructors’ championships).

That’s the unfortunate pattern of manufacturers who are not fully committed to Formula 1. They arrive, increase costs, disrupt the level playing field, and often depart complaining about the cost and lack of success. Although they are not the only factor contributing to increased spending, they can’t seem to avoid it. With the exception of Ferrari and Mercedes, who have been consistent participants in recent years (as Mercedes has been in F1 for nearly three decades), most manufacturers eventually leave the sport.

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It’s a good thing that many manufacturers are interested in and represented in various forms in Formula 1. However, it’s important to prevent them from jeopardizing the very factors that attracted them in the first place.

The participation of manufacturers in F1, in all their different forms, is a challenge to the strength of the sport’s cost-containment rules and regulations, which could lead to the fairest competition in the history of grand prix racing.

F1 must protect regulations F1 must protect regulations


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