Szafnauer: Savings of £10 million are possible

Formula 1 teams can save up to £10 million on car development if the sport encourages the reuse old components, says Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer.

A hot topic with F1 shut-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many smaller teams on the grid are believed to be concerned about finances should the absence of races continue.

However as Szafnauer explains, there are ways to limit expenses should the need arise.

“We took an old chassis into the next season three times,” he told Auto Motor und Sport. “And not only that. In the difficult years, the suspension and the gearbox also remained the same.

“If you can take the old chassis, you can save up to a million and a half pounds. If you add the transmission and crash structures, it can be between three and five million.

“If you push things to the limit, up to ten million pounds are possible.”

Having already moved to decrease spending with the agreement to carry-over the 2020 chassis to the 2021 season, the question for F1 is exactly how much further F1 wants to take its cost-saving. Currently a list of components to be homologated is being compiled by the FIA, but how extensive it will be remains up for discussion.

“That will depend on how many races we drive this year,” Szafnauer said. “If there are no races at all, you’ll have to race next year with the 2020 Melbourne cars with an aero upgrade.”

On the other side of the coin, big teams are likely to want as few restrictions as possible, but Szafnauer is adamant they will have to consider the bigger picture.

“One rule has to apply to everyone here. If not enough savings are made, the small teams have even more disadvantages,” he said.

In any case, Szafnauer revealed that 2020 development has ground to a halt, with the team instead helping to manufacture ventilators for hospitals.

“It would be the stupidest thing to start the wind tunnel now and continue developing blindly. We don’t even know how our first upgrade would have worked.”