Whitmarsh opposed to new customer car push

Martin Whitmarsh on Sunday confirmed reports McLaren is still opposed to the idea of ‘customer cars’ in Formula One.

The possible redefinition of a ‘constructor’ will be debated next week at the F1 Commission in Geneva. It is believed Bernie Ecclestone is now supportive of Ferrari’s renewed push to be allowed to sell an entire chassis to a small team. The F1 chief executive’s support could be a move to further split the unity of the teams’ association, with McLaren and Red Bull reportedly opposed to the third car idea.

McLaren’s Whitmarsh is also the head of the team alliance FOTA, whose unity is already being tested by alleged breaches of the cost-limiting resource restriction agreement.

It is alleged the proponents of customer cars will argue that big teams are already selling their intellectual property through technology deals such as McLaren’s with Virgin.

In India, however, Whitmarsh confirmed his opposition.

“We have a duty to support the sport and the teams,” he is quoted by the Press Trust of India. “It (customer cars) will probably destroy the smaller teams. Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, and maybe Mercedes can possibly do it, but if we manage the sport badly, the number of teams may drop to eight.

“There should be sustained business for all teams.”