Skip to content

Ecclestone: Williams still blocking customer cars

May 21, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-F1-ESP-PRACTICE

Bernie Ecclestone says the Williams team are still blocking efforts to allow Formula One teams to use old chassis from other manufacturers.

Williams sees the introduction of so-called “customer cars” as a threat to them as they could be beaten to a larger share of the prize money by other teams using year-old chassis from teams such as Red Bull, Ferrari or McLaren.

“I believe that customer cars will be a good thing,” Ecclestone told the Daily Express. “Everybody needs to agree to that but Frank Williams is the one who is against it.”

The issue of customer cars has been a bone of contention for Formula One for many years. Ecclestone has argued it would be cheaper for F1’s smallest teams to use old chassis from wealthier rivals to compete in the sport.

The proposal has had backing from some teams, such as Ferrari. But plans to introduce customer cars have repeatedly stalled due to opposition from others. Williams have been the staunchest opponents of customer cars.

Former chairman Adam Parr described in his book The Art of War how he opposed Ecclestone’s repeated pushes for customer cars. Parr eventually left the team because he believed Ecclestone would not offer them a commercial deal under the Concorde Agreement as long as he remained there.