Since the FIA announced its intention to open up the tender for a new F1 team to join the grid, reports have been rife that GP2 front-runners ART could be the natural selection to ascend to motorsport’s top tier.
Now McLaren boss, Eric Boullier, has fuelled those rumours in an interview with F1 Racing after announcing his support for a customer relationship with a smaller team: We like the idea that a GP2 team could come along and buy or rent two McLarens. Straight away they would be competitive, without all the investment.”
“Then the show would be better and it would give, say, our two McLaren young drivers (Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne) the chance to do something. One of the problems today is the cost of being competitive. This is a solution to get more competitive cars on the grid, without prohibitive costs.”
Supporting a second team would not only provide an additional source of income for McLaren, but would likely offer the opportunity to provide younger engineers with practical experience in a race team to support their development.
Furthermore, should Honda be able support a second team, the customer relationship would enable the Japanese manufacturer to progress the development of its new power unit at an accelerated pace.
With Hass F1 entering the sport as a Ferrari customer, to all intents and purposes, there is now a precedent for the Woking team to follow suit, should ART be selected by the FIA as the chosen new team candidate on 31st September.