Christian Horner has suggested that Formula 1 teams should have the option to buy a rival's car from the previous season in order to save costs.
Formula 1's financial situation is currently under discussion, with talks underway regarding its budget cap for 2021, which is set to be lower than the originally planned $175 million figure due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
F1 teams have traditionally produced their own cars, however the gap between the top teams and the midfield has grown in recent years, due to a significant spending difference.
Red Bull team principal Horner says that giving teams the opportunity to buy a year-old car from a top team would reduce development costs while also making the smaller outfit more competitive.
“I fully support the need to reduce costs and ensure that all 10 teams remain in the sport but there are many ways to accomplish that goal and they are not all just about lowering the cost cap,” Horner wrote in a column for Red Bull.
“If the main target of a cost cap is about being competitive and helping the smaller teams, especially as we come through the current crisis, then I would be fully open to selling our cars at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
“Some people say that customer cars are against F1’s DNA to design and build your own car, well times have changed and we need to find the best way to make the smaller teams competitive and survive the current crisis.
“This approach works well in MotoGP and it could even attract more teams to the grid, which we would all welcome.
“Teams spend fortunes over winter copying others, why not just give them the opportunity to buy last year’s car?
“It would make far more sense for a team to be competitive, rather than spending money developing something if the funds are not there to do so.
“As the business model of the smaller teams evolves and they become more competitive with customer cars, they can bring in increased revenue and then look to build their own cars again.”
At pre-season testing earlier this year, Racing Point drew criticism from some other teams, as it turned up with a car that resembled Mercedes' championship-winning W10 2019 car.
Racing Point affirmed that there was nothing illegal about the car, with McLaren recently asserting that it would not be pursuing clarification from the FIA over the design.