TheBigJ wrote:At the risk of going back on topic, and as much as I like Babe threads...
I want more teams like the current "new teams" in Formula 1, and I want a Pre-Qualifying like they did back in the eighties. Seeing the times on the 1989 thread in the Deletraz forum makes me yearn for teams to just turn up and get viciously DNPQ'd by about 10 seconds. I know on a forum like this where rejects are hailed as gods it is probably a popular opinion, but clearly nobody else wants this back, least of all the big teams. Why is this?
Quite simply, everything is so damn expensive these days that it wouldn't make sense for a team to show up every weekend just to take part in one session as they DNPQ. I don't know the actualt budget numbers but I believe that even HRT's current budget is huge compared to most of the 80s/90s small teams.
Yes and no - it is true that HRT's budget, which is probably in the order of €40-45 million, would be comparable to or greater than that of the front running teams in the late 1980's and early 1990's (I believe that Williams was spending around £30 million a year in the early 1990's) if you took the figures at face value.
However, the effective purchasing power of a budget of £30 million in 1990 would be quite considerable when you take inflation into account - when you factor that in the comparison looks less apt as I believe that, inflation adjusted, Williams's budget in 1990 would be the equivalent of about £120 million (or around $190 million) today.
Although the increase in budgets has outstripped inflation slightly, that would still be a pretty respectable budget today - it'd probably put you at the top of the midfield pack (I believe that outfits like Sauber currently have a budget of around $160 million), perhaps even as far up the field as where Lotus is right now. On top of that, you have to remember that Williams were, I believe, getting free engines from Renault at the time - a deal not dissimilar to what Red Bull have at the moment - whereas HRT are having to pay for their engines, further cutting into their budget.
It also goes to show why the days of seeing teams queueing up to DNPQ are unlikely to return - if you are having to commit several tens of millions just to merely make it onto the grid, you are not going to want to see that money go up in smoke and be stuck sitting on the sidelines. As things stand, the FIA hasn't even been able to find a team that would be financially stable enough to take up the grid slot that became vacant when USF1 (or USGPE as it should strictly be known) couldn't take up their grid slot; I think that it would be hard to create a situation where a team could afford to DNPQ and still survive for any length of time.