Sand shifts on customer car issue

Fri, 17 October 2008, 07:15

Oct.17 (GMM) The future looks brighter for Toro Rosso

Earlier this year, the partly Gerhard Berger-owned squad was in serious trouble, given Red Bull’s dithering support and the looming end of the era when using a customer car is allowed

But on both counts, the sand appears to have shifted somewhat. Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz’s support seems more secure, and there are significant movements on the customer car issue

Berger, meanwhile, said on Friday that Sebastian Vettel’s debut win has helped the former Minardi squad to “position ourselves in a good way”

“Also my partner Red Bull is still committed very much behind the team,” he said in China

On the topic of customer cars, meanwhile, it emerged recently that Bernie Ecclestone has proposed that teams already involved in formula one should be allowed to share technology, including the buying and selling of entire cars

“If the regulations change in a way that the system we are using at the moment, and share costs and get synergies for both teams, I think the situation could change for us and could help us,” Berger said

It is understood that this potential rules shift led to Force India’s talks with McLaren-Mercedes about a collaboration

It is also clear that the Indian team is concerned about Ferrari’s lagging progress with a KERS system for 2009, but it seems that a Force India-McLaren alliance would involve the sharing of engines, components and even aerodynamics

“If Bernie’s proposal actually goes through, I think it will be excellent for all independent teams and bring down costs substantially,” Mallya said

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