Enzo Ferrari could never understand how selling engines to his competitors would help him win races.
And I wonder whether Grand Prix victories for Cooper-Ferraris, Lotus-Ferraris or Williams-Ferraris would have benefitted Enzo in terms of production car sales either.
This interesting thread had me thinking about the arrival in Formula 1, from time to time, of road car manufacturers and their reasons for becoming involved. Despite engine development being so expensive, and so crucial to racing success, I would think most spectators identify the constructor before the engine supplier.
I can just about remember each of the teams who compete in Grand Prix today, but struggle to remember some of the chassis/engine combinations. I wonder what marketing / image / car sales benefit Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault achieve from the limited success of their engine customers, for example, Sauber (F), Force India (M) and Caterham ( R ) Are engine sales profitable per se, or has Bernie leaned on the big boys to spread their wares around and keep grids topped up?
If there is direct benefit in terms of image and car sales for those car manufacturers who make, or badge, Grand Prix engines, I wonder whether Mercedes, for example, are desperate for Mercedes-Mercedes success, or are nearly as delighted to see Mclaren-Mercedes and Force India-Mercedes on the podium.
Sorry for drifting OT and modern, but I was thinking about why a car manufacturer might become involved in expensive GP engine design, especially those who choose not to design a chassis or run a team: Honda, Porsche, Renault in the late 1980s for example, or Renault now.
Edited by john winfield, 13 December 2012 - 13:49.