There has been threads about people's opinion on RBR and many people seem to think RBR are in F1 for PR, not for racing, and that's why RBR are disliked. But what do you think are teams that are in F1 foremost for racing. (I also included Renault as an engine manufacturer in the poll.)
Williams and Sauber are obvious cases. Privateers whose business' essence is racing.
Ferrari used to be F1 foremost for racing but I'm not so sure anymore. If Ferrari were still owned by Enzo, for sure racing would be their priority. But they are owned by Fiat, and I believe Fiat's aim in F1 is to promote Ferrari's road cars. On the other hand, it would be hard to imagine Ferrari leaving top-tier racing. I believe racing is still the priority for most people in Ferrari's board. And leaving top-tier racing would be a massive PR loss for Ferrari, their image is so much based on F1.
McLaren is somewhere between Williams/Sauber and Ferrari. They have their road car business. But I see it as a way to strengthen their brand as well as the finances of the group. Racing is still their priority. Of course, that can change if their road car business becomes larger. F1 would become more and more of a marketing tool. But like in Ferrari's case, leaving racing would be a PR loss for a brand that's so strongly associated with F1.
For car manufacturers, like Mercedes and Renault, it's natural to be involved in motorsports. Renault doesn't have the reputation of a sporty brand in my eyes, their presence feels more like aiming to present their excellence, hoping to boost sales. On the other hand, motorsports are a part of Mercedes image. Presence in top-level racing is important to keep up that reputation. On the other hand, I don't think presence in F1 is as necessary for them as it is for Ferrari. I think they might be in Le Mans if they weren't in F1. And I don't think racing is their priority, it's just a marketing tool.
And of course Caterham and Marussia are car brands, but those teams seem to aim for more brand awareness for those car brands.
Then there are Lotus and Force India. Lotus seems to be in investment for Genii Capital and it was an attempt to get more brand awareness for Lotus Cars. And I don't know what to think about Force India. It seems a bit like Mallya's toy, a way to get an own F1 team. But Mallya is a businessman and Sahara is a conglomerate company, so it may just be an investment for them.
I also want to have a word about Pirelli here. F1 is a way to keep up the motorsports image for tyre manufacturers. But with no tyre war you can't say a tyre manufacturer is in for racing, especially when they aren't trying to make the best tyres possible but what the FIA wants.
Edited by August, 29 October 2013 - 19:27.