Mike Gascoyne has said that the smaller teams in F1 are at a disadvantage because larger outfits are able to pay suppliers extra in order to receive new parts at a quicker rate.
The current Resource Restriction Agreement has led to a number of teams taking as much work as possible in house, although that has in turn freed up funds that are available to source parts from outside suppliers – while remaining within the limits of the RRA.
Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport
, Gascoyne said that left smaller teams at a disadvantage because better funded rivals can now offer bonuses in order to get outside parts produced quicker, which then delays the teams lower down the order.
"The big teams get something made quickly by paying an extra bonus," he said. "Slipping a small team a few places back on the waiting list. There is a high demand, also because there are twelve teams today instead of ten."
Gascoyne's Team Lotus outfit heads into its second season on the back of a mixed pre-season, where the new T128 showed speed but was also somewhat fragile in terms of reliability.
At a time when Bernie Ecclestone is suggesting that the field doesn't need twelve teams and could manage with ten, results this season will take on extra importance and Gascoyne insisted that fighting in the midfield was the aim for 2011.
"Formula One is about competition, it's the peak of motorsport, you shouldn't be there as a spare part," he told Reuters in an earlier interview. "You've got to be there competing and if you don't raise your game to that level, don't be there.
"We always said that this year for us was all about moving into the midfield and that's what we are very determined to do. It's very clear. We absolutely have to be racing the second division of the established teams - Toro Rosso, Sauber, Force India - and that's a big ask after being in existence as a Formula One team for only 18 months.
"But one thing that would be great for Formula One is the message that you can do that, because it shows you can come in as a small team from scratch with a sensible budget."