Sauber explains cost-cut backing
|Sunday, October 24th 2004, 16:02 GMT|
Formula 1 team boss Peter Sauber has defended his decision to sign up with the radical cost cutting measures agreed by nine teams in Brazil on Saturday – even though it meant going against engine supplier Ferrari.
Sauber was the last team boss to sign the document proposing a dramatic reduction in testing and the possible switch to control tyres – and believes he has acted in the best interests of F1, even though Ferrari does not agree to the changes.
It has been widely accepted in F1 that part of Sauber's agreement with Ferrari often requires him to agree with the Maranello-based team in important policy decisions. This is the first time that he has gone against Ferrari in such a public manner.
Speaking on Sunday morning, Sauber said: "Everybody is aware that Sauber Petronas has enjoyed an excellent and successful partnership with Ferrari for the past eight seasons and that I personally have a very good relationship with Jean Todt. Therefore you can imagine how difficult it was for me to sign the Cost Savings Initiative that was launched yesterday.
"However, I am convinced that my decision to do so was right. For several years some of my fellow team principals and I have continually requested a drastic reduction in testing as one initiative to lower costs in Formula 1.
"It is important for me to clarify that my signature by no means indicates any form of action against Ferrari. I realise that this initiative is only a first step. Realistically, it is not possible to solve all the problems at once.
"Therefore it is important to approach this difficult challenge step by step. Cost savings are vital for the health and future of Formula 1, and they are every bit as important for the major manufacturers as they are for the independent teams, as the withdrawal of Jaguar shows."