Mosley urges teams to further cut costs
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, September 24th 2007, 20:10 GMT|
FIA president Max Mosley has renewed his calls for urgent cost-cutting measures in Formula One, autosport.com has learned, telling the teams they are still wasting millions of pounds each year on technical matters.
In a letter sent to team principals last week, Mosley said it made 'no sense' for so much of the sport's finances to be spent on improving cars when it added nothing to the sport's spectacle.
His frustrations have been fuelled by the fact that cost-cutting measures introduced by the FIA - including parc ferme restrictions and long-life engines - have done little to dissuade teams from spending money.
In the letter, Mosley claims that it was futile for so much of the current discussions between team principals to revolve around the framing of a new Concorde Agreement to give more money to the teams, if they were then going to waste any gains on yet more technology.
"Formula One's vast profits are currently being wasted on pointless exercises for the private entertainment of the teams' engineers," said Mosley in a document that was attached to the letter.
"As a result, several independent teams are losing money when they should be making a profit, while car manufacturers are forced to spend excessively. This is the problem which needs to be addressed.
"If it did not waste money on pointless, hidden and duplicated technology, Formula One would be an immensely profitable business. Each department would be a valuable franchise. Instead it is living on subsidies from the car industry and hand-outs from friendly billionaires.
"Until the basic problem of costs has been resolved, time should not be wasted discussing how the FOM money is to be distributed. It is a secondary matter. The same applies to debating the level of technical co-operation allowed between teams."
Mosley's letter came after he attended the team principals' meeting at the Belgian Grand Prix, where discussions were dominated by the Concorde Agreement and talk about new technologies, like the standard ECU and energy recovery systems.
And while some teams are pushing for a delay in the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) until 2011, Mosley thinks that is probably one of the only technologies that should be left free for team development.
"The technical contest has become enormously expensive," he said. "However, most of its elements are concealed from the public. Because they are concealed, even secret, these elements add nothing to the entertainment.
"Therefore the money spent on them is wasted, all the more so because work on these elements is duplicated in each of the 12 departments (the teams).
"It makes absolutely no sense to spend large sums on items which do not add to the entertainment, indeed often detract from it. It makes even less sense for each of 12 departments to carry out the same unnecessary work.
"No rational person would run a business in which 12 departments duplicate each other's research work, still less if that work provides very little of the entertainment which underpins the business.
"Therefore all items on the cars which are not known, visible and understood by the public should be standardised and manufactured at minimal cost.
"The technical contest should be limited to items which are visible, understood and potentially useful - eg KERS. (emphasis in the original)
"This would produce a huge reduction in costs without affecting the entertainment. Indeed the cars would be more equal, giving closer racing and better entertainment."