Mosley proposes sweeping cost cuts
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, October 15th 2008, 08:29 GMT|
FIA president Max Mosley is to make a big push for more standard parts - including engines – in Formula One as a way of seeing the sport through its current financial difficulties.
Ahead of next week's meeting between Mosley and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) in Geneva, The Times reports today that documents have been sent to the teams outlining where he sees much-needed cost cuts can be made.
Mosley is worried that the costs of competing in F1 are now too high for independent teams and even some manufacturers, and the sport is at risk of losing outfits with two team vacancies already on the grid.
Among the proposals that will be discussed are standard engines from 2010, which will either be built by teams themselves or produced by a single supplier, before all-new concept power units are introduced from 2013.
Mosley will also propose that cars feature many more standard parts – including suspension, wheels and underbodies. He also wants teams to look at ways to reduce running costs over a Grand Prix weekend - by perhaps not allowing as much work on cars throughout an event.
In the letter to the teams, Mosley is quoted by The Times as saying: "The FIA believes that Formula One costs are unsustainable. Even before current global financial problems, teams were spending far more than their incomes, in so far as these consist of sponsorship plus FOM money.
"As a result, the independent teams are now dependent on the goodwill of rich individuals, while the manufacturers' teams depend on massive handouts from their parent companies."
He added: "There is now a real danger that, in some cases, these subsidies will cease. This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level.
"The FIA's view is that Formula One can only be healthy if a team can race competitively for a budget at or very close to what it gets from FOM."
Although, as autosport.com reported from the Japanese Grand Prix, teams are open to the idea of more standard parts, manufacturers are wholly opposed to the imposition of a standard engine.
McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh warned in Fuji about if standard engines were made mandatory in F1: "It does have a pretty big impact on Formula One – I imagine it would lead to quite a few of the engine manufacturers leaving the sport."
The threat of a standard engine could be used as a way of seeking a compromise deal with teams over aspects of standardisation that they will be happy to accept.