Ecclestone says F1 will survive crisis
|By Steven English||Friday, December 5th 2008, 09:32 GMT|
Bernie Ecclestone has insisted that Formula One will survive the loss of one of the world's biggest car manufacturers following Honda's confirmation of their withdrawal from the sport this morning.
Ecclestone admitted that this is a tough time for Formula One, but says the sport is in the same situation as the majority of companies around the world and is sure that it will continue regardless.
"I think Formula One is in no bigger crisis than any other company throughout the world. The world is in crisis at the moment, but it won't stop - the world won't stop, that's for sure," Ecclestone told the BBC.
"Everyone has been working like crazy to reduce the necessity to spend to be competitive.
"Even yesterday there was a meeting of the technical people to change the regulations in order for this to take place, and I have no doubt that there would have been a drastic reduction in the cost and the necessity to spend to be competitive - which is what we've been trying to do."
Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry agrees that the sport will continue and says that the agreements reached between the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) yesterday will bring huge financial savings next year.
"There's a huge amount of work going on between the teams and I think the changes that were agreed unanimously yesterday will result in cost savings next year in excess of 50 or 60 million Euros," he told the BBC.
"The teams are very conscious of the situation and are determined that Formula One should continue to be a fantastic spectacle, with over 600 million people watching it every year. It's a huge business and it's not going to stop over night."
When asked how much it costs to run a Formula One team for a year, Fry said: "Give or take, it's probably 350 million dollars, something like that. It is a lot of money, but big companies enter Formula One because it's a global stage. We have 600 million people - it's similar to the Olympics and World Cup in terms of coverage.
"The reason that huge, very successful companies like Vodafone and the like are involved in Formula One is that it does a fantastic job advertising their product, and that is unchanged. There are very few sports that have the global reach of Formula One."