Ecclestone wants teams to commit to F1
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, January 25th 2009, 15:51 GMT|
Bernie Ecclestone has proposed that Formula One's manufacturers be allowed more freedom to spend in exchange for making a long-term commitment to the sport.
After the dramatic cost cuts agreed earlier this month, and amid continued suggestions that budget caps could be part of F1's future, Ecclestone suggested efforts to reduce teams' expenditure could be in vain as the manufacturers would always find ways to spend money - and that therefore they should simply be allowed to spend as they pleased provided they remained in the championship.
"I always said we should give all those fancy engineers gold-plated consoles and send them off somewhere to play," Ecclestone told the Daily Telegraph. "That's all they do anyway and it would be far cheaper. We could get the real job done.
"If the manufacturers are prepared to make a long-term commitment, say seven to 10 years, we should let them spend what they want to spend, providing they supply engines and gearboxes at an affordable price.
"Whether they will commit to that I don't know. Getting them to agree on anything has always been the problem. But if they did it would prevent the kind of thing we have seen with Honda because we could sue the arse off them if they left. They wouldn't like that."
Ecclestone also feels that the controversial Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems are an unwise move in the current financial climate.
"I have always been against KERS," he said. "Whatever they use in F1 they won't use in a road car, but if that is to be the idea then why not develop it in touring cars. It costs a lot of money when we are trying to save it."
But he remains bullish about the prospects for the new season, even though the field could shrink to 18 cars if Honda Racing are not saved.
"We are not pessimistic in the slightest," Ecclestone said. "Nine teams won't make any difference. It is about drivers, not teams."