Ecclestone unmoved by FOTA response
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, March 18th 2009, 11:37 GMT|
Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he is not surprised that teams have complained about the introduction of a budget cap from 2010 - but thinks the move is totally right to shore up the sport's future.
The FIA announced earlier this week that teams will be offered the chance to run unrestricted technology in exchange for limiting their spending to £30 million pounds per season.
The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) reacted angrily to the move, saying it was 'concerned' that the rules had been introduced unilaterally by the FIA.
But Ecclestone is unmoved by the criticisms - saying that whenever new regulations are introduced the teams always complain.
"Any time we make any changes, there are a whole bunch of people who say, 'forget it, it won't happen,'" said Ecclestone on Wednesday during a press conference hosted by the Australian Grand Prix organisers.
"When we had two races engines, everyone said you can't do it because the teams won't finish races. Everything that is proposed, the teams always say forget it - it is just par for the course."
Ecclestone believes that the budget cap is the best option to help teams bring down their spending - and make the sport more competitive.
"These guys [the teams] say they have reduced their budgets by 50 percent. Fine, but the guy who was spending 300 million will now spend 150 million, and the guy spending 80 million dollars will spend 40 million dollars. There has always been that gap difference.
"We are going to restrict teams that want to be covered by that cap to 30 million pounds, but we are going to try to help them with technical advantages. Then some of the big teams will ask why they are spending 300 million.
"In the end the truth of the matter is we should just have a cap for everybody, although maybe 30 million is a bit too low."
Ecclestone thinks that slashing budgets for 2010 is vital for the health of F1, as he hopes it will attract more teams into the sport.
"The good thing is that most of the teams have got contracts that will get them through 2009, and we need to get our act together for 2010 to make sure we don't lose people," he said. "But better than that, perhaps we can gain some people.
"I want to see pre-qualifying again. I want 26 people on the grid, of which 16 are competitive."