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F1 aims for 110m Euro budget cap

Formula One is aiming to establish a 110 million Euro budget cap by the 2011 season, this week's Autosport magazine reveals

A budget cap is set to be introduced in the sport from the start of 2009, and FIA consultant Tony Purnell has written to all Formula One teams with the figures the governing body would like to be set as a starting point for future discussions.

The figures proposed are 175 million Euro for 2009, 140 million by 2010, and 110 million a year later.

The cap would not cover expenditure on engines, KERS systems, marketing costs or driver and team principal salaries.

The figures, however, have received mixed reactions from some team bosses.

"Next year's figures are workable, but Honda is a little concerned about the glide-path, which needs more discussion," Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry told Autosport.

"By pushing the number too low, we may not only attract marginal operations but also alienate those at the top who want to develop high technology."

Renault boss Flavio Briatore said his team were already spending less than the suggested cap.

"I already pay 40 per cent less than the cap. If I want to keep to the limit then I need to spend more. It's nonsense.

"Formula One is part of the environment and the economical situation and the sponsors, the manufacturers - we are part of the economical world. Maybe not today or tomorrow but surely in the future it will affect us. F1 needs to be competitive, F1 is a better show and less investment and costs less."

Toyota's team president John Howett admitted he was worried the introduction of a budget cap could backfire due to the "controlled environment".

"It's a very broad discussion, you can achieve anything. The one issue is how low the FIA wants it to go over time and the impact on people's livelihoods. That's the biggest concern I have," he said.

"I think in the end it can be enforced. The real issue is whether business becomes more healthy when you have a controlled environment: normally competition is better for business.

"So my worry to some extent that it will have a negative effect. If you put businesses into a non-competitive environment and say from a point of view of business, I'm not personally convinced it's the right thing to do."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, meanwhile, said he was not sure the FIA would be able to control the amount of money spent by a team.

"I don't see a budget cap as a regulatory process more the application of common sense," Dennis said.

"I don't think it's a question of enforceability but if there's a general ability to control costs when you've got the complicity of companies that have their R&D facilities in other countries where these programmes are in very difficult to understand languages and documents.

"I just have concerns you can monitor costs if you're policing them in Germany or China or Japan. How can you do that? We embrace anything that reduces the costs of F1 as long as it can be practically evaluated."

FIA president Max Mosley revealed earlier this year that a special 'finance commission' would be created to ensure the teams comply with the rules.

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