F1 must learn from Jag pull-out

Ford's decision to withdraw its Jaguar Racing team from Formula 1 at the end of this season must act as a spur to promote change in the way the sport is structured, believes the company's chief technical officer Richard Parry-Jones

F1 must learn from Jag pull-out

In the view of Ford, the escalating financial cost of competing in Formula 1 has become too high, and that added to Jaguar Cars' failure to make a profit, was a key motivation behind the decision to put the team up for sale.

"I think this will accelerate the awareness among the current stakeholders that some kind of reform in needed and we should get on with it at a faster timescale than has happened to date," said Parry-Jones.

"If a company that has had as long an association with F1 as Ford has can conclude it isn't a good fit for business strategy, then that will surely cause a number of people to have a look at the number of changes that need to be made to secure the future of the sport commercially."

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Reuters news agency today (Friday) that he agrees costs in F1 have become too high: "Formula 1 is a very expensive business these days and we need to reduce the amount of money it takes to be competitive.

"Teams could still spend whatever they wanted, but the amount of money needed to compete would be less."

Ecclestone also believes that Jaguar's withdrawal may not be a bad thing for F1 in the long run. "I'm sorry that it's happened because we don't need to lose the Ford Motor Company, but there could be an upside," he said.

"There's provisions for the teams to run three cars and that would perhaps give us 20 competitive cars on the grid next season."

The FIA has said that it is "inappropriate to comment at this time" about the matter, but sources close to the governing body have pointed out that the Jaguar pull-out is evidence that FIA president Max Mosley's long-running crusade to cut costs or risk losing teams was more than just sabre-rattling.

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