FIA to reevaluate F1 budget caps

The introduction of a strict budget cap in Formula One is believed to be part of new cost-cutting proposals due to be considered by the FIA World Motor Sport Council next month, autosport.com has learned

FIA to reevaluate F1 budget caps

The FIA announced on Friday that it is to press ahead with a host of 'radical' cost-cutting measures for 2010 that will help ensure the survival of current independent teams and encourage new outfits into the sport.

With the world's economic climate still deteriorating, the FIA wants to help reduce the budgets that teams need to put in place to survive.

Such a scenario would not only help ensure a better future for outfits like Honda Racing, who will be looking for a buyer for 2010 following the imminent management buyout, but also the new USF1 outfit that are looking to enter F1 that year.

In a statement issued on Friday, the FIA said: "In view of the difficult economic conditions which continue to affect Formula One sponsors and major car manufacturers, the FIA is preparing radical proposals for 2010.

"If adopted by the World Motor Sport Council, the new regulations will enable a team to compete for a fraction of current budgets but nevertheless field cars which can match those of the established teams.

"These regulations will not affect the established teams which now have stable backing from the major car manufacturers, but will enable new teams to fill the existing vacancies on the grid for 2010 and make it less likely that any team will be forced to leave the Championship. The proposals will be submitted to the World Council on 17 March."

It is understood the proposals will include previous suggestions such as more standard parts, factory restrictions and a greater reduction in testing.

However, there are also suggestions that one idea that has been given renewed credence is for a budget cap. The idea has been looked at in the past, but did not find much favour by teams who were sceptical about how well it could be enforced.

FIA president Max Mosley wrote to the teams earlier this year suggesting, however, that the idea for a budget cap should now be taken seriously once again.

"The idea that each team should have the same amount of money, so that success is simply a function of intellectual ability, has great appeal," said Mosley. "If properly enforced, it would be a very fair system. Indeed one view is that having much more money than a rival team is just as unfair as having a bigger engine. We should like to discuss this further with FOTA.

"It may be that in present circumstances, a voluntary cap would work because no manufacturer whose board has signed off the agreed amount would be likely to allow secret additional expenditure, while independent teams would probably not have access to the necessary cash."

An FIA spokesman refused to elaborate, however, about any details of the proposals due to be put forward to the World Council when asked by autosport.com.

"It would be inappropriate to comment before the World Motor Sport Council meeting," he said.

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