Formula 1 teams called to new costs crisis summit meeting

Formula 1 teams have been called to a summit meeting on December 18 in a bid for a breakthrough in the sport's costs crisis, AUTOSPORT has learned

Formula 1 teams called to new costs crisis summit meeting

Lotus, Sauber and Force India have been pushing for ways to help their financial situation, with the hike in engine prices this year having hurt all the customer teams.

Their desire for action ramped up in the wake of Caterham and Marussia going into administration because they could not afford to continue.

But despite hopes that Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA or rival teams could step in to assist - either through reducing costs or increasing revenue - nothing has yet been agreed.

DIETER RENCKEN: F1 rebels got an icy wake-up call

Frustrations about the situation further increased after last week's F1 Commission gathering when, despite an all-day meeting, the subject of costs did not get debated at length as other issues took precedence before time ran out.

Instead, the meeting was dominated by matters including ditching double points, scrapping standing starts after safety cars and arguments over relaxing the engine freeze.

The failure to address the costs situation properly has left the FIA and Ecclestone determined not to let the matter slip - which is why they have called a fresh meeting for later this month where it is expected to be the main focus.

Other matters - such as increasing the popularity of the sport - that did not get talked about at the F1 Commission because of time constraints may also be discussed.

FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION

With reluctance from top teams to accept a cost cap or dramatic cost reductions, the focus of efforts is likely to revolve around how to increase the revenue for smaller teams.

FIA president Jean Todt has talked about making a push to reduce the cost of engines, while one suggestion is for the commercial rights income that had been due to Marussia and Caterham to be split between Lotus, Sauber and Force India.

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said before the F1 Commission meeting that the time for just talking was over and now a plan had to be put in place.

"Definitely something is happening, but I am cautious to say where we are going to end up," she told AUTOSPORT. "It is clear we need action now.

"We don't have the time any more to think about this and then a month later come back.

"This powertrain, it was imposed on the independent teams here, and we had no choice but to take it. And if costs have gone up so much, we have to find a way to get them down again.

"It cannot be that such a high percentage, by far more than 50 per cent of our FOM income, goes onto the powertrain, and associated secondary costs to it."

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