Lotus boss Eric Boullier says F1 costs must come down

Lotus boss Eric Boullier says the costs of competing in Formula 1 must be brought down in order to safeguard the future of the current grid

Lotus boss Eric Boullier says F1 costs must come down

Boullier believes that 80 per cent of teams are in favour of negotiating ways to reduce expenditure, but that a select few teams are preventing a consensus and creating an effective impasse.

That means smaller teams - including Lotus - face a financial deficit that they cannot plug indefinitely.

Lotus owner Genii Capital is in advanced talks to sell a 35 per cent stake in the team to Infinity Racing, while Sauber announced a major partnership with a trio of Russian investors in July following rumours it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

"The problem is that some teams - like Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes - can still afford the old way and can spend a lot on the car; we can't," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.

"To keep teams competitive, we need to keep a minimum budget with our resources, but this limit is above the revenue stream so we need our shareholders to bridge the gap.

"Don't forget that in the beginning of the 90s, a top team was spending maybe £40 million; by 2008, a top team was spending £100 million.

"We have to put that cost down.

"The problem today is 80 per cent of the teams are in favour of this but 20 per cent are not.

"I don't think it's fair if only three teams can afford F1, so we should find a way to bring the cost down."

Boullier said the fact there are ongoing discussions with the FIA regarding cost controls, coupled with his team's tie-up with Infinity, mean he is optimistic about his own team's long-term health.

"I am happy that some discussions have been moving forward in F1, [with] the FIA, speaking that we want this [lowering costs] done and we want it done by the regulations," Boullier explained.

"We announced a new partner a few weeks ago, [which is] not completed yet but is on its way.

"Once this is done it will be a new era for Enstone because financially we will be secure for many years at another level.

"We still can't spend the same money as Ferrari and Mercedes but as a team we can secure the level for where we now compete."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
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