McLaren's Boullier warns over F1 cost crisis fix as talks begin

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says resolving Formula 1's cost crisis will be tough because fixing one area can have knock-on effects, as teams begin a crunch meeting

McLaren's Boullier warns over F1 cost crisis fix as talks begin

Debate over unsustainable spending in F1 has raged throughout 2014, and the sport's bosses have called teams to the meeting on Thursday in a bid to find answers.

The problem of costs in F1 is nothing new, but received fresh impetus when the Caterham and Marussia teams were both placed into administration amid serious financial difficulties that caused them to skip races.

Other customer teams such as Lotus, Force India and Sauber have also felt extra financial pressure this year, caused chiefly by engine budgets increasing following the introduction of F1's new V6 turbo hybrid regulations.

These squads have been calling for a more equitable share of the sport's commercial revenues, in order to stave off the risk of more teams falling off the grid, but ongoing discussions have so far failed to produce results, and McLaren chief Boullier said resolving the crisis would not be easy.

"If you look at the last decade, most of the teams were backed by car manufacturers who had no concern about how much they were spending," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.

"From 2010 teams began to lose this backing, and to keep competitive needed to spend a minimum amount in regards to the technical aspects of the car, and some teams are [still] struggling to find that.

"This is an issue: do you want to put a development line down to keep costs down? But then you start to hurt the F1 industry.

"It's not just about the teams, it's about the supply chain of 2000-3000 people.

"Or you find another way to increase revenue, but doing that means changing the distribution model and doing 25 races, maybe.

"I don't have the answer."

SAUBER: ENGINE RULES CORRECT

Efforts at Thursday's summit are likely to focus on ways to increase revenue for smaller teams, given that larger squads are not in favour of dramatic cost reductions or a cost cap.

There have been suggestions F1 should consider abandoning the V6 formula to reduce costs, but Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn says F1 was right to adopt the new regulations, despite the financial difficulties associated with them.

DIETER RENCKEN on engine rows and hidden agendas

"In my view a change was absolutely correct because we are here to represent high-end technology, and we have an extremely efficient system in our cars now," she told AUTOSPORT.

"Where we maybe didn't do as good a job is in implementing it.

"I think if we maybe could have agreed it earlier, or waited another year, or made rules that would not have allowed unlimited spending - there are many ways you could look at this.

"I think the implementation was not good, but the idea and the decision was right."

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Jonathan Noble
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