Mosley: Cost cap solution in sight

FIA president Max Mosley is confident a solution to the row over cost cuts can be found soon, after admitting that the governing body is ready to be flexible on its plans for a voluntary budget cap in Formula 1

Mosley: Cost cap solution in sight

Following the latest round of talks that situation appears to be heading towards a resolution. The controversy has dominated headlines for the past few weeks, and Mosley said he was optimistic of a solution being found.

One possibility being discussed is a higher budget cap for 2010, before implementing the FIA's plans for a £40 million limit the following year. Alternatively, more aggressive cost cuts could be implemented for next year prior to the budget cap in 2011.

"I can imagine we can take it through one year if possible [with the] higher figure and then go to the full cap in 2011, but that's something under discussion," he told the Reuters news agency. "This is a possibility."

It is understood that teams proposed their version of a cost cuts package to Mosley during their meeting on Friday - which was a budget cap in all but name.

Mosley made it clear, however, that the figure could not change much from the £40 million already on the table - although exceptions to what is included in the budget cap could be made.

"Ultimately, it's going to have to be that sort of region," he said. "Just imagine in today's world, you go out to get sponsorship and you are just an ordinary team, so to raise 45 million Euros is a massive undertaking.

"Everybody can talk figures, well it ought to be this figure or that figure, but if a team cannot raise the money, then there is nothing they can do."

With next Friday's deadline for entries to the 2010 championship looming, it is looking increasingly likely that current teams will submit their applications - although under the pre-condition that they will only see through their intention to enter if they are happy with the technical and sporting regulations as they end up.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he hoped that the current grid would commit in its entirety - despite speculation that Toyota and Renault could quit irrespective of cost-cutting plans.

"I hope all 10 teams here sign up. I think lots of people have expressed views as to whether they will or they won't," said Whitmarsh. "Expressing those publicly I don't think helps.

"It's ridiculous if we between us, the governing body, commercial rights holder and 10 teams in Formula 1, cannot find a constructive way forward. At the end of the day there are no guarantees from any of these teams they are going to be here next year or in the years to come.

"But with all due respect to new entrants, it's a big ask to jump into Formula 1, even with budget caps or whatever. The risk of a new entrant failing is always going to be greater than any of these teams failing or withdrawing. We have to make sure we keep them in."

Mosley said he believed Ferrari would commit its entry 'by Friday', but felt that 'one or two' manufacturers may be ready to walk.

"I am confident Ferrari will still be here," said Mosley. "[But] I think one or two of them may have to stop but it is nothing to do with these discussions.

"It is very difficult for a major manufacturer to continue in F1 when they are economising in their factories by shutting off every other lift, turning down the electricity, not cleaning the windows, not serving coffee at the meetings.

"A company that is in that sort of situation is unlikely to go on pouring massive money into F1. So there is a danger, and that's what started the whole thing with the new teams.

"So we are going to lose one or two manufacturers and or independent teams, we can't assume that things will continue. That's what provoked the whole of this. If we hadn't had the present crisis, we wouldn't be having these discussions."

Mosley was optimistic that moving the budget cap higher for 2010 would not discourage new teams coming in.

"The main thing for the new teams is that they shouldn't be behind technically, and there are ways of overcoming that problem," he said.

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Author Jonathan Noble
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