Mosley pushes fighting fund

FIA President Max Mosley has warned again that the independent non-manufacturer teams will be lost to Formula 1 unless cost-cutting action is taken or a fighting fund is established by the manufacturers to subsidise their engine costs

Mosley pushes fighting fund

With negotiations surrounding a future manufacturer series (GPWC) still ongoing, an FIA release earlier this week spelled out the transient nature of manufacturer interest in F1. Taking the theme further in Monaco, Mosley said: "They (the manufacturers) live in that paddock and they spend money like you can't believe and I think they are out of touch with reality.

"We are living in difficult economic circumstances and there is only one car manufacturer in Europe making money at the moment. There was an article yesterday suggesting that some of the biggest car manufacturers will not survive the next 10 years. But here, nobody seems to take any notice. Every year there is a bigger motorhome, a bigger jet, more money spent. Sooner or later the realities of business and economic life have got to get into the F1 paddock."

Mosley, of course, recently abandoned his desired 2004 traction control ban on the condition that the manufacturers supplied customer engines to independent teams at an affordable price, with a target $10 million per annum mooted. The manufacturers, however, are now saying that $15 million at the very least is more realistic and that 2004 supply is not possible in most cases.

Mosley added: "If something is not done quickly it would be very surprising if we have got all 10 teams at the beginning of next year. We will still have 20 cars, but if we had no independent teams, of the seven manufacturers six would have to run three cars. That would be very expensive and one of the manufacturers would say: 'I can't afford this.' They would stop and then somebody else would stop and the whole thing would collapse. It is not the way to go and I hope people will be sensible."

As an alternative to direct supply, Mosley has suggested a fund that the manufacturers - FIAT (through Ferrari), Renault, Mercedes, BMW, Honda and Toyota - all pay into. "The most efficient way," he said, "would be if each manufacturer put a certain amount of money into the pot to be divided equally among the three independent teams (Sauber, Jordan and Minardi). That would be used to subsidise the cost of getting an engine commercially. Suppose there was $5million from each manufacturer, that would give each independent team a $12m subsidy. They could go to Cosworth, say, and the $20m engine would be $8m, which is affordable."

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