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Sauber criticises Ferrari's attitude in Formula 1 costs row

Sauber has hit back at claims from Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci that Formula 1 does not need struggling smaller teams

Mattiacci suggested after the United States Grand Prix that there was little sympathy for the plight of F1's minnows, as he felt grand prix racing only needed outfits with viable business models.

Those claims have riled Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn - who thinks Ferrari, which supplies Sauber's engines, should care about what is going on at the back of the grid.

She says that big manufacturers require a good return on the money they spend, and the moment that is not happening they will quit like BMW did when it owned Sauber at the end of 2009.

"Wasn't it Marco who also said that he's getting questions on ROI [return on investment] from his partners? How does he plan to keep that going so well with the way things are going here?" she said.

"What if his partners - who are probably paying a lot - come and say 'What's my return on investment with results? What's my return on investment with viewers going down, with the show not being attractive?'" she said.

"So I wonder if his business model is going to work if he didn't have the backing of those kind of partners or a manufacturer?

"Because I think if the manufacturer wouldn't put that money in there, you would have a business model that is defunct. And I know what I'm talking about."

FERRARI: FOCUS SHOULD BE ON GROWING REVENUE

Mattiacci's comments came after an Austin weekend where much of the focus in the F1 cost arguments was on the hefty bonus payments teams including Ferrari get.

He was adamant that the best way forward was not for big teams to sacrifice income for the smaller outfits but for F1 to grow its revenues.

"It's not to define medium teams, or small teams. F1 needs competitive teams," said Mattiacci.

"There are many corporations around the world, many big brands that should capitalise on a phenomenal motorsport platform like F1 is.

"At the same time as being a strong believer in F1, I think the focus needs to be how to increase the revenue.

"We're here in the United States where F1 is getting larger, so my focus as a company where 30 per cent of sales are in United States, I want to make sure we get more and more success in the United States.

"I want an extra race in the United States. I want three races in the United States. Because the American market is fundamental to generating revenue, to attract sponsors, so that's my problem."

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