Mosley calls for further F1 cost cutting

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The Independent Online

Max Mosley has called on the Formula One Teams' Association to further radically reduce costs to preserve the sport's future.

Following a landmark meeting in Monte Carlo four weeks ago, FIA president Mosley and FOTA reached agreement on a raft of measures designed to slash millions of pounds from the teams' budgets.

The action was desperately required in the face of the global economic crisis, and in particular, Honda's shock withdrawal.

Proposals were laid down for both the forthcoming season, and 2010, but ahead of the latest FOTA meeting today Mosley has written to president Luca di Montezemolo calling on his organisation to impose further changes.

In a letter dated 5 January, Mosley writes: "First, even before the current crisis, Formula One was not viable. Costs have been so high that we have had vacancies in the Championship for some time.

"Secondly, it is impossible to cut costs substantially without significant change. Inevitably, cherished projects, facilities and sadly, even people have to go.

"Thirdly, the fact of having recently invested in an expensive facility is not an argument for retaining it. That money has been spent. It's gone. What we have to avoid is forcing others to spend the same money in order to keep up.

"Fourthly, there is no rational argument to support the continued use in Formula One of expensive technologies which have no relevance outside the sport and are unknown (and thus of no interest) to the general public."

Despite the agreed plans for 2010, Mosley would like more to be done with regard to finding ways of saving money on engines, transmission, chassis, KERS, tyres, and even the race weekend itself.

Mosley would even consider moveable aerodynamic parts to allow the possibility of wheel-to-wheel racing to improve 'the show'.

There is even the prospect of a budget cap, an idea often mooted, but generally rejected due to it being difficult to police.

However, Mosley added: "The idea that each team should have the same amount of money, so that success is simply a function of intellectual ability, has great appeal.

"If properly enforced, it would be a very fair system. Indeed one view is that having much more money than a rival team is just as unfair as having a bigger engine.

"We should like to discuss this further with FOTA."

In short, Mosley wants the budgets of the teams to be reduced to a level where they "can operate profitably with just the FOM money and very moderate sponsorship".

He remarked: "This is the only way to safeguard the Championship and allow new teams to enter to fill the gaps as well as replace those leaving."

Mosley concluded: "The FIA itself would not be financially disadvantaged by a collapse of Formula One, but it would suffer in other ways.

"And, in any event, we believe we have a duty to do whatever is necessary to preserve the Championship for the competitors, the commercial rights holder and motor sport generally.

"We are therefore prepared to act radically.

"We hope that, notwithstanding the changes which must now be made, all teams which are still in business in 2010 will enter.

"But as already stated, we will be ready to recognise an independent series should some teams prefer to go their own way."