F1 to slash racing team budgets by a billion dollars

December 13th, 2008 - 11:02 am ICT by ANI  

London, Dec.13 (ANI): FIA president Max Mosley on Friday ushered in a new Spartan age for Formula One, the sport’’s most extravagant showpiece.

He announced a ban on in-season testing, major revisions to engine regulations and dramatic cuts in aerodynamic development.

According to The Telegraph, these moves will see team budgets cut by roughly 30 per cent in 2009.

Based on the 10 teams” spending last season of three billion dollars, it should see more than a billion lopped off the collective bill at one stroke.

“It’’s a major step forward. I think this is probably the first step towards F1 saving itself, because everybody recognised the situation had become very serious,” the paper quoted Mosley, as saying.

The startling decisions were reached after a four-hour meeting of the FIA’’s world motor sport council.

Teams will also have their manpower reduced on race weekends through a number of measures, including the sharing of information about tyres and fuel that will eliminate the need for “spotters”, the guys who charge up and down the pit-lane feeding back details of other teams” race tactics.

The paper says that by 2010, standard transmission, radio and telemetry systems, a ban on tyre warmers, even a ban on in-race refueling could be introduced.
“Engines will be available to the independent teams for less than 5 million per team per season,” a FIA statement said.

“These will either come from an independent supplier or be supplied by the manufacturer teams,” it added.

While it would appear to leave the door ajar for Cosworth, who were to supply the standard engine, The Daily Telegraph understands that the teams will not budge on this issue.

Instead, manufacturers are to subsidize the smaller, independent teams by supplying their engines at a fraction of recent costs.

According to the paper, the new measures could result in redundancies.

Britain’’s south Midlands, the worldwide centre of motor sport, will be badly hit. The ban on in-season testing theoretically means test teams are not needed. That’’s 20 to 40 jobs right there.

Wind tunnels, presently running 24 hours a day, could lose a shift team roughly 10 people. Factory closures for six weeks a year can only mean one thing.

Hard figures, however, are still uncertain.

McLaren are understood to be looking to minimise redundancies, while other teams, such as Honda Racing, are trying to attract buyers in the wake of their parent company’’s dramatic exit last week, and they are likely to streamline all they can.

Mosley said that the changes were inevitable.

“In any industry, if you reduce costs then you reduce the number of people. Teams currently employ between 700 and 1,000 people just to put two cars on the grid. In any event that is not sustainable,” he said.

As far as F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone’’s controversial medals system, he said that is for the public to decide.

He said that the FIA would conduct market research to work out whether spectators would prefer medals to points, and to test the water on changes to qualifying. (ANI)

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