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GP Week : Issue 158
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo this week added his voice to the growing roster of high profile F1 figures calling for greater cost control measures within the sport. “The world economic situation and that of Europe in particular, is very serious and the world of Formula One cannot ignore the fact,” di Montezemolo told the Ferrari website. “We cannot lose any more time: we need to tackle urgently and with determination the question of costs. Ferrari is in agreement with the FIA's position that drastic intervention is required. “We are absolutely convinced that, as I have always said, the teams and the commercial rights holder must work together with the Federation on this front,” the Ferrari president continued. “This is no longer the moment for getting bogged down in sterile discussions or the meanderings of engineers, usually only concerned in defending the interests of someone or other: the question has to be tackled at the highest level, without further delay.” Discussions on cost-cutting have been on-going for quite some time, as shortcoming in the Resource Restriction Agreement saw FOTA weakened by the departure of two of its most high profile teams following disagreements over the RRA. The FIA met with the teams on the Monday following the Monaco Grand Prix to discuss cost-cutting, although the details of that meeting have yet to be revealed. “I wasn’t at the meeting, but it’s true that the teams are trying hard to ensure the sustainability and the good health of Formula One going for wards,” said McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale. “This isn’t just for the teams but also for the fans and the engine manufacturers. “The progress that’s been made over the last few years for agreements such as the Resource Restriction Agreement have gone a long way towards achieving this. It’s right that we stand on the cusp of changing the regulations. It’s continually under review and it’s right we’re in health for the next five years. So there are broad discussions going on at the moment but everything still has to go through the proper channels and be agreed by all the teams. I can’t comment more than that.” The smaller teams have long supported cost controls in Formula One, with Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn saying in April: “I think that we should have the next step already in place for next season and take it from there. Next season for me should already see a major step for ward in the financial feasibility of a team. When the current Concorde Agreement comes to an end at the end of this season, I think it would be a good time to set some kind of rules.” Caterham Group Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne used the opportunity of a speech at the Caterham Science Festival to put for ward his arguments for the introduction of FIA-mandated budgetary restrictions in Formula One. “If you want to introduce a budget cap it’s got to be a ramped thing because you have teams out there spending €200 million to €300 million a year and you’ve got others doing it on €70 million,” Gascoyne said. “If you just say ‘everyone has to work off €80 million,’ that’s not going to work. You’ve always got the problem of inherent selfishness from the teams; [the top teams] have got the money and they want to spend it. Ultimately you are going to have to impose it and get it through because you are never going to get agreement. “Interestingly you have now got Montezemolo at Ferrari saying ‘we need to seriously reduce costs’; you could be cynical and say, ‘He’s not winning’ and then you look at Red Bull, who have been winning and they don’t want to change anything. That’s always the way in F1, you’ll never get agreement. So to bring something like that in, I believe the FIA is going to have to impose it for the good of the sport.” CALL TO CUT COSTS BECOMES DEAFENING ROAR EDITOR: Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITORS: Naoise Holohan, Kate Walker F1 ANALYST: Peter Windsor MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott email@example.com RALLY EDITOR: Martin Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION ARTIST: Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHY: Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Emily Davenport PUBLISHER: Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED BY: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n Gaye Grinsted (WRC/MotoGP) email@example.com Ph: +44 (0) 207 254 8796 Mob: +44 (0) 7921 283 070 n Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org n SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK 4 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS