FIA President Max Mosley has again unleashed a stinging attack on what he perceives to be Formula 1's 'predominant culture of wastefulness', as he re-iterated his contention that teams should be subject to a budgetary limit to prevent any more from following Honda out of the exit door.
The Japanese manufacturer sent shock waves through the sport and set alarm bells ringing when it announced three months ago that it was withdrawing its support with immediate effect, a consequence of falling car sales precipitated by the current global credit crunch and poor on-track return for its considerable, reputed £147 million investment in 2008.
Mosley has previously suggested that if it continues in the same vein as it has done over the past decade, F1 is 'unsustainable', and the radical cost-cutting measures that the governing body has implemented ahead of the 2009 season have been designed to address that by significantly reducing expenditure – and in so doing safeguard the future of the top flight.
The Englishman has made clear his preference for a budget cap to be imposed upon the teams, as all involved feel the increasing pinch of the economic downturn and begin to re-assess their priorities. There are fears that the continued participation of such as Toyota, Renault and even BMW and Mercedes-Benz is far from assured.
“There is a predominant culture of wastefulness,” the 68-year-old told German magazine Spiegel
. “The endeavour for success has succeeded over any kind of financial discipline. Formula 1 is becoming ridiculous.
“Costs must continue to be radically reduced by limiting the opportunities for technical innovation. Maybe we could even turn things around completely and grant technical freedom while imposing limits to the budgets.
“The shares of Daimler are at an all-time low, and Renault's are just over the €10 mark. What happens when people have to be made redundant? Can it still be justified investing so much money in Formula 1?
“Nobody can rule out the possibility of having a fax land on the desk of a racing team's headquarters in the morning saying 'Sorry, that's it'.”