Finding the best way to comply with the FIA's demands for a ceiling to be placed on the cost of competing in Formula One is going to need substantial work, three team bosses have admitted in Bahrain.

Speaking in Friday's official press conference, Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, Red Bull's Christian Horner and Renault's Flavio Briatore all agreed that simply slashing the amount of money each team was allowed to spend on their F1 programme was not the best way forward, as there are elements that cannot easily be accommodated by the model. Domenicali, however, confirmed that talks were underway among the teams, via FOTA, with a view to going back to the FIA with proposals of their own.

"What we can say is that we have replied to the president of the FIA, as FOTA, that our intention is to discuss, for sure, this item in our next meeting," he reported, "We will come back to him as soon as we have had this meeting.

"It is a very strategic point for the future of all the teams, and for the future of all the constructors, so we need to detail all the points that are connected to the budget cut. In all fairness, I think that you should already know that we, as Ferrari, don't like completely the approach of the budget cuts as we feel that there are a couple of things that need to be addressed, that are difficult to manage and police and it is important to make sure that certain things are pretty well covered. But, at the end of the day, we agree with the Federation that we need to cut down costs and this is a job that we have already started to do with FOTA.

"The other point connected to the budget cut situation is that I don't see how we can pass from one year to the other with a massive reduction as we have to consider that the constructor, at least with our situation, has a lot of things that he is doing and it is not possible to go straight away to certain figures."

Domenicali's views were shared by both Horner and Briatore, the former admitting that, naturally, 'the idea of a budget cap for an independent team is appealing', but echoing the belief that 'the devil is always in the detail'.

"The last thing we want is for the championship to be decided by accountants," the Red Bull boss confirmed, "It is important that we discuss it thoroughly within the association and work closely with the FIA on it - but the crucial aspect is that we absolutely need to reduce costs."

Briatore, meanwhile, remained committed to a cause he has champion, often vociferously, for several seasons. Revealing that his Renault team had reacted to the current economic situation by enforcing paycuts across the workforce - 'the top people: myself, Bob Bell and Pat Symonds, have taken a cut of 20 per cent, the second level have taken a cut of ten per cent and everybody else has taken a cut of five per cent - the Italian claimed that a budget cap was not something that could be implemented overnight, but had to be laid out over several seasons.

"We need to have a target for 2010, 2011, 2012," Briatore insisted, "It is very difficult to cut it dramatically in one year, but I am sure we are arriving in 2012 with the number that everybody will be happy. Again, like Ferrari, for me the budget cut is very difficult to put in place. I believe what we need to do is have a clear rule - like wind tunnel, like CFD, etc - and be sure the rule is black and white and everybody understands.

"If you are framing the rule, in a very tight frame, afterwards maybe it is possible to put the cut as well. But, cut or whatever solution we find, it needs to be a dramatic and drastic reduction of the costs. With this, we agree with the Federation and with Max Mosley and with everybody but, again, it is very difficult to do in one year. We need to have a target and, after that, we will work together with the Federation to achieve and control this target.

"It is something we will have to see in what way we control this budget so, in a way, we have the rule for the future. But it is not only 2012 as, in 2012, the work is not finished. We will have to look at 2014, 2015, but it is absolutely mandatory to have a big cut with the budget - and we need to work with FOTA and with the Federation to achieve that."

Briatore was also adamant that specific areas of the cars now needed to be targeted - even if his own team had admitted that the main bone of contention had been difficult to tame.

"We are in a situation where we are cutting a lot of tests, but what we need to do very quickly is to tackle the aerodynamics," he pointed out, "If you look at the engine, I believe it now represents eight to ten per cent of the total budget. Beforehand, everybody was talking about engines but, now, I believe that we are pretty much okay on engines. The cost of engines is really, really minimal with respect to the total budget.

"Again, everybody forgets that we need to tackle aerodynamics - as we promised Max. We tried to work on the budgets of aerodynamics but it was impossible. Our people came back and said it was very difficult. When you make a rule about the number of hours in the wind tunnel, numbers of teraflops in CFD, it's what we need to do, and afterwards the budget would go down.

"Reducing costs it quite complicated, however, because, at one point, I believe, at FOTA, we were looking for a unanimous agreement because I think it was a process we wanted to do together. The three teams you see here were really pushing for a very aggressive reduction of costs and some teams that are not here today were not part of the unanimous agreement. What we are doing now is just using a 70 per cent agreement in FOTA and I promise we will go very quickly."

However, maintaining a theme of recent weeks, where he has been outspoken about the Brawn GP operation, Briatore also squashed suggestions that team principal Ross Brawn had proposed ways of slashing aero costs quickly and effectively.

"We started discussions about cost reduction many years ago, when we were Benetton, and I never have the feeling that we have stopped pursuing cost reduction," he reflected, "I think that includes Ferrari as well, and also Red Bull, and I believe the first teams to be very aggressive about cost reduction were Renault and Ferrari together. I don't see Ross Brawn, with 1200 people, looking for cost reductions. Maybe we are talking about something else, but I don't see this aggression at Honda last year regarding cost cutting, even though they have thirty or forty per cent more people than us. I don't see this aggression from Ross Brawn."


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