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Briatore: F1 'worth much less' without big name teams

Just a day on from Renault having joined the bunch of teams threatening to quit over the FIA's contentious £40 million optional budget cap, Flavio Briatore has gone on the offensive in blasting that 'whoever has €20 million or €25 million should not be able to operate a Formula 1 team' and claiming that 'without big, important names Formula 1 is worth much less'.

Renault's statement that it too will not be lodging an entry form for 2010 should the governing body refuse to back down over its unpopular new initiative – one that it is feared will engender a 'two-tier' system within the top flight of haves and have-nots – brings the number of potential absentees next season to six, with Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso and BMW-Sauber all similarly staunchly opposed to the cap.

Though the Enstone-based outfit's managing director Briatore has long been in favour of cost-cutting within what is the world's most glamorous and expensive sport, he argues that the step introduced by FIA President Max Mosley is too much, too soon, with some teams currently spending in the region of £150 million to £200 million a year.

The Italian has been outspoken in his criticism of the FIA for failing to adequately consult competitors over the drastic changes, and contended that not only will the move likely result in the exit of many of F1's biggest names, but it will also open the door to outfits that are not genuinely of a high-enough standard.

“Whoever has €20 million or €25 million should not be able to operate a Formula 1 team,” the 59-year-old told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. “If we make that possible, the brand will be worth nothing. It would be like seeing discount stores suddenly established on an exclusive shopping street.

“Without big, important names – and Ferrari is one of them – Formula 1 is worth much less. I could imagine that FOTA (the Formula One Teams' Association) – not in 2010, but starting from 2011 – will agree with the FIA on a minimum sum per year, that is obligatory for all the teams. A brutal solution, that is before us at the moment, doesn't have a chance.”

FOTA has called for 'urgent' talks with Mosley on the matter ahead of next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, with a mooted boycott of the 29 May deadline by which all entrants must sign up to the 2010 championship.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal, Brazilian F1, Interlagos, 19th-21st, October, 2007
Red Bull R13, car launch, [Credit: Red Bull]
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Toro Rosso unveils new look STR12
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Red Bull R13, car launch, [Credit: Red Bull]
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McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]

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Robsy - Unregistered

May 14, 2009 2:47 PM

Yes, Flav can be a motormouth, but there is value in what he is saying. I don't buy the argument that because F1 survived the loss of Lotus, Brabham etc in the past that we'll survive this. That was a different era, when the sport wasn't the huge global spectacle than Bernie has made it. It's a different beast now, and to lose so many names recognised by 'the man in the street' in one go will eviscerate the sport. Bernie must be cacking himself, and while I find that concept amusing in itself, I'm not looking forward to a 2010 where Williams, Brawn and Mclaren look at the rest of the grid, the empty stands and the absent cameras and wonder why they bothered turning up too.

dave - Unregistered

May 14, 2009 1:22 PM

F1 is all about egos, from the team managers, through the drivers, to Bernie & Max. The point is in all of this they seem to have forgotten about the fans, without whom there would be significantly less money for all concerned, TV revenues, entrance fees, merchandising etc. F1 is supposed to be at the forefront of technology, with a level playing field for all. There will always be teams with more money in every sport but the rules should be the same for all. Give more points for a win, make engines & gearboxes last longer and limit the amount of fuel..........this will help control costs. I cannot see the budget cap being workable/controllable and more peole will be unemployed!

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