The FIA has stated that it isn't surprised to see BMW announce that it is to withdraw from F1 at the end of the season, although the governing body has hit out at resistance from the teams that it feels could have prevented the move.
BMW revealed this morning [Wednesday] that it was to follow Honda in walking away from the sport after a meeting of the board took the decision to focus on motorsport activities with a more direct link to its production car activities.
In a statement issued following the press conference in Munich, the FIA said it regretted the decision taken by the BMW board with the announcement further proof of the need to bring down the costs involved in the sport.
The governing body also hit out at team principals for the 'strong opposition' to its proposed cost cutting measures as the 'withdrawal of BMW and further such announcements in the future might have been avoided'.
“The FIA regrets the announcement of BMW's intended withdrawal from Formula One but is not surprised by it,” the statement read. “It has been clear for some time that motor sport cannot ignore the world economic crisis. Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula One when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer.
“This is why the FIA prepared regulations to reduce costs drastically. These measures were needed to alleviate the pressure on manufacturers following Honda's withdrawal but also to make it possible for new teams to enter.
“Had these regulations not been so strongly opposed by a number of team principals, the withdrawal of BMW and further such announcements in the future might have been avoided.”
Despite the loss of a second manufacturer team in around eight months, the FIA added that the cost-cutting measure that have
now been agreed would reduce the chances of further teams following BMW out of the sport while continuing to make F1 attractive to new entrants.
“As a result of a sustained cost-cutting campaign by the FIA, new measures are in the process of being agreed which should make it easier for new teams to enter and enable existing ones to participate on much reduced budgets,” the statement continued. “It is no secret that these measures do not go as far as the FIA would have liked but a compromise was needed in the interests of harmony in the sport. Hopefully it will be enough to prevent further withdrawals and provide a solid foundation for Formula One.
“As the guardian of the sport, the FIA is committed to ensuring that Formula One remains financially sustainable for all competing teams and it will always act to ensure that this remains the case.”