19 April 2014
F1 teams set for emergency talks over costs
The F1 teams are set to have showdown talks on May 1 about the proposed cost cap implementation and the sport's governance
The F1 teams are set to have showdown talks on May 1 about the proposed cost cap implementation after the FIA said the plan had been scrapped.
FIA president Jean Todt said during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend that the cost cap would no longer be introduced because the six teams on the Strategy Group were all opposed to the idea. However, in a letter seen by Crash.net, four of the teams not on the Strategy Group – Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia – have written to Todt to express their concern over both cost capping and the wider governance of the sport.
With Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Williams on the Strategy Group and able to influence decisions about the future of the sport, those teams not represented believe the structure to be unfair, with some teams being favoured over others and abusing their positions of power.
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn confirmed that talks would be taking place and said the sport has even gone beyond crisis point.
“I think actually we reached that point long ago, it's not really that it's just happened now,” Katlenborn said. “It's just that maybe some of us maybe have voiced our opinions that we don't agree with the way that it's currently going.
“What is commonly known – particularly from the FIA's side – is that there was a meeting of all the teams at the beginning of this year. Following that, there was a press release from the FIA clearly stating that that budget cap has been agreed in principle and everybody was in agreement with this as well as generally reducing costs.
“So we fail to understand in the process where suddenly – which we've just heard over the media – that the budget cap is being rejected. We have never been informed officially, we know it through the media. So I think we had to react and that's what we did.”
Ahead of the talks, Kaltenborn said the teams will only be hurting themselves if action is not taken imminently.
“We've spoken enough I think. The time has long gone that we should have made a decision but it's never too late. If you just look at the show and the fantastic races we have had, nobody can say this is an outdated product or this is something that people are not keen on. We are still a fantastic platform but we are just going to ruin ourselves if we don't act here, and people expect us to act.”
Following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Marrakech last week, the FIA confirmed a meeting of all the teams would take place in the coming weeks.
"The FIA, the Commercial Rights Holder (CRH), and all the F1 Teams have recently confirmed their commitment to work on cost reduction," an FIA statement read. "Accordingly, the FIA President Jean Todt and the CRH Bernie Ecclestone will organise a meeting with all the F1 Teams on 1 May 2014, followed by a F1 Strategy Group meeting, to clarify the means to achieve a substantial F1 Team cost reduction."
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