28 October 2014
Max Mosley expects more F1 teams to fold
Ex-FIA president Max Mosley believes Caterham and Marussia won't be the last teams to exit F1 if the sport's spending split isn't addressed soon.
Former FIA president Max Mosley believes Formula 1 will see more teams drop out of the sport if measures are not taken soon to level the playing field between the biggest and smallest teams.
Speaking in the wake of Caterham and Marussia being placed into administration just days apart with three rounds of the 2014 F1 season remaining, Mosely says it has become too difficult for the smaller, lesser funded teams to survive in an increasingly expensive sport.
Mosely, who headed up motorsport's governing body between 1993 and 2009, was a keen advocate for the implementation of a budget cap in F1 but plans for one have been scuppered on more than one occasion.
With this in mind, Mosely feels Caterham and Marussia won't be the last teams to fold if F1 does not address the gulf in spending between privateer outfits and the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes, who spend in excess of £200 million a year – approximately three times more than Caterham and Marussia.
"It's not a fair competition anymore," Mosley said to BBC Radio 5 Live. "The big problem is that the big teams have so much more money than teams like Caterham and Marussia. In the end, they [Caterham and Marussia] were bound to drop off - and they may not be the last."
"From a sporting point of view, the sport should split the money equally and then let the teams get as much sponsorship as they can.
"A team like Ferrari will always get more sponsorship than Marussia, but if they all get the same basic money, then they all start on a level-playing field, particularly if you have a cost cap where you limit the amount of money each team is allowed to spend.
"I'm in favour of the greener engines. The mistake was not saying to the big manufacturers that you can spend as much as you want on research but the maximum you can charge per season is something like £3-4m instead of the £15-20m, which I believe it is now."
Caterham, Marussia (formerly known as Lotus and Virgin Racing) and Hispania Racing (HRT) – which folded in 2012 -, entered F1 in 2010 to swell the grid to 12 teams and 24 cars, though it took until Jules Bianchi's run to ninth place in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix for any to score points.
Should neither Caterham nor Marussia return, F1 is faced with nine teams and 18 cars for the 2015 season, which in turn could see the governing body revisit the idea of three-car teams to bolster grids.
Though Mosely believes the slimmed grid won't damage the sport in the meantime, he says F1 should at least be competing with 10-12 teams, rather than three-car teams.
"You should have 10-12 two-car teams and the rules should be arranged so that if someone is a really good engineer starting at the back, they can work their way up to the front."
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