Norbert Haug, the head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, has insisted that Formula One teams need to cut costs by at least 50 per cent to ensure the series remains financially solid.

Haug was speaking after Friday's announcement that Honda is to withdraw from the sport due to the current global economic situation, with the withdrawal coming just a day after the Formula One Teams' Association held its most recent meeting to discuss ways to cut costs in F1.

That meeting saw the teams' put together a raft of ideas that it will now discuss with FIA president Max Mosley, but Haug insisted that any cost cutting measures had to be drastic to ensure that the sport remained financially viable.

"Within the Formula One Teams' Association we're working very hard on measures to cut costs, and over the next two years we must achieve cuts of at least 50 percent," Haug was quoted by Reuters. "Our Formula One involvement is built on financially solid foundations and is in large part financed by our sponsoring partners.

"[Honda's] pullout is very sad. It only shows how important the cost-cutting measures are that we've been advocating for more than five years, and which have only been realised to a small degree.

"Mercedes-Benz's contribution is cost-efficient, the resonance in the media and in the public which last season and Lewis Hamilton's win generated was worth many times our financial investment."

BMW meanwhile also stated that Honda's decision would have no bearing on its own involvement in Formula One.

"F1 involvement is an integral part of the company strategy," board member Klaus Draeger said. "There is no better platform than Formula One for demonstrating our brand values. BMW, moreover, makes targeted use of the Formula One project as a technology accelerator for series production.

"With the BMW Sauber F1 Team, we have from the start focused on high efficiency and have achieved our successes with a compact and powerful team. The cost-benefit ratio is commensurately positive."

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