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Mosley: Budget cap would have worked
22 October 2012
Former FIA president Max Mosley has resurfaced in the past few days, insisting that his plans to cut spending in F1 by means of a capped budget for every team would have been successful had he been allowed to implement it.
Mosley, who has been spearheading a right to privacy campaign after having aspects of his personal life exposed in the British tabloids, maintains that proposals he put forward for consideration at a time when F1 needed to seriously rein in its rate - and cost - of consumption would have worked, despite prompting threats of a breakaway series being touted in opposition. The timing of his exposure, however, undermined his stance, and ultimately allowed the teams to implement their own means of restricting spending in the shape of the controversial Resource Restriction Agreement.
"[The budget cap] would've worked," Mosley told Sky Sports F1, "It would've been completely feasible. What stopped it was I couldn't push it through. I ought to have been able to say to Ferrari, 'you can enter or not enter, but these are rules'. But I couldn't do that because, when I had that problem with the newspaper, the two teams that stood by me were Williams and Ferrari.
"So it sort of went into the long grass and, by 2009, some of the richer teams had seen that, if you were a rich team and the other seven or nine were poor, you had less competition."
The fall-out between Mosley and the teams, which occurred over more than just cost-cutting, eventually prompted to reformation of FOTA - the Formula One Teams' Association - which saw an unprecedented unity between the competitors last for a couple of seasons, only for the need to formulate and sign up to a new Concorde Agreement cast rifts again. Ferrari and Red Bull, followed by partners Toro Rosso and Sauber, have since left FOTA, weakening its position.
"The thing is the teams are competing with each other and I don't see how they will ever get together in the common interest," Mosley concluded, "That's the function of the governing body. It should be the governing body, for example, that imposes the Resource Restriction Agreement. Are you [as a team] actually going to sue Red Bull if you think they've spent too much?"
Mosley also called for his successor as FIA president, former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, to take a stronger stance on the subject of cost-cutting.
"He's got a completely different style, [but] how effective it is, you can't really tell," he continued, ""Sometimes you've got to be a bit confrontational. Back in 2003, when the teams would not agree about costs, I just said 'we're just going to stop the qualifying engines and qualifying cars and we're going to have a parc ferme at six o'clock'. The teams went berserk, but it was the right thing to do and now people agree about not having qualifying cars and engines.
"[Todt]'s still in his first mandate and, if he goes on, then we'll start to see [what direction he takes]. At the moment, maybe he's a little bit too reluctant to confront. He seeks consensus, [and] it's good to have consensus, but sometimes you've got to get them to just do something."
Todt, meanwhile, has said that he does not intend to adopt a dictatorial style of leadership, although he admits that the teams needed to come up with some radical ideas when it came to controlling their spending, despite being the architect of the new-for-2014 engine regulations which will cause the teams to incur greater expenditure.
“For me, the FIA must have a bigger impact, not erosion,” he told the Financial Times on the eve of a major meeting between the teams, FIA and FOM designed to thrash out details of the new Concorde Agreement, “I'm not a dictator trying to control, [but] it makes me smile when I read that we are going to lose control. I will never allow things which are under our responsibility to be dealt with by anybody else.
“Sometimes [adapting to a changing world] is a downside of F1. People live in their little environment, in their little kingdom, and they don't see what is happening. But the world is changing . We must be ambassadors of the sport, ambassadors of the industry. Is it correct to use 80 or 90 litres for 100km? I don't think it's correct. I will expect more drastic proposals to reduce the costs."