FIA prepares to get tough on costs 15 Sep 2005
Formula One racings governing body, the FIA, says it is reviewing the sports draft 2008 regulations with a view to eliminating unnecessary and excessive expenditure after teams failed to come up with satisfactory cost-cutting proposals.
According to the FIA, new teams are planning to join the grid in 2008, but will only be able to do so if annual budgets - currently as much as US$360 million per year for top teams - are cut. The FIA is aiming for a figure of close to US$120 million.
The FIA says its aim is ensure that the Formula One World Championship continues with a mixture of independent teams and manufacturers, all competing on an equal footing in the traditional way.
The governing body is now confident it will be able to publish the 2008 regulations shortly and that they will include realistic (but still high) budgets, close racing (including much easier overtaking) and interesting but relevant technology.
Full statement from the FIA:
On Monday, the FIA received a response from a number of teams present at the meeting in Milan on August 31. Although constructive in tone, it contains nothing new. In particular it makes no proposal for reducing costs.
New teams intending to apply to enter the Championship in 2008 have all made it clear that they can do so only if costs are greatly reduced. Current teams which are already committed for 2008 fully agree. Accordingly the FIA is now reviewing the draft 2008 regulations with a view to eliminating unnecessary and excessive expenditure while continuing to allow technology which is road-relevant and interesting to the public.
The target is to reduce the budget of a top team from the current 300m+ ($360m+) to around 100m ($120m). A budget of 100m ($120m) for two cars for one season is still a vast amount of money when compared to any other form of motor racing.
The FIA Formula One World Championship has always relied on independent teams. Its rules must allow them to survive and prosper. If major manufacturers wish to participate (and at least three are expected in 2008), so much the better. However the duty of the FIA is clear: it must ensure that the Formula One World Championship continues with a mixture of independent teams and manufacturers, all competing on an equal footing in the traditional way.
If some of the manufacturers wish to run a private series with unlimited expenditure, the FIA will give them every assistance. It would be an interesting experiment, but too risky for the Formula One World Championship. Costs would almost certainly rise above even current Formula One levels and all teams would require full manufacturer support. Such support is unlikely to continue indefinitely.
The FIA is now confident that it will shortly be able to publish rules for the 2008 Formula One World Championship which give realistic (but still high) budgets, close racing (including much easier overtaking) and interesting but relevant technology. The result will be a 2008 Formula One World Championship with 12 teams, 24 cars and greater public interest than ever.