It's claimed that at next week's meeting with the ten F1 teams that comprise the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), FIA President Max Mosley will unveil his own five-year plan aimed at finally putting the brakes on spending, particularly in light of the current global financial crisis, which has yet to fully hit the sport.
Among the measures Mosley is looking at:
According to The Times, in documents sent to the teams ahead of next week's meeting in Geneva, Mosley writes: "We are completely open to new ideas. The only preconditions are (i) that the costs of development, maintenance and unit production for the power train must be an order of magnitude lower than is currently the case and (ii) power trains must be available to independent teams at minimal cost."
The FIA is determined to cut costs, not merely due to the financial crisis, but because it insists that the results of much of the spending in F1 are never really noticed by the fans in the stands, and that the technological purity of the sport is not of interest to 'man down the pub'. Whereas, the huge resources required to put a car on the grid, not to mention the sport's attitude towards the environment, are.
Mosley's dream is that in time the cost of putting two cars on the grid will be equal to the television rights money paid by Formula One Management (FOM), particularly if all concerned agree to proposals whereby the ten teams receive an equal share of the money. If agreed, this would amount to around £40m - £50m per team, whereas at present some teams are spending more than three times that amount.
With an eyes on the fact that the global financial crisis, not to mention poor results on track could result in manufacturers holding back on budgets, or, far worse, withdrawing from the sport, Mosley warns: "There is now a real danger that, in some cases, these subsidies will cease. This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level. The FIA's view is that Formula One can only be healthy if a team can race competitively for a budget at or very close to what it gets from FOM."