Mosley and Ecclestone singing from different song sheets?


Not for the first time, the two men who run F1 appear to be singing from different song sheets.

Bernie Ecclestone claims to be confident that a buyer will be found and that the Honda F1 Team, albeit with a different name, will be on the grid in Melbourne.

Then again, in these difficult times it is unlikely that he would say anything else, were he selling a property or car he would hardly tell a prospective buyer that there had been no other offers. "You'll have to act quick mate, I had an Arab gentleman lookin' round this morning, flashing the cash, very interested he was...".

Max Mosley, on the other hand, remains dubious, and has admitted that he doesn't believe Jenson Button and the rest of the Brackley workforce, not to mention the numerous companies that supply parts for the team, will be saved by some mystery buyer who has suddenly decided they want to go F1 racing... not when they have had other opportunities to do so in the recent past... Jaguar, Toro Rosso and the twelfth team springing to mind.

Talking to the BBC, Mosley said: "I think it's going to be difficult (to find a buyer) because it would only really pay somebody to take over that team and run it if we get the costs down to the point where it's viable without a huge car manufacturer pouring in huge sums of money. And that's not going to be easy.

Keen not to dash the hopes of the 700+ plus whose future, whose homes and families, depend on a buyer being found, the FIA President quickly added: "On the other hand it's not impossible, and I'm optimistic.

"I'm optimistic we will get the costs down," he continued, "and if we can do that we've got a good chance. I was imagining that one of the manufacturers might drop out because the money that's been spent has been unsustainable for some time. But Honda, one of the best-managed companies in the whole motor industry, were not the people you would expect to stop."

Mosley and Ecclestone are both calling for costs to be cut, however, it should be noted that the F1 Supremo and his partners at CVC are constantly looking for more ways to extract more money from the sport, and make no secret of the fact that they are willing to sell its birthright to do so.

Mosley however, remains committed to bringing the sport back to financial reality, a cause he was championing long before the current global financial crisis.

The point about grand prix racing is that if the costs were brought back to a sensible level, which is what we are now trying to convince the teams to do, then it becomes a viable business, even in the current economic situation. But of course that means coming down from the current 200-300 million to 30-40 million, and that's a big change."

He remains convinced that Honda will not be the last manufacturer to leave F1, however he refuses to even hint at who he thinks might be the next to say, 'that's it, we're out of here!'

"It would be invidious of me to name the team that might be the one most likely to suddenly disappear. They all have different reasons why they might, but all of them are in a situation where they've either got a rich individual who's looking at whether he wants to go on spending that money, or they've got a big company who are looking to cut costs in every area.

"And when they look down the list of expenditures and see 200 million being spent on their Formula One team, it's very tempting to just draw a line through it."

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Published: 08/12/2008
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