FOTA bosses give some cost cutting insight.


While the FIA claims that a new Concorde Agreement will be signed next week, some of the teams that comprise FOTA have shed light on the teams' alliance's proposals for cost cutting.

Unhappy with the FIA's proposals, the FOTA teams said they would come up with their own package as they attempt to bring spending down to 1990s levels by the end of 2011.

Talking about the new Concorde Agreement, Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali said: "I think that we are progressing. I think that we are very, very close to reaching a solution.

"As always with such a complexity," he continued, "the closer you get to the goal, the more everyone is trying to squeeze or to find different things around it but I am optimistic that before the August break everything will be sorted out."

Toro Rosso's Franz Tost (right) revealed that under FOTA's proposals from next season only three major aerodynamic upgrades would be allowed once the season is underway.

"Front wings, rear wings. They are homologated," he said. "You can bring out three new modifications, the floor as well, the monocoque, also only one crash structure. That means that FOTA has worked out quite a good programme where we are convinced that we can reduce costs."

"Teams have already reduced budgets this year by between fifteen and thirty percent," added Red Bull's Christian Horner, "and I think that there will be further significant savings through the resource restrictions that are planned to be implemented.

"We'll even be restricted on the number of people that we potentially plan to take to a race circuit next year," he added. "I think Formula One has reacted responsibly. It has moved to get its costs under control. It's positive to see three new teams entered for next year which would have been impossible, I think, without the resource restrictions that will be introduced."

Asked if the plans will mean further lay-offs, Domenicali was eager to stress that at this stage the reduction in personnel applied to those attending the races.

"We are working on a situation in order to reduce the number of people at races," he said. "All the other things are related to something that we will exploit internally because everyone has their own organisation, so we cannot say that everyone is doing the same thing as the others. But for sure what we are aiming at now is to look at the number of people that attend races."

However, as far as engines are concerned there is still a certain amount of uncertainty. While the rules permit 8 engines this season, it is understood that this will be reduced to 5 in 2010.

"The closer that you get to signatures on a document that also has to incorporate sporting and technical regulations from the baseline, and for sure this is not a point that is 100 percent clear," admitted Norbert Haug. "This is the current situation. I think this is one of the most important points that we need to clear up."

"The engine is a very special issue," he continued. "If you look back two years, an engine lease was four times as much money as it will be next year, and I think that's quite remarkable. FOTA worked on that. I stress, this is a FOTA idea and of course you need to be in a position to produce these engines, so I think that's a really perfect fix and something that is a very special price. I don't think that three years ago anybody could have imagined that this would have happened. In our case, we will spend thirty percent less money as Mercedes Benz than we did last year and this is just the beginning. I'm sure we can improve much more and these resource restrictions are really the way to go and we are very restrictive.

"These guys put a lot of work into that, much, much more than I did. Martin Whitmarsh, for example, worked flat out and there was a great atmosphere and I think this is the new style of Formula One. You are competitors on the race track but you work together next to the race track and this is really happening, and I think this is a very, very positive development.

"I think FOTA will improve further and be open, help the media to get the job done and so on and so on and this is not singing a song, this is what we want to do, step by step, what we want to develop, because some things can just be improved and we need to make sure that the spectators like our sport even more, so more interesting races, and so on and so on and there are quite a few ideas and a very constructive co-operation between the teams."

With in-season testing banned this season, the FOTA teams are looking ahead to next year: "I think that the testing for next year is being worked on at the moment within the sporting working group," said Horner, "and it will be 15 days of common testing between the teams prior to the season and obviously we then have the three young driver days."

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Published: 25/07/2009
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