Whitmarsh gets F1 consultancy role with FIA

16/01/2018
NEWS STORY

While Liberty Media's buy-out of Formula One has seen numerous 'blasts from the past' brought back to the sport as its new owners seek to to-shape, re-package and re-build the sport - not least technical boss Ross Brawn - it would appear that the bug has now spread to the sport's governing body, the FIA.

As F1 looks to the future and the need to cut costs, most likely by introducing a budget cap, former McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has been recruited in a consultancy role.

Whitmarsh left McLaren in 2014 after 25 years with the company, when Ron Dennis opted to return to the hot seat.

Since then much of his time has been spent as chief executive of Ben Ainslie's America's Cup challenge as well as a place on the Global Advisory Board of Formula E.

Confirming the move, an FIA spokesman said: “Whitmarsh has accepted an invitation to work with the FIA on a temporary basis in order to support it in defining financial regulations for fair and sustainable competition in the FIA F1 world championship.”

The appointment comes as Liberty, the FIA and the teams look ahead to 2020 which sees the end of the current engine formula and Concorde Agreement.

While the initial proposals for the engine formula have already upset some of the manufacturers, most notably Ferrari, it is the plans for the financial side of the sport that look set to cause the most friction.

In addition to reigning in costs and spending, Liberty is seeking to level the playing field in terms of giving the teams a more equal share of the prize pot, a move that would see the end of the bonuses paid to selected teams.

Having spent so much time on the other side of the fence - a poacher turned gamekeeper much like Ross Brawn - Whitmarsh understands the need for a curb on spending but is also aware that the team are only out for themselves.

The teams will hear the latest proposals from Liberty when the Strategy Group gathers on Thursday.

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Published: 16/01/2018
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