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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 10:51 UK

F1 & Mosley to discuss cash cuts

FIA president Max Mosley
FIA president Mosley says F1 spending is out of control

Motorsport boss Max Mosley will meet Formula One teams next week to discuss new cost-cutting measures.

Mosley, president of the sport's world governing body, the FIA, says F1 must reduce costs by 2010 to stay "credible" amid a global financial crisis.

The meeting will take place in Geneva following this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

The F1 teams are having their own meetings in China to refine their proposals for the future of the sport.

These, which are being developed under the auspices of the newly formed F1 teams' association (Fota) are reported to include a ban on refuelling, shorter races and restrictions on testing.

Details of the FIA's proposals were leaked to The Times newspaper and Reuters news agency for publication on Wednesday.

Mosley, who is keen to ensure that the privateer teams can afford to compete, is targeting huge savings in the power-train - the group of components that generate power and transfer it to the track, including the engine and gearbox.

He has put forward three different ideas.

606: DEBATE

The first is a standard engine produced by a supplier, with current engine makers free to build their own to the same design. The road-car manufacturers in F1 have made it clear they are opposed to this idea.

A second option is for a teams' consortium to obtain a low-cost engine.

And a third, which was initially the idea of Fota, would result in independent teams receiving a complete power-train for less than 5 million euros (3.9m) a season.

The FIA is also trying to widen the adoption of standard parts, to include suspension and wheels and other expensive parts, which "add nothing to the spectacle or to the public interest of F1."

Many of the proposals will be seen as anathema to the teams in that they diverge hugely from the philosophy under which F1 has thrived - that of independent teams designing and building their own cars.

The FIA is keen to cut back costs in areas "which the public cannot see" such as telemetry rather than visible elements such as refuelling.

Mosley's leaked letter to the teams also proposed a new engine formula for 2013, stipulating a "modern high-technology" power-train with a more compact engine using exhaust energy and heat recovery systems.

Max wants to leave a legacy in motorsport that is not related to his personal life, it's a sporting one

Ian Phillips
Force India commercial director

The FIA said it would enforce its own measures if no agreement was reached.

Mosley discussed the impact of the global financial crisis on F1 last week with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who heads up Fota.

Mosley believes the sport is already in danger of financially overstretching itself - and that the credit crunch and accompanying financial difficulties will only exacerbate the situation.

"It has become apparent, long before the current difficulties, that F1 was unsustainable," Mosley told the BBC in an exclusive interview on 7 October.

"At the moment we've got 20 cars. If we lost two teams, we would have 16. If we lost three teams we would have 14. It then would cease to be a credible grid."

Ian Phillips, commercial director of the Force India team, told BBC Radio 5 Live on Thursday: "F1 is always going to exist, that's for sure, but a redressing of the balance has been overdue for some time.

"Probably for five years we've been overspending and it's time to pull back.

"Everybody needs to do it every now and again and the credit crunch has brought it to a head.

"If it can be no later than 2010, if we know the brakes are going to be applied, I think we can survive until then."

Felipe Massa's Ferrari leads the field at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix
Mosley says F1 could lose teams if action is not taken to cut costs

Phillips, who has known Ecclestone and Mosley for more than 30 years, said Mosley was trying to carve a legacy that would divert attention away from the sex scandal that enveloped him this year.

The News of the World revealed in March that Mosley, the son of British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, had taken part in a sado-masochistic orgy with five prostitutes.

He successfully sued the newspaper over claims that the orgy had a Nazi theme and won a vote of confidence from the FIA membership in June

He is now taking his challenge to privacy laws to the European Court of Human Rights.

"Max wants to leave a legacy in motorsport that is not related to his personal life, it's a sporting one," said Phillips.

"And if he carries through what he says he's going to do - and I have no doubt in my mind that he will do - then he will have left a legacy for the sport."

Mosley and Ecclestone's standard tactic when they want to introduce rule changes is to pursue a divide-and-conquer approach.

They make a proposal they know the teams will disagree on and use the lack of consensus to push through the rules they want.

They may also be motivated by a wish to destabilise Fota - sources have told BBC Sport that Ecclestone and Mosley are uncomfortable with the idea of the teams taking a united front and possibly using it to fight them.

Another tactic F1's bosses have used in the past is to propose something outlandish that they know the teams will reject and disagree on. Then, after months of rancour, they settle on a diluted version of the original proposal, which is more palatable to the teams.




see also
Central banks cut interest rates
08 Oct 08 |  Business
'Major global downturn' says IMF
08 Oct 08 |  Business
Mosley wants action to 'save' F1
07 Oct 08 |  Formula One
Mosley plans European Court bid
07 Oct 08 |  UK News
Canada dropped from F1 calendar
08 Oct 08 |  Formula One
'Vindicated' Mosley returns to F1
13 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Mosley urges F1 cost & fuel cuts
04 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Mosley wins court case over orgy
24 Jul 08 |  UK News
Mosley stays on as FIA president
03 Jun 08 |  Formula One


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