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Page last updated at 21:33 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 22:33 UK

Button backs F1 budget cap plan


Budget caps good for F1 - Button

Formula One championship leader Jenson Button has backed the introduction of a £40m budget cap from 2010.

The cap is part of a raft of proposals to shake up F1 announced by governing body the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Thursday.

"For the manufacturers and the bigger teams I'm sure they don't want that, but for teams like Brawn we need that for the future," Button told BBC Sport.

"It's the way F1 has to go in the times that we are experiencing," he added.

F1 is dominated by manufacturers who are suffering in the global downturn with the result of slumping car sales, while Button's former team Japan's Honda pulled out of the sport in 2008.

We remain encouraged by the new rules

Prodrive chairman David Richards

"For the teams that are not manufacturers this is what we need," said Button speaking at the Sport Industry Awards for 2009.

"For us and Williams and a few other teams we'll be reasonably happy with the decision - it's going in the direction that we need it to."

However, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo claimed that the budget cap would result in a "fundamentally unfair and perhaps even biased" championship.

In a letter to FIA president Max Mosley, the Italian said: "Any controversy on the actual respect of the cost cap would undermine the image of F1 and could seriously damage any involved team."

He added that had "always been concerned" about the introduction of a budget cap "mainly because I consider that there are serious technical difficulties in making sure [it] can realistically be monitored".

F1 Mole

In reply, Mosley reiterated his fears that not acting to drastically cut costs in F1 could threaten the very future of the sport.

Teams are free to chose whether to be governed by the cap but those that opt out face certain restrictions.

Some teams are spending £160m each year and the proposed introduction of the budget cap has raised fears that F1 will become a two-tier sport.

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh wants a solution which "may or may not include a budget cap, but which ideally would not encompass a two-tier regulatory framework".

Those who comply with the budget cap will gain greater technical freedom and unlimited out-of-season testing.

The FIA is to allow three new teams to enter from next year and those that join and work within the cap will get money from the commercial rights holder, a proposal that was welcomed by Aston Martin and Prodrive chairman David Richards.

"We remain encouraged by the new rules which have the potential for a team to be commercially viable and competitive on a far more realistic budget," said Richards, who has expressed an interest in entering F1 in 2010.

Williams team owner Frank Williams also welcomed the salary cap introduction.

"Williams has supported the introduction of a budget cap since the idea was first put forward early in 2008," he said.

"Since then FOTA (the Formula One Teams' Association) has made tremendous steps forward on costs but the rationale for a budget cap has also grown even stronger.

"We would like to see all the teams operating to one set of regulations and under a budget cap in 2010 and that is the position we will be advocating within FOTA when we meet next week.

There is so much waste in F1 and it's the waste we have got to reduce

Former Jordan technical director Gary Anderson

"We understand that this will represent a serious challenge for some of the teams but we expect that FOTA will work together to find a unified and constructive way to take the FIA's initiative forward."

Gary Anderson, former technical director at the Jordan team, fears the budget cap could lead to job cuts.

"Obviously there are a few add-ons to that budget which I could see taking it up to about £60m and in reality that's the sort of money Force India and Toro Rosso are spending now," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's about time to try and put in some budget restrictions but there seems to be a bit of war going on between the FIA and the teams as to who has got the biggest muscles.

"I think putting budget caps on something is the wrong way. I would write a set of regulations that would bring everybody's budget down by 30-40%.

"There is so much waste in F1 and it's the waste we have got to reduce. What we don't want to do is put a budget cap on it to see manpower being lost."

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see also
F1 teams handed 40m budget cap
30 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Richards keen on Formula 1 return
23 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
McLaren given suspended race ban
29 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Renault reduce F1 staff salaries
24 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
Briatore concerned by budget rule
18 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Global crisis hits Renault team
16 Feb 09 |  Formula 1
ING to shed 7,000 jobs this year
26 Jan 09 |  Business
F1 stars may have to take pay cut
18 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
F1 unveils cost-cutting blueprint
12 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
05 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
Harsh reality catches up with F1
05 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
F1 begins talks over budget cap
31 Jan 08 |  Formula 1

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