F1 struggles with cost cuts

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The ongoing discussions about cost reduction in Formula 1 do not appear to have led to many firm decisions for 2009 and beyond, despite the insistence of most team bosses that within the Formula One Teams Association they have reached a consensus on the way forward.

Thus far the only rule change to be set in stone by the World Motor Sport Council is an increase in engine life from two to three races for 2009, something that will automatically mean teams require fewer units. In addition, testing is expected to be trimmed to just 15,000kms for the season, although that change has yet to be confirmed.

Team bosses met in London immediately after the Brazilian Grand Prix, but little appears to have come out of the meeting.

FIA president Max Mosley is insisting that engine supply deals should be capped at 5 million euros from 2010, and says that if the teams don’t come up with a workable plan a standard engine will be introduced.

“We’re trying to get the teams to save on the necessity to spend money to be competitive,” said Bernie Ecclestone. “I’m sure some of the board members are going to sit down and say ‘what are we spending this on?’ They’re still getting more coverage than they would elsewhere. Notwithstanding that, why do they need to spend? The answer is they don’t.”

Ecclestone is sceptical about the motives of some of the team principals involved in the FOTA discussions. “As always they are trying to manoeuvre it to what’s good for them,” he said. “You’re always going to get leading lights.”

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