Di Montezemolo buoyed by FIA-FOTA collaboration

tt 2006ferrarichallenge 36lgLuca di Montezemolo, president of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), says he is delighted with the way the teams and the FIA are working together to reduce costs in Formula One and secure the future of the sport.

The teams met with FIA president Max Mosley in Monaco on Wednesday and agreed on wide-ranging proposals to slash costs and secure the future of Formula One amid the global financial downturn.

The details of these proposals have yet to be made public but a reduction in testing and restrictions on aerodynamic development are believed to be on the agenda. The cost of one lap of testing, including the use of fuel, tyres, brake pads and other key parts is estimated to be over $1,200 and in 2005 the teams spent a combined $500 million on testing alone.

Di Montezemolo says he is encouraged at the level of collaboration between the two parties to reduce costs as the global economic climate continues to take its toll on the motoring industry.

“I am very glad about the climate of enormous collaboration at the meeting,” he said in a statement on Thursday. “There is a common sense of the difficult moment of our sport. Yesterday we could see the great responsibility of all the participants.

“The world-wide economical crisis and the enormous increase of costs in Formula One over the last years lead the FIA and its President to give a strong and right impulse to cut costs as of 2010 to get our sport back into acceptable economical dimensions, so all teams will be able to participate.

“The answer we could find was beyond our all expectations. The extreme compactness, never seen before, and all the participant’s passion for this sport brought the FOTA members to go beyond the requests made by President Mosley, taking into account courageous proposals, while voting unanimously for a substantial reduction of costs already as of 2009, which will be the most difficult year for the world economy and for the automotive industry in particular.”

“The proposals presented to President Mosley, with Formula One’s DNA in mind – made of technology and sportiness – will enable us to drastically cut costs as of the upcoming season to have a complete new Formula One in the year 2012, projected into the future, distinguishing itself by an innovative spirit and great attention as far as the environment is concerned, but on economic levels as in the 90s, while maintaining the fascinating challenges, which is one of the factors why this sport is one of the most popular sports in the world.”

The proposals are expected to be approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council tomorrow.

“President Mosley appreciated our proposals, which will be examined tomorrow by the FIA World Motor Sport Council,” di Montezemolo added.

“We, as FOTA, will continue our work also in other areas, such as the race weekend format, and we want to determine the details for the upcoming years, bearing in mind the observations expressed by Mosley yesterday.

“I am extremely proud of the work FOTA has done so far; an association, which didn’t exist until last September and which united the teams, going beyond their rivalry, the salt of racing, but which could have been an obstacle on the way redesigning the future of Formula One.

“There is still much left to do, also because when we have a look at the economic side of the companies and not only the ones of the F1 teams, we have to consider the costs but also the earnings.

“In this sense yesterday we managed to agree with the FIA on the necessity to organize a meeting with FOM to discuss the earnings of the Formula One teams.”