FIA president Max Mosley has said he believes budget-capping is enforceable within F1 and has given an indication of the scale of the savings the FIA are hoping to achieve.
As of 2009, teams will have certain aspects of their expenditure capped although engines, marketing, promotion and salaries will not fall under the capping regulations. Most Formula 1 team bosses have expressed their support for the scheme believing it is a much better way forward than tightening technical regulations and limiting certain development. However, some are concerned that the budget capping scheme may be difficult to enforce and there is a lot of scope for fancy accounting and money re-routing to disguise where money is really being spent.
Mosley has explained that the FIA are looking at setting up a new department of around 30 people who will help to enforce the budget capping. They will also be looking at issues raised such as how benefits in kind between sister teams are taken into consideration.
“Ideally I want to bring budgets back to where they were in the early 1990s,â€ Mosley explained. “The total turnover of all the F1 teams is between two and three billion euros I will be disappointed if we can t halve that.â€
Dave Richards of Prodrive is one of the detractors of the scheme and he believes that there should be better technical regulations to keep costs in check as it is doubtful as to whether budget capping is truly workable.
“I don’t believe it is going to work,” he told Autosport. “I don’t think it is a viable proposition. I have seen it in Australia where it has been abandoned. Maybe it plays to my strengths because I started life as an accountant, but I got out of accountancy to go into motor racing and I don’t want to go back there.
I think budget capping is an excuse for poor technical regulations. With proper technical controls, you should be able to manage the costs of F1. It is also about sporting regulations as well.
“It is a bit like a government trying to control a situation through measures that are inappropriate. At the end of the day, you should make sure in motor sport that there is a level playing field as best you can. But you cannot fight market forces and try and artificially influence that the best guys aren’t going to come to the front.”