FIA president Max Mosley is looking to further cut costs in Formula 1. Last week, Mosley sent a letter to all team principals stating it made no sense for so much money to be spent on improving cars when it added nothing to the excitement of the sport.
Mosley s letter has come after the FIA introduced several cost-cutting measures including the parc ferme restrictions and the long-life engines, however neither of these cost-cutting measures have had the desired effect of persuading the teams to spend less money.
In the letter, Mosley also states that the current discussions between the team principals over the new Concorde Agreement and the money being given to teams is futile if they were going to waste any of the extra money on even more technology.
Formula One’s vast profits are currently being wasted on pointless exercises for the private entertainment of the teams’ engineers,” Mosley s letter said. “As a result, several independent teams are losing money when they should be making a profit, while car manufacturers are forced to spend excessively. This is the problem which needs to be addressed.
“If it did not waste money on pointless, hidden and duplicated technology, Formula One would be an immensely profitable business. Each department would be a valuable franchise. Instead it is living on subsidies from the car industry and hand-outs from friendly billionaires. Until the basic problem of costs has been resolved, time should not be wasted discussing how the FOM money is to be distributed. It is a secondary matter. The same applies to debating the level of technical co-operation allowed between teams.”
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Mosley attended a meeting of the team principals. There, the principals discussed the Concorde Agreement and new technologies such as the new standardized ECU and energy recovery systems. Some of the teams are looking for a delay in the introduction of the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) until 2011 however Mosley thinks this system is one of the few that should be left free for teams to develop.
“The technical contest has become enormously expensive,” Mosley remarked. “However, most of its elements are concealed from the public. Because they are concealed, even secret, these elements add nothing to the entertainment therefore the money spent on them is wasted, all the more so because work on these elements is duplicated in each of the 12 departments (the teams).
“It makes absolutely no sense to spend large sums on items which do not add to the entertainment, indeed often detract from it. It makes even less sense for each of 12 departments to carry out the same unnecessary work. No rational person would run a business in which 12 departments duplicate each other’s research work, still less if that work provides very little of the entertainment which underpins the business.
“Therefore all items on the cars which are not known, visible and understood by the public should be standardised and manufactured at minimal cost.
“The technical contest should be limited to items which are visible, understood and potentially useful – eg KERS. This would produce a huge reduction in costs without affecting the entertainment. Indeed the cars would be more equal, giving closer racing and better entertainment.”