International Motorsport Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt has stated the organisation is determined to maintain Formula One’s cost-cutting ethos amid concern from teams about an increase in expenditure for the 2014 season.
F1’s new V6 turbo engines are due to be introduced in 2014 and the initiative is likely to increase costs for customer deals. Indeed there are said to be concerns that those outfits with lower budgets may struggle to find more money amid the global economic downturn. The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council is due to meet on Friday and Todt has confirmed that the governing body is keen to undertake a co-operative stance with teams and engine manufacturers to attempt to help the situation.
“It is true that the (2014) package will be more expensive, but it is also true that the FIA has been in consultation with the engine suppliers in order to reduce the cost increase,” he told Autosport. “For example we have already agreed to a reduction in the number of power units. From eight per driver per season in 2012, we will reduce this to five per driver in 2014 and to four per driver per season in 2015.”
Todt staged a meeting with F1’s teams following last month’s Monaco Grand Prix which was dedicated to the sport’s general costs situation. He said that efforts to finalise a Resource Restriction Agreement are ongoing behind closed doors. “We are discussing this as we have been asked by 10 of our 12 teams to control costs,” Todt added. “The FIA’s chief administrative officer Damien Clermont is talking to the financial heads of all the 12 teams in F1 concerning the chassis costs and with all engine manufacturer for the engine costs. This follows the meeting with all the teams I called on the Monday after the Monaco GP.”
Todt’s comments come after Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo called for immediate action to address the issue of the sport’s costs. “The world economic situation and that of Europe in particular, is very serious and the world of Formula One cannot ignore the fact,” he told Ferrari’s official website earlier this week. “We cannot lose any more time: we need to tackle urgently and with determination the question of costs. Ferrari is in agreement with the FIA’s position that drastic intervention is required.”
The Ferrari president added: “We are absolutely convinced that, as I have always said, the teams and the commercial rights holder must work together with the Federation on this front. This is no longer the moment for getting bogged down in sterile discussions or the meanderings of engineers, usually only concerned in defending the interests of someone or other: the question has to be tackled at the highest level, without further delay.”