Mosley, Ferrari chair agree on cost-cutting deal for smaller F1 teams

Updated: October 21, 2008, 7:28 PM ET
Associated Press

GENEVA -- The governing body of motorsports and Formula One reached a deal Tuesday to cap the cost of engines supplied to smaller teams as part of a plan to save money during the global financial crisis.

The deal was reached at a meeting between FIA president Max Mosley and Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who represented the newly founded Formula One Teams Association, or FOTA.

"Today's meeting in Geneva has produced significant cost savings for 2009 and 2010. FOTA are working urgently on further proposals for 2010 and thereafter," FIA said in a two-sentence statement.

FIA spokesman Richard Woods declined to provide further details, but officials with three of the teams told The Associated Press that the cost of engines supplied to independent teams will be limited to $13.2 million a year. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not yet been officially announced.

The change would mean smaller teams such as Force India, Red Bull and Toro Rosso will receive 25 engines a season, each of which will last for three race weekends rather than the current two.

The teams will meet on the sidelines of the Brazilian Grand Prix between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 to discuss changing the testing mileage from 2009, the team officials said.

After the Sao Paulo race, FIA and FOTA will meet again to modify the rules for chassis design from 2010 onwards, they said.

Tuesday's meeting took place amid heightened tension between the teams and the sport's governing body, after several teams, including McLaren and BMW Sauber, expressed their opposition to Mosley's proposal for standardized engines and chassis parts.

German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reported that the proposals caught teams by surprise on Friday, prompting them to cancel their participation in the Geneva meeting and send Montezemolo in their place to show a united front.

Mosley had described the sport's combined $1.6 billion spending in 2008 as "unsustainable," saying the teams were relying too heavily on the goodwill of rich individuals and corporate sponsors.

"There is now a real danger that, in some cases, these subsidies will cease," Mosley said in a statement released Monday. "This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level.

"The FIA's view is that Formula One can only be healthy if a team can race competitively for a budget at or very close to what it gets from FOM [Formula One Management]."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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