« Back to articlePrint this article

Find out why F1 needs to cut costs...

Last updated on: October 31, 2014 11:22 IST

A grid girl holds an American flag

A grid girl holds an American flag on the grid. Photograph: Brian Cleary/Getty Images

The financial troubles that have forced the Marussia and Caterham Formula One teams into administration emphasise the need for cost-cutting measures, the sport's governing body said on Thursday.

"These failings once again acutely raise the question of the economic balance of the FIA Formula One championship," the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement at the US Grand Prix.

It added that the crisis justified the position "expressed many times by the FIA, in favour of any initiative that will help reduce costs in order to ensure the survival of the existing grid and attract potential new entrants."

‘Maintaining attraction of the championship’

Sebastian Vettel of Germany

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing sprays a presentation girl with champagne. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The FIA said it would continue to work closely with the commercial rights holder and other stakeholders "towards maintaining the attraction of the championship and the equitable participation of the teams in the years to come."

The two tail-end outfits are both absent from this weekend's race in Austin, the 17th of 19 rounds on the calendar, and are in danger of folding completely due to long-standing cash problems.

That leaves just nine teams and 18 cars, the lowest at a race weekend since 2005.

Governing body could not impose a cost cap

Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Caterham and Marcus Ericsson of Sweden

Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Caterham and Marcus Ericsson of Sweden and Caterham walk out for the drivers' parade before the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The FIA announced last year that it wanted to introduce a cost cap in 2015, but in April the governing body's president Jean Todt said the plan had been scrapped because the leading six teams, who form part of the decision-making F1 strategy group, were opposed.

He said then that the governing body could not impose a cost cap and measures would have to be introduced instead through the sporting regulations.

Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has given both teams dispensation to miss the next two races while they try to find buyers willing to pay off considerable debts and secure their future.

The Brazilian Grand Prix is the weekend after Austin, with Abu Dhabi the final race later in November.

Teams that miss races would normally be in breach of contractual obligations to compete in the entire championship, as well as forfeiting prize money payments.

Take a sympathetic approach

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone (right) speaks with Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director of Marussia in the paddock during previews ahead of the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on Thursday. Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) indicated in their statement that they had the final say but would also take a sympathetic approach.

"It is the responsibility of the FIA stewards to determine whether or not a team has failed to fulfil its regulatory obligation to take part in all events on the calendar and to take whatever action they deem appropriate," they said.

"However we have every confidence that the stewards are fully aware of the financial situation of the teams concerned and these matters are always assessed with extreme care and due regard to the circumstances involved."

© Copyright 2024 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.