APRIL 24, 2002
Team bosses panicky as Jordan cuts back
A few weeks ago Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said that recession would not hurt Formula 1 as it would get rid of the weak teams and leave only the strong behind. It seems that one or two teams are now beginning to worry that they may be the weak ones and they have appealed to the FIA to find a way to cut costs in the short term. The FIA has said that it can do nothing unless the teams are all in agreement over cost-cutting measures.
According to reports in Autosport magazine, to be published tomorrow, Eddie Jordan, Tom Walkinshaw and Flavio Briatore are the men in question. Walkinshaw's troubles are well known and Jordan is obviously not flush with cash as it is laying off people at the moment. Briatore's attitude is rather more difficult to explain as he has the backing of the Renault car company and so should not really be worrying about paying the bills. One can only assume that Flavio is doing it with the best interests of the sport in mind.
The attitude of the other teams is that those who cannot take the heat should not be in the kitchen and while it may be tough at the moment, the teams that are in trouble have only themselves to blame.
The easiest way to cut costs is to restrict testing but this will not save money for teams for teams which has done almost no testing.
The only other way in which the money could be saved would be for the FIA to insist that any manufacturers competing in F1 should supply engines free of charge to the smaller teams. This would not help Renault (in fact it would probably do the opposite). It would not help Jordan (who gets free engines). It would help out Walkinshaw who has a big bill to be paid to Cosworth.
Such a move is not going to be agreed by the other teams (particularly those owned by the automobile manufacturers - as it would cost them more money).
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