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MARCH 15, 2013

Todt suggests F1 teams' cost agreement in doubt

The future of the so-called 'resource restriction agreement' - a gentleman's pact among teams to control costs - has moved under a dark cloud.

The controversial agreement has been a subject of discussion behind closed motor home doors for some time, with many teams wanting the FIA to get involved to expand and enshrine the arrangement in the actual rules.

But FIA president Jean Todt, who arrived in Melbourne on Friday afternoon, has cast serious doubt not only on the latter possibility, but even on the future of the gentleman's pact.

"I think F1 does cost too much," he acknowledged to the Financial Times.

He added, however, that "A lot of teams prefer to have the privilege of competition rather than reduce costs".

"I hope that a sensible approach from teams will be reducing costs. But it's not something we all have to agree together," said Todt.

"We are the regulator. If they don't want to reduce costs, that's it. It's not our responsibility to do things that teams do not want."

Todt sounded happier about the state of the FIA's financial situation, in the context of a new agreement with Bernie Ecclestone, and higher entry fees from the teams.

The agreement "will be good" for the Paris-based federation, the Frenchman said.

But the governing body has not got off to a good start in Australia, after the white shirts bearing the FIA logo for the race stewards to wear got lost in the mail from Place de la Concorde, according to a report in Speed Week.