JANUARY 8, 2009
F1 team bosses meet to discuss cost-cutting
The Formula 1 team principals are meeting today at a Heathrow Hotel to discuss more details of the cost-cutting plans that were agreed in December. One of the major aims today will be to work out an equivalency formula between restrictions on the use of wind tunnels and on computational fluid dynamics. FIA President Max Mosley has written to the teams in the run-up to the meeting to say that he wants more cuts to be made to help safeguard the industry. Mosley wants the teams to be able to survive with funds from the commercial rights holder. At the moment the teams get only 50% of the money raised by the sale of commercial rights, with the rest disappearing off to financiers and offshore trust funds. The teams are increasingly saying that they want a bigger share of the money from the Formula One group. They point out that with the rights fees from the Olympic Games and the soccer World Cup, a much larger percentage goes back into the sport, although direct comparisons are difficult because the commercial rights in both cases are overseen much more closely by the governing bodies than in motor racing.
One controversial item that will probably be discussed is a salary cap for the F1 drivers. Mosley has made it clear that he wants to see all F1 budgets capped but some of the teams have baulked at this. However, as the financial situation gets worse, the pressure to agree to budget-capping will increase.