Kaltenborn slams customer car proposal

MAY 23, 2015

Kaltenborn slams customer car proposal

Monisha Kaltenborn has slammed the change of direction announced by F1's Strategy Group.

After the top team-dominated group said it had agreed to spice up the sport with a raft of rule changes for 2017, Force India pointed out that the burning issue of cutting costs for the smaller teams had been ignored.

And Sauber's Kaltenborn said her struggling Swiss team was excluded altogether.

"I don't know what was discussed," she told Brazil's Globo in Monaco. "I read a press release."

And she questions what she read.

"On refuelling, I remember it was banned because of the high cost and for safety. To adopt it again would be a contradiction -- along with the federation (FIA), we are doing an advertising campaign about safety.

"We also need to consider actually how it will improve the show.

"I think there would be yet more confusion. Is that what the fans want? You would also have to understand the impact on costs," Kaltenborn continued.

"We are not reacting to contain the costs at all -- nothing is done."

Bernie Ecclestone, however, and top teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren, are pushing ahead with plans to sell low-cost 'customer cars' and engines to smaller teams like Sauber.

"Again," Kaltenborn reacted, "I don't know the official proposal as I was not present.

"But I don't think it will make a better competition, unless Mercedes is going to give its car of last year to everybody, and I'm not sure they want to do that.

"I also don't see how it will be easier to convince sponsors to sign up -- I think it will even be harder, as three or four teams will be competing against each other and the rest will just be participating.

"But the worst thing is that, imagine you dismantle your immense technical infrastructure necessary to design and build your cars. Now imagine the team you bought your car from decides to abandon F1, as is historically the case.

"This is not good for F1," Kaltenborn insisted.

(GMM)

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