FIA announce radical cost-cutting measures for 2009
12 December 2008
The FIA announced today a raft of cost-cutting measures intended to save the teams in excess of 30% of their 2008 budgets for 2009.
Highlights include doubling engine life, a complete ban on in-season testing, compulsory factory closures (six weeks per year) and possible changes to the qualifying format.
For 2010 there are more changes afoot: the much-mooted €5 million engine (on offer to independents), a standard transmission, some homogenization of certain car elements (as yet to be defined), a ban on tyre warmers and refueling and a possible reduction in race distance.
The cost-cutting debate has been raging in F1 for years — remember Stoddy getting all narked at the big teams for not giving him affordable engines when they allegedly said they would back in 2003? — but this is the first positive step that’s been taken.
Did it take a big team pulling out of F1 to make everyone sit up and take notice?
Modern-day F1 is laden with manufacturers. They are in F1 for business and marketing reasons alone — the ‘sport’ has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you think it does, that shows how good their marketing is.
So if/when a major manufacturer decides that the bang for buck ratio isn’t right they’ll be off. Nostalgia and heritage count for nothing in the board room. Think Ford circa 2004, Honda circa 2008.