Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Singapore, 2013

Teams “screwed up” chance to bring costs down

2013 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Singapore, 2013F1 team principals said the sport had missed an opportunity to get costs under control and warned about the steep rise in expenditure that will come next year when a new engine formula is introduced.

“Next year?s power unit package costs are double the price of this year’s and we are always talking of reducing the costs,” said Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost.

“Regarding now that power unit, on the one hand we must say Formula One is the peak of motorsport and we should come with new innovations. I think the new package from another point of view is quite economical and is quite interesting ?ǣ but it costs us a huge amount of money.”

Tost added it wasn’t just the change of engine formula that was pushing costs up for 2014: “The teams are stupid enough to decide to do tests during the season.”

“This is totally a waste of money because we have eight test days and as soon as the car goes out on the track it costs money,” he said. “But the teams want to do it.”

“On the one hand they?re complaining they don?t have money, on the other hand, they throw it through the window. It?s a little bit difficult to understand for me but we were voted down because we were against the tests.

“And who wants the tests? The rich teams. As usual.”

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said that although budgets had come down, the disparity between the richest teams and the rest remained large.

“I was not there personally but last decade car manufacturers were in this place and the lowest budget in F1 was around $250m and the highest about $400m,” sad Boullier. “Today it?s not the case any more and the smallest budget is around $60m and the highest is around $250m. But still, it?s?? you multiply by four.”

“If you want to be competitive you need to spend unfortunately some money, because you cannot afford if not, and you cannot be competitive then… This is a circle: you are not attractive, you do not bring in any new sponsors… so where is the balance?”

The Formula One Teams’ Association was set up in 2009 to give the teams a single voice. But Caterham team principal Tony Fernandes said they had missed the chance to improve the teams’ financial situation and were paying the price now:

“The teams had a wonderful opportunity to try and create a fair, equitable split so that the sport is sustainable,” said Fernandes.

“I?m obviously in another sport where I think the difference between the top and the bottom is not as great as between the top and the bottom in Formula One. If you look at the [English football] Premier League, the winner of the Premier League share of prize versus the team at the bottom is not as spread out.

“I think teams had an opportunity but I go back to my very first point: that teams looked at things on an individual basis as opposed to working together in FOTA and trying to find a win-win situation for everyone and create a very healthy environment in a sustainable sport.”

“We screwed it up, it?s as simple as that.”

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Image ?? Lotus/LAT