Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014

Rules changes ‘don’t go far enough to cut costs’

2014 Austrian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014F1’s planned rules changes for 2015 don’t go far enough to address the long-standing problem of how to reduce costs, according to Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn.

Formula One teams agreed a modest plan of cost reductions for the 2015 season earlier this week which mainly involved reversing the increases in track testing permitted this year.

“In my view we are not where we should be and where we wanted to be, at least from our team’s perspective,” said Kaltenborn during today’s press conference at the Red Bull Ring. “I also don’t think that we have achieved any measurable cost cutting.”

Kaltenborn called on the FIA to take the lead in reducing costs in Formula One after its plan for a budget cap was rejected by F1’s richest teams.

“There was a decision taken last year by the [World Motor Sport] Council in which they endorsed cost cutting as a target and they also agreed in principle to the cost cap and the FIA was mandated to implement that.

“Now since then other decisions have been taken by other groups, going in a different direction, and following that amongst other teams, the non-Strategy Group teams, they were asked to bring proposals in, how you can achieve a sustainable cost base, while still promoting competition. We did that, we also didn’t get anywhere on that. So my understanding, I really wonder what the FIA is now going to do and how Formula One will be governed in this respect.”

However Red Bull team principal Christian Horner defended the latest changes to the rules on cost grounds.

“We’ve agreed a couple of things next year which will save some money, testing is reduced, testing will be in Europe rather than overseas, wind tunnel time and CFD ratio has been further reduced,” he said.

“But I think what’s important to say is that everything that was agreed in the Formula One Commission meeting earlier this week was agreed unanimously. That means every team was around the table, every team had a right to vote against it but everything that went through, went through on a unanimous basis.

“So we’ve got what we’ve got but I think the most important thing now going forward is stability.”

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