Prior to the FOTA meeting this weekend to discuss the future of F1, Max Mosley has sent documents to the organization that supposedly detail his visions of possible solutions for F1.Amongst those solutions is rumored to be a standard engine which the teams undoubtedly will walk away from but as Autosport points out, it may be a ruse to force the hand of manufacturers to step to the table and concede on some other, important issues the FIA is seeking.
The Customer Car issue is still alive and well and as Max says, the teams are heading for a real threat not just for privateers like Williams who are on the ropes but for top teams should the market curtail large sponsorships and manufacturer involvement.
“The FIA believes that Formula One costs are unsustainable. Even before current global financial problems, teams were spending far more than their incomes, in so far as these consist of sponsorship plus FOM money.
“As a result, the independent teams are now dependent on the goodwill of rich individuals, while the manufacturers’ teams depend on massive handouts from their parent companies.”
He added: “There is now a real danger that, in some cases, these subsidies will cease. This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level.
“The FIA’s view is that Formula One can only be healthy if a team can race competitively for a budget at or very close to what it gets from FOM.”
One of the questions I have is can a team actually run a program for the FOM money amount? If the rumored $500M payout from the FOM each year is true and it was evenly distributed, could you really run a program for $50M a year? McLaren alone has over 1000 people. Max’s statement may not be as daft as it seems if the $500M amount is wrong. Now I may be rash in my statements here but saving all the teams is a goal of noble purpose. I think Customer Cars is one of a few viable solutions to save teams like Williams, STR and Force India. Also, the free-market will determine who is in and who is not in F1. There is little anyone can do about that save versus controlling team budgets, managing sponsor dollars and getting more involved and in a position of control over the process of F1. I don’t think anyone wants that.