As we mentioned in this week’s podcast, the F1 Strategy Group met and covered issues such as standing starts and double points for 2015 but couldn’t seem to find the time to address the financial crisis it currently finds itself steeped in. To their credit, they are now calling for a F1 financial summit meeting on the 18th of December to discuss that very topic.
According to AUTOSPORT, the group will meet to discuss ways in which the small teams can remain in F1 given the exorbitant cost increased imposed upon them by the new customer hybrid engine specification instituted in 2014. Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn says that talking is cheap and now is the time to get a plan in place:
“Definitely something is happening, but I am cautious to say where we are going to end up,” she told AUTOSPORT. “It is clear we need action now.
“We don’t have the time any more to think about this and then a month later come back.
“This powertrain, it was imposed on the independent teams here, and we had no choice but to take it. And if costs have gone up so much, we have to find a way to get them down again.
“It cannot be that such a high percentage, by far more than 50 per cent of our FOM income, goes onto the powertrain, and associated secondary costs to it.”
Many would like to ignore the fact that becoming more sustainable as far as engine specification goes has also made the sport less sustainable from a cost standpoint. The small teams have lost the will to champion the green move of F1 as their very livelihoods are at risk over the concept.
As the article points out, one of the ideas is to distribute the money that would have gone to Marussia for their 9th place finish in 2014’s championship to the remaining small teams. This seems to be a stop-gap measure at best.
Other concepts were to allow small teams to run 2014’s engine instead of buying all-new for 2015 models. Not much has been said about capping the price the manufacturers can charge for their engines and many believe that is a cost they should shoulder because they are the folks who desperately wanted this new engine format.
It will be intriguing to see what solutions the braintrust of F1 come up with but suffice it to say, they need a plan because Caterham and Marussia may not be the only teams missing on the 2015 grid should they fail to find a workable resolution.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT