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F1 body aims to slash costs for new teams

Formula One's body will help new teams into the sport in 2008 by slashing hundreds of millions of dollars off the cost of competing.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2005 13:26 IST

Formula One's governing body says it will help new teams into the sport in 2008 by slashing hundreds of millions of dollars off the cost of competing.

"New teams intending to apply to enter the championship in 2008 have all made it clear that they can do so only if costs are greatly reduced," the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Current teams which are already committed for 2008 fully agree."

The FIA said it was therefore reviewing draft regulations for 2008 with a view to eliminating "unnecessary and excessive" expenditure while permitting technology of public relevance. "The target is to reduce the budget of a top team from the current $360 million plus to around $120 million," said the FIA.

"A budget of $120 million for two cars for one season is still a vast amount of money when compared to any other form of motor racing."

An FIA spokesman said the governing body had received three serious proposals from teams wishing to come in to Formula One with several others also being considered.

Three teams have signed up for the FIA championship after the expiry of the existing commercial agreement at the end of 2007 -- Fiat-owned Ferrari, Jordan and Red Bull.

Minardi are expected to follow shortly after being bought by Red Bull at the weekend.

The FIA said it expected at least three of the major manufacturers to participate and welcomed their involvement, while saying the rules must allow the independent teams to survive and prosper.

Renault could be one, with team boss Flavio Briatore saying at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix that "whatever the Federation wants to do for 2008, reducing costs and increasing spectacle, we agree at Renault."

Briatore also questioned why a junior GP2 series team cost around $2.5 million a season to run while some in Formula One were spending between 300 and 500 million.

Formula One's three smallest teams - Jordan, Sauber and Minardi - have all been sold this year, either to billionaire owners such as Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz or German carmaker BMW in Sauber's case.

The major carmakers are, however, still nominally considering their own "rival" series from 2007, although they have been having talks with the FIA and teams about the 2008 regulations.

The FIA said a meeting in Milan on August 31 had produced a response from a number of teams that it termed constructive in tone but without any proposal for reducing costs.

"If some of the manufacturers wish to run a private series with unlimited expenditure, the FIA will give them every assistance," it said. "It would be an interesting experiment, but too risky for the Formula One world championship.

"Costs would almost certainly rise above even current Formula One levels and all teams would require full manufacturer support. Such support is unlikely to continue indefinitely."

Ford, who sold their Jaguar team to Mateschitz in November, are the last carmaker to withdraw.

First Published: Sep 14, 2005 13:06 IST