Teams given deadline to vote on 2013 cost cutting measures

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Start, Montreal, 2012In the round-up: the FIA give teams until the end of the month to vote on a resource restriction agreement for the 2013 season.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

FIA sets deadline to vote on cost-control measures in Formula 1 (Autosport)

??A statement issued by the governing body said: ??At their request, the FIA is having active discussions with teams regarding cost control and any amendments to the technical regulations resulting from a further limit on expenditure on the chassis will be submitted to the WMSC via a fax vote before 30 June. The intention is to help all teams participate in the championship in a fair and equal manner.?? The June 30 date is significant because it is the last day that 2013 regulations can be changed with only majority support from the teams. Any attempt to implement an RRA after that date would require unanimous support ?ǣ something that is not present at the moment because it is understood that Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso are against the FIA policing budgets in the sport.??

Gascoyne calls for budget cap as FIA promises action on costs (JAonF1)

Mike Gascoyne: ??I want freedom and innovation and I think we need a budget cap but we should leave people free to spend on whatever you like within that cap, so if you want to spend it all in the wind tunnel or on some trick new innovation then you can do that, but there is a limit and there has to be a limit. It?s a fine balancing act because you want innovation; you want F1 to be the pinnacle, it has to be the quickest single-seater motor racing formula in the world. It has to be the best, but it has to be sustainable.??

Mercedes seek to improve Michael Schumacher’s reliability issues (BBC)

Ross Brawn: ??The performance of our car and our tyre management were generally good in Canada. However, our competitiveness was compromised by reliability problems and mistakes. This is a disappointment that is deeply felt by everyone in our team, and we have been working hard to ensure we understand the reasons and deal with them.??

F1: Ecclestone Approves Plan To Move Interlagos Pits (SPEED)

Bernie Ecclestone: ??I have long believed in Brazil ? we’ve been there since 1972. The future of Formula One Brazil depends now on major improvements at Interlagos. These events (World Cup and Olympics) are a great opportunity to look at the circuit, as well. I can no longer be questioned by the teams about why we are racing at the worst circuit in the championship.??

Kaltenborn, Wolff, De Villota become FIA WMC Ambassadors (

Monisha Kaltenborn: ??Women nowadays do have the competence, the self-confidence and the education to follow a professional career in any area they choose, but still they need the right opportunities to achieve their goals. The challenge now is to develop the platforms for them, so they have equal chances to show their abilities in all business areas they are interested in, which may include motorsport.??

Whitmarsh: 2012 could be greatest year (Sky)

Martin Whitmarsh: ??It’s extraordinary, there’s never been a season like this and it could well go down in history as the greatest Formula 1 season because we have so many great drivers and so many World Champions fighting it out for this year’s world championship. Winning grands prix in F1 is not easy and winning them at the moment is probably more difficult than it has ever been with some hugely competitive teams and great drivers.??

Aussie Formula 1 driver Mark Webber geared only for this year (Herald Sun)

Mark Webber: ??The motivation is the most important thing. When you have that, the rest is straightforward. It’s clear over a 10-to-12-year career, you’re going to have sections of your career when motivation is not at its highest. But at the moment my motivation’s really high. I don’t like losing, which is a good sign. And I don’t feel what I can replace this with at the moment. Sitting beside the pool is fine for two weeks, but after that I think it’d be quite hard to live with ?ǣ so I need to keep racing.??

Truth in 24 II (Audi)

The 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours gets underway today. In anticipation of one of world motorsport’s most iconic races, here is Audi’s latest Truth in 24 documentary which looks back at last year’s dramatic event.

Comment of the day

As the debate over tyres in F1 rages on, vjanik offers this perspective on whether the sport should introduce more tyre suppliers.

In a perfect world every team would have their own tyre supplier and tyres tailor-made for their cars, with updates for each race. This would be costly but in a perfect world that wouldn?t matter.

Back in the days, teams were picking different tyre suppliers from race to race depending on which tyre suited the track better. It was all about making cars go faster, not about equalizing all the teams to create close racing (eliminating every possible differentiating factor ?ǣ tyres, engines, etc)

It all depends on what you want. A ??show?? which is unpredictable and entertaining? Or a race between the fastest cars, best drivers and smartest designers and engineers? The latter will lead to the cream rising to the top and might mean some seasons are dominated by a team/driver.

Its the role of the FIA to manage the balance between the two, and it looks as though they are moving more towards showbiz than sport. DRS is proof of that.

I am looking forward to 2014 when we will have big technical rule changes, new engines and hopefully new sporting regulations where we will get rid of some of the redundant rules as pointed out in previous articles on this site.

From the forum

Very best of luck to everyone competing in the 2012 F1F GT5 24 Laps of Le Mans today. May the best Fanatic win!

Fanatics are also debating Michael Schumacher’s season so far.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Plushpile!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

A new deadline was set in discussions over the future of the United States Grand Prix five years ago. But no agreement to keep the race at Indianapolis was reached and it disappeared from the calendar.

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Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 45 comments on “Teams given deadline to vote on 2013 cost cutting measures”

    1. So will they be moving to after the Senna Esses then? To be honest, as long as they don’t screw around with the track itself, this is a very sensible idea to prolong one of the most exciting tracks in Formula 1

      1. They’re just moving the pits from their current position on Arquibancadas to Reta Oposta, the back straight. They’re not making any changes to the layout, though. A chicane is going in at Cafe – coming up onto what is now the main straight – but Formula 1 will not use it.

        You can’t blame Bernie and the teams from wanting an upgrade, really. As fantastic as the circuit is, Interlagos desperately needs it. And with the World Endurance Championship visiting the circuit for the Six Hours of Sao Paulo in September, the demands placed on the current infrastrucure are going to double.

        1. Hang on, F1 isn’t using a chicane?!

          1. No, Formula 1 is not using the chicane.

      2. I still find it a bit of a shame. The Senna Esses were an iconic start, and the pits on the raised section made it somehow seem more intimate, particularly as it’s where the majority of the grandstands are.

        1. The alternative would be to demolish the existing pits, find room for them to expand, and then rebuild them. Which would take longer, and would possibly mean that the Brazilian Grand Prix would have to either be dropped or go somewhere else until such time as the new pits were ready. At least this way, the Brazilians can start construction without interfering with the racing.

          1. That would surely be the reasoning here, much like at Silverstone. And off course it will also mean that the track will then have 2 pit complexes available, either for support series or for better flexibility of use in other series.

    2. The teams don’t get back the money they should from F1, that is very clear. Toyota and Honda for example would still be there otherwise!

      1. Toyota and Honda withdrew because they were hurting badly from the recession. Honda in particular had two horrendous years in 2007 and 2008, and couldn’t justify staying in the sport. “Getting back the money that they should” would not have made an iota of difference, because it would not have covered their losses in the road car market.

      2. Rather than not getting the money back, I bet most of the manufacturers left because F1 isn’t a place for automotive innovation in a sense that the technology is way too far from road cars.

        I mean, Renault for example. After 2006, they didn’t even developed engines. So what do I get from Renault being in F1? Nothing. In the old days maybe it was a show off of what the company could do, so that translated on road cars. But nowadays, it’s so restricted that it’s not that interesting for manufacturers.

        Le Mans on the other hand seems to be good for that, at least they try hybrid technology and are much more open on KERS and stuff like that. Plus it’s a battle between outright pace, reliability and fuel economy.

        Or even touring cars. They don’t develop much there but at least there’s the shape of the current road car swapping paint on the track too… that’s good marketing in its own right. Not a monocoque with Mercedes badges, a DRS wing, a 6 years old V8 engine and a stepped nose.

        1. Rather than not getting the money back, I bet most of the manufacturers left because F1 isn’t a place for automotive innovation in a sense that the technology is way too far from road cars.

          And the recession, that is. They needed better ways of marketing too…

        2. Renault sold thousands of cars in Spain but other than that it isnt ideal the linkage between comercial vehicles and the prototypes a such as F1 yet Renault has been the most successful correlating track performances and sales.

          1. I guess what was really important on that comercial success was the fact that a spaniard champion was driving a renault and not the contrary that’s why drivers are such powerful marketing “tools” like in any sport huge salary and sponsorships make increasively more money to the sports they are linked C.Ronaldo is another example.

    3. I wonder what has suddenly changed in the sport to warrant FIA-policed cost-cutting measures. When Max Mosley tried to implement a budget cap, the teams resisted to the point of announcing a breakaway series (though I think their issue was more the way Mosley wanted to introduce the budget cap rather than the idea of a budget cap itself), and when the teams finally came to a gentlemens’ agreement with the RRA, it lasted all of a year before they started slinging mud at one another and accusing everyone of knowingly violating its terms for a competitive edge.

      1. Well, one could be well-meaning and think that the teams have come to the realization that their protest against Mosley’s plans were pretty stupid to begin with and that his idea pretty much always was the one to go for.

        Of course, reality just shows that money is harder to come by for teams, even for the bigger fishes in the ponds, these days and despite some economies being on the up again, this will not change any time soon. What do you do, if you don’t get enough money? Well, obviously cut your expenses – but you cannot do that without risking competitiveness to reduce and now the teams want the FIA to solve that self-induced problem for them.

        1. Well, one could be well-meaning and think that the teams have come to the realization that their protest against Mosley’s plans were pretty stupid to begin with and that his idea pretty much always was the one to go for.

          Mosley’s plans were pretty stupid, to be honest. The idea of a budget cap is sound, but Mosley wanted two sets of technical regulations: one set for teams who volunteered to use the budget cap, and one set for teams who did not. I think he was trying Bernie’s favourite tactic of making extreme demands and then bargaining the other side down to what he actually wanted (the budget cap) by agreeing to drop the silliness. The problem was that he was so clumsy and so politically-charged in his approach that the team got fed up with him pretty quickly.

          And I do suspect that the manufacturers sabotaged the process a little. Thirty-six hours before the breakaway series was announced, Mosley wrote to the teams and wanted to enter a new set of neogtiations. The teams replied and said they were willing to hear him out, but they wanted to discuss it first. They went to Renault HQ in Enstone that night to discuss it, and then announced the breakway series the next day. Something obviously happened at that meeting, and I find it very odd that they went to Enstone considering that the Force India and Red Bull headquarters were both closer. It wasn’t the first time this happened, either – the teams had met with Mosley in Monaco in the hopes of salvaging the situation, but then held a second meeting among themselves on Flavio Briatore’s yacht, and things broke down again. Every time the teams met on manufacturer-controlled territory, the situation became more hostile. Which isn’t too surprising, considering that the FOTA executive at the time was made up of Luca di Montezemolo (Ferrari) and John Howlett (Toyota). Flavio Braitore (Renault) also held considerable influence.

      2. Mosley’s cap was ridiculously restrictive though, about cutting to about 10% of what teams were spending at the time from what I remember.

        1. I think that number could have been revised with negotiation. Mosley wanted a budget cap of $40 million, to bring costs down to what they were in the early 1990s when adjusted for inflation in the twenty years since. The teams, if memory serves, wanted a phased introduction of the budget cap, one that would allow the sport to gradually cut costs instead of doing it all at once. And by slowly lowering the budget threshhold, they could strike a reasonable balance between costs and competition, because $40 million doesn’t sound feasbile. Marussia is competing on a $40 million budget this year, and they’re nowhere. I think $120 million is probably a much more realistic number to aspire to.

          1. Yep, I will never understand Mosley’s thinking behind trying to bulldoze that cap when phasing it was the only sensible way to do it.

            1. @matt90
              When trying to understand Mosely, it helps to understand the mind of an FIA president with a look at Balestre.

              In order to gain that position, it seems one must be a ruthless, narcasistic dic(k)tator. Someone who is appaled that there could ever exists a good idea that didnt come from them.

      3. @prisoner-monkeys I think that the teams are concerned with what is happening to WRC and are starting to see the sponsors are just not willing to come up with the money that they need to operate. So they’ve been moved into action because of that, looking to the future to continue as strong as they have been.

        1. @dragoll – The WRC’s problems don’t really have anything to do with escalating costs.

          The problem was that the promoter, North Sport One, was (ultimately) owned by Vladimir Antonov, a Russian banker who controlled Bank SNORAS in Lithuania (the same bank that sponsored Renault in 2010; Genii Captial borrowed money from Antonov to buy the initial 75% stake in the team – one of the reasons why Renault replaced Heidfeld last year was because they needed to pay off the debt to Antonov, but the Malaysian government refused to let taxpayer money from Group Lotus go directly to Antonov, so they team had to find a new source of income and took Senna on) and Latvijas Krājbanka, a Latvian bank. He also owned Portsmouth FC and tried to buy Saab on behalf of Spyker, which fell through when the Säpo – the Swedish Security Service – found a connection between Antonov and the solntsevskaya bratva (the Russian mob), which they reported to the FBI; in return, GM suspended the sale of Saab.

          In November last year, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Antonov and his business partner, Raimundas Baranauskas, though this had more to do with asset stripping in the Baltic states than anything else; Antonov and Baranauskas were over-stating the value of businesses that took out loands from SNORAS and Latvijas Krājbanka and offering them massive loans that they could not pay back. The banks would then acquire the businesses and sell off all their assets. Twenty-four hours after the warrant was issued, Antonov was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London.

          With Antonov facing extradition to Lithuania, North Sport One collapsed, though they were largely unaffected by Antonov’s arrest. Rather, they tried to find money from Qatar, but the Qataris lost interest two weeks before the Rallye Monte Carlo. The FIA tried to broker an emergency deal with Eurosport, but they were never going to be able to do much before the season started. Predictably, this proved impossible, and the individual events were forced to find their own promoters, which placed enormous strain on the season.

      4. @prisoner-monkeys That’s about right. They all want it, but on their terms.

    4. The “glory” days of the almost infinite spending are over. F1 is still the best, though, and so long as it remains as a true manufacturer’s series (no spec chassis, etc.), it should remain at the pinnacle of motorsport.

    5. Just watched that Audi video, nice reminder of how fun that race was! Hope the Toyotas can take the fight to the Audis!

      1. That video is brilliant! Shame its only a couple of manufacturers and not more fighting for the win. Is that because of the rules?

        1. I’d say it’s more because of Audi. They’ve dominated the race for years, and while Peugeot put up a pretty strong defence, it would be very dificult for other manufacturers to justify spending millions to try and compete against the juggernaut that is Audi. And besides, with the delicate balance of the global economy over the past few years, those manufacturers that do indulge in motorsport tend to only take part in one category. To add insult to injury, the Volkswagen Group emerged from the recession in a pretty good condition, so they’re able to back Le Mans, WRC and DTM teams with money to spare.

          1. When Porsche dominated there was still plenty of manufacturers facing them I think. I suppose it was cheaper back then.

    6. So yet another ‘classic’ track is going to change. I totally understand the need to meet the required safety levels and keep up with the times but I still find it a shame that from this years calender only Melbourne, Montreal, Suzuka and Interlagos remain the same as they were when I first started watching F1.
      The maintaining of standards in F1 seems to be like painting the Forth rail bridge. Once one circuit makes improvements it puts pressure on others to improve theirs. For years it was always Silverstone that needed to improve or lose their position on the calender, now it seems to be Interlagos. So I’m wondering who will be next once Interlagos make their improvements?
      Im intrigued to see how moving the start/finish straight will effect the first corner of the race, turn 4 is a tricky corner to get right and will become harder when 24 cars go at it at once.

    7. I had a dream last night that Silverstone had transformed into an incredible facility. Just overnight, it looked hardly recogniseable! Can’t really describe what it looks like.. :(

    8. Happy birthday Plushpile! I hope you have a great day!

      I’m all for costs coming down in F1 and I hope there’s a plan or resolution sooner rather than later. If it was pre recession I’d probably not be that fussed though. Like PM above, I wonder why this has all started up again recently as barely anyone had spoken of bringing costs down for a while.

      I’ll try and catch a bit of Le Mans if I can but I have the attention span of a lump of sugar so I always end up flicking over and back however, that’s the reason why I have absolute admiration for all the drivers and teams competing as I could not focus on a race for so long!

      1. Hi @steph!

        Happy birthday from me as well @plushpile

    9. Moving the pits at interlagos is sacrilege

    10. Costs do indeed need to be controlled. I’m usually not in favour of control in most industries but in F1 it is necessary. The costs are astronomical.

      It seems to me that everyone is aware and wary of the early 00’s with regards to Ferrari and also perhaps last year with the EBD. The FIA reacted to the EBD well and have us the 2012 season this far. As much as we don’t want to be reactionary, it works. Sure, keep a lid on things but it is near impossible to police fully. Just react if things escalate too much.

      1. @andrewtanner
        Sir, Ive been fighting this in my mind, and have chosen your post to start the dialog.
        Please understand, Ill be playing “devil’s advocate”, but the conversation could prove interesting.

        Specifically WHY do costs need to be controlled? Why cant market pressures take care of the job themselves? We had interesting racing back in the days of unlimited spending.
        This is auto racing, if one cant afford it, one should quit.

        1. @javlinsharp If only to add to the challenge really. I don’t think the FIA should look to control everything very tightly, like you say, F1 is a choice. Manchester City have just pretty much been accused all season of winning the Premiership based on having the money to throw at it and that situation would only rear its ugly head even more in F1. Seeing teams compete under similar circumstances is always better than a huge disparity, it celebrates the success of the individuals.

        2. @andrewtanner
          Is it right to deny an advantage to one simply because it is not available to others? Where, then, is the incentive to achieve? Today, there are different drivers, different designers and strategists, it is upon their unique qualities upon which any champion team is built.

          The matter of funding is a little bit more because with it, you can get everything else, but Ive never thought that F1 was supposed to be “fair” or “even”. Truly, the most well funded teams will have an advantage, but how much sweeter is it when Man City loses to Stoke City? When a team with all the advantages looses to a team with none – That is a big reason why Sport is so exciting, because the underdog sometimes gets his day. Those on the losing side will always complain, until its them with the advantage…

          Indeed, spending will find its natural cap. At some point, the Money Men at Ferrari, Mclaren, RBR will not be able to give any more, and equilibrium will be established.

          For me F1 is one of the last bastions of the conditions that created humankind into what we are today – Survival of the Fittest. There are many genetic lines of humankind that have been extinguished, and indeed, every living human can trace their liniage through WWI, Napolian, the time of Christ, the Roman Empire, the Greeks, through the Stone Age, in into the primordial ooze by pure nature of the fact that they are alive today, while the unfit, are all dead and gone.

          I find it an abomination of the origninal F1 premise to make it a kinder, gentler, happy place where its ok to be less than the best and where the unfit can be allowed to live because we dont want to hurt feelings.

          1. @javlinsharp You could probably get away with that philosophy in many walks of life and indeed sport, but motorsport and F1 in particular plays a huge role outside of sport. The FIA takes it upon itself to give some sort of technological guidance to the motor industry as a whole and see’s F1 to a large degress as a proving ground for much of that industry. From a sporting point of view it adds to the drama but from a financial point of view the sport would struggle to attract new manufacturers if they thought that F1 was a bottomless pit of money where your engineers will always be playing catch-up with no level playing field available to you.

            F1 is fundamentally a sport, but a sport with a huge conscious. That carries immense responsibility and I think it does a fantastic job of it.

          2. These days, I dont think we can say that F1 is a testbed for commercial cars anymore.

            Of the 12 F1 teams, only Ferrari, Mclaren, MercedesGP, and (maybe) Caterham and Lotus, have anything to do with auto manufacture. I would risk a large sum of money on a bet that no team shares any F1 information with any parties outside of their organization(unless they hired Stepney :-).

            Ferrari cant really be called a Consumer Car maker.
            Mclaren make a handful of super cars every few decades or so.
            Mercedes GP is probably getting much more relevant data from DTM at much lower cost then F1.
            I guess Cateram makes some cars, but none for the commercial market.
            The ONLY possible benefitiary I can think of would be Renault. They make consumer cars AND F1 engines. I wonder how much innovation they have managed with a 4 year Engine Freeze…

            In the old days, sure, many improvements came from the F1 endevor, and many of them made it into commercial cars. Marussia, HRT, Williams, Force India, RBR, Sauber, none are involved in auto manufacture

            I think the only commercially relevant innovation associated with F1 in the modern age has to be KERS. Even that is not “innovation”, the US had regenerative braking/electic hybrids, for about 10 years before F1 got in the game. Indeed, you could say the Commercial industry helped F1 in that instance.

            I wish it were more true, and maybe it can be with relaxed “innovation rules”, but F1 is, and has been, at great risk of becomming completely irrelevant to Commercial Auto innovation in the modern age

            1. @andrewtanner – Sorry, I forgot the tag, see above…

            2. @javelinsharp, I get what you are heading at in your comment, but I would like to point to some errors in what you write about the teams/manufacturers

              1. Lotus GP does not have ANYTHING to do with Lotus cars, they licenced the use of the name for use in F1. (supporting your argument even more)
              2. Ferrari not being a consumer car maker, I get your argument, although I disagree on that
              3. McLaren built their F1 decades ago, but more recently they have built the Mercedes SLR cars, until they parted ways with Mercedes. Starting this year they will be building and selling several 1000s of their new sportscars. These use carbon fiber technology, electronics and a lot of other things that are influenced by F1 know how
              4. Not too sure about your arguments on Mercedes, but I give that the benefit of the doubt (as DTM this year has cars a tad closer to production models than before)
              5. Caterham makes several thousand of their cars, either as a kit car or completely built up. Not in the millions, but still.
              6. Marussia is actually another team which is now part owned by a (sports)car manufacturer. And they are looking at using F1 know how to grow their range of cars.
              7. Williams has their WHP devision making KERS units for both the F1 team, as well as supplying hybrid systems for Porsche and Audi in racing, and in production cars. And they are working on a Jaguar hybrid road car project as well.
              8. RBR is tied with Nissan and both hope to make this work on hybrid systems. Might be more PR than reality, but still …

              KERS is not really innovative as you write, but it was an important symbolic step for racing. But now these KERS systems in F1 did do a good job in developing more high capacity, high speed and light systems that can be used for “real world” benefit.

            3. sry @javlinsharp must have had a typo the first time.

    11. That quote from Bernie about Interlagos sounds familiar. Very familiar, in fact. That’s because he said almost the exact thing in 2010, and somehow I remembered that and was able to Google it.

      2010: “I can no longer be questioned by the teams about the worst circuit in the championship”

      2012: “I can no longer be questioned by the teams about why we are racing at the worst circuit in the championship.”

      1. Has Bernie actually considered that a lot of his customer base probably don’t care much for his shiny shiny?
        I would much rather see the money spent on the tracks and teams than a grandstand / paddock club, as long as its clean and safe.
        I have not been to interlagos so don’t know how bad it is.

        I also do not know his revenue stream from the paddock club.

    12. People were outraged by Mosley’s 2009 budget cap plans, but they all forget that it was the teams who asked for a budget cap (after the 2007 season). At least Honda, BMW and Renault did. When it didn’t happen they actually left the sport.

      It’s also brilliant how now Ferrari is the team that’s calling for enforced cost cutting and Red Bull is the one trying to stop it.

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