F1: Big teams say they're not not blind to cost struggles

F1: Big teams say they're not not blind to cost struggles

Formula 1

F1: Big teams say they're not not blind to cost struggles

Formula 1’s big teams are not blind to the financial struggles the smaller outfits are facing, insists Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Ahead of crunch talks to discuss cost cuts in F1 on May 1, there is an increased urgency to sorting the sport’s finances out.

And while small teams are upset that F1’s biggest outfits have railroaded plans for a cost cap, Horner insists that the move is not aimed at making life harder for anyone.

Instead, it is because the teams on F1’s Strategy Group believe that the best way to help the entire grid is through tighter regulations rather than by limiting budgets.

When asked if the Strategy Group was considering the plight of the smaller teams, Horner said: “Absolutely, because as the end of the day we have to have somebody to race against.

“You’ve got Lotus, whose situation has been fairly dire for the last couple of years, and Williams, who are run on a tight budget, that have key representation in that Group. So gauging their opinion is fairly important.”

Horner has said he does not understand why F1’s smaller outfits are so unhappy that there will not be a cost cap.

That is because the level that a cost cap was likely to be set at initially – of around $200 million per season – was nowhere near the budgets of the smaller teams.

“How could a 200 million dollar cost cap help Sauber?” he asked. “It saves them not one dollar.

“The fundamental issues are: what are our cost drivers? If you address those cost drivers, and then create a more level playing field, with more creativity for the teams, then that is a far more healthy way of doing that than suppressing from the top down.”

HYPOCRITICAL TO ATTACK STRATEGY GROUP

One of the big criticisms that the smaller teams are unhappy about is that they have been sidelined from a say in the cost cuts discussions.

Only six teams sit on F1’s Strategy Group – Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus and Williams – and that has upset those outfits not involved. But Horner thinks complaining about that situation now is unfair, because all teams were aware of how F1’s new governance structure would be when they committed to new commercial deals with Bernie Ecclestone.

“They all had a choice when they signed the Concorde Agreement whether to accept it or not, and they all chose to accept it,” he said. “It’s a bit hypocritical to be complaining about something they’ve all signed up to.”

He added: “The purpose and formation of the Strategy Group means there are teams in there who are in the same situation as Force India for example, or worse. So there is a balanced view in that discussion. The Strategy Group is exactly that: in that it looks at the strategy for the future of the sport.”

Originally on Autosport.com

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