FIA tweaks Mosley’s budget cap plan – report

Jul.14 (GMM) F1’s governing body is proposing a cost cap plan for formula one, along the lines of the idea floated recently by former FIA president Max Mosley.

While there is consensus up and down pitlane about needing to speed up the cars and spice up the ‘show’, there is still wide disagreement about how best to keep the struggling small teams alive.

Mosley’s successor as FIA president, Jean Todt, has already vowed to cap the exorbitant costs of buying a modern ‘power unit’, but Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn insists: “It’s not enough. We need to do a lot more.”

She said she supports Mosley’s plan, where teams can choose to work under a budget cap but, in return, get to operate under freer technical regulations.

The subject was discussed at length during the most recent meeting of the Strategy Group.

Mosley’s own plan is believed to have been rejected on the basis that it would involve a messy implementation of two sets of regulations: one for the ‘budget cap’ teams, and another for those electing to stick with the status quo.

However, Auto Motor und Sport claims that the FIA has proposed a variation of Mosley’s idea that would not involve two separate sets of technical regulations.

Under the plan, all teams would have the same rules, with the exception that the ‘budget cap’ teams – limited to about $120-150 million per year – be allowed unlimited ‘tools and tests’.

The other, presumably big teams operating outside the budget cap would on the other hand be limited to 25 hours per week of wind tunnel time, 25 teraflops of computer power, and 8 days of testing per year.

Correspondent Michael Schmidt said the big teams immediately rejected the new plan as well, but apparently on the basis that they fear the ‘budget cap’ teams could actually outpace them.

“You have to wonder why they would want to voluntarily spend more money on a model that is worse,” Force India deputy Bob Fernley is quoted as saying.

The report said FIA president Todt has another plan up his sleeve.

“We could,” Todt said, “limit the development of the number of parts. Say, each team is allowed only 10 suspensions or 20 wings per year. Once a part has been produced, it gets an FIA seal.”

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