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2014-05-10 14:57

SMALL TEAMS AT RISK: Williams' deputy team-principal Claire Williams warned that if F1 does not impose serious cost-cutting measures some teams may be forced to exit the sportImage: AFP

BARCELONA, Spain - Formula 1 faces a serious cash crisis if it does not introduce serious cost-cutting, Williams' deputy team principal Claire Williams warned on Saturday ahead of the 2014 Spanish F1 GP.

Williams, speaking during Saturday qualifying, said some teams could be forced out of the sport if no action was taken.

On Friday (May 9) Renault said it could face difficulties in maintaining its level of involvement because of problems caused by late payments from F1 customer teams.


Williams told autosport.com: "As an independent team, we've always wanted, and will always want, cost control in F1, however that comes about, but this conversation has been going on for so long now and we don't seem to have got anywhere, which is really disappointing.

"It is going to affect the long-term sustainability of our sport and we all have a responsibility to protect not only our sport but also the teams which have been racing for a very long time. We are at a really critical junction - if we don't do something about it and take responsibility we are going to be causing ourselves some serious damage.

"Williams is working really hard to make sure we keep pushing and driving the conversation, coming up with proposals that will save costs in F1, but they have to be significant."

She revealed that the F1 paddock was divided on proposals for a costs ceiling and had accepted that it was unlikely.

Renault added to the concerns about the sport's future when its F1 boss Jean-Michel Jalinier said the team's recovery after a disappointing pre-season test could be compromised by late payments.

Some of the funding for the Renault recovery was delivered by the Renault car company but the rest came from payments from customer teams - whose allegedly late payments were undermining the plan.

Jalinier said: "We are not at an acceptable situation because some of the teams are just late in payments and, at the time you need to spend resources, to catch up, you cannot afford to have those [late] payments..."


He declined to name the teams who had not paid but it is unlikely that they include Red Bull or Toro Rosso. "The situation is critical and must be resolved within weeks - it is a serious concern. You first need to work with your team to get back to some kind of financial situation... we will have to address the situation with the teams and take decisions because it is something that we cannot carry forward."

Renault customer teams Lotus and Caterham insisted they were up to date with payments. A Lotus spokesman said: "We have an agreement with Renault Sport F1 for the payment of our power unit for 2014. We are 100% up to date with our agreement."

Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: "It's a confidential issue but I'm happy, since I'm on time, to say that we are settled with invoices with Renault Sport F1.
Read more on:    renault  |  williams  |  spain  |  racing  |  f1  |  motorsport

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