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Todt to fight for cheaper F1 engines

2014-11-26 08:42

HOW TO SAVE F1? International Automobile Federation boss Jean Todt has listed F1's top priorities, among them cheaper engines and optimising 'the show'. AFP / Hasan Jamali

ALAN BALDWIN

ABU DHABI, UAE - Formula 1's governing body believes progress can be made to bring down the cost of engines to help struggling smaller teams.

International Automobile Federation president Jean Todt has said he hoped something could be agreed when the sport's strategy group and F1 commission meet in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday (Nov 25).

The former Ferrari boss told reporters after 2014 Abu Dhabi GP: "I am going to fight about the price of the engines for the small teams. I will do the best I can. I cannot guarantee the result but I will really get into that.

"On engines I think we can find a solution. I am optimistic we will get something."

F1 COST CUTTING

Todt said he would also again present broader proposals to cut costs that were rejected earlier in the year by the strategy group.

He listed F1's four priorities:

  • Reducing costs
  • Optimising 'the show'
  • Making powertrains cheaper for private teams
  • Ensuring all parties stayed in the sport.

Todt said: "We are going to re-present to stakeholders through the strategy group the same proposals which were refused. Do they want a cost cap? Do they want to follow the proposals we have to reduce the costs?"

F1 introduced a new and much more expensive V6 turbo-hybrid power unit in 2014, replacing the howling V8 engines. An engine supply can cost as much as R329-million a year and is the single biggest outlay for smaller teams such as Force India, Lotus and Sauber.

Engine costs are already due to come down gradually to 2020 but even then will cost around 20% more than the V8's - and there have been calls for a cap to be introduced. Two struggling teams, Marussia and Caterham, have already gone under administration.

F1'S STRUGGLING TEAMS

Mercedes' motorsport head Toto Wolff said in Abu Dhabi: "I think we need to be sensible and we need to come up with solutions which enable the small teams to survive. Which still enable the big teams to showcase the technology."

The "strategy group" involves the sport's five major teams plus the highest-ranked other (Lotus at present), the commercial rights holder and the federation, while the F1 commission sees all stakeholders represented.

Teams such as Sauber which are not in the strategy group argue that they have no say on matters that hit them hard financially.

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Read more on:    jean todt  |  abu dhabi  |  motorsport  |  formula 1

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