GENEVA // The Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo has travelled to Switzerland today for talks with the FIA President Max Mosley on the motorsport chief's cost-cutting proposals for Formula One. Montezemolo, who represents the newly founded Formula One Teams Association, was accompanied by John Howett of Toyota. Several teams, including McLaren and BMW-Sauber, said over the weekend that they oppose Mosley's idea for standardised engines and chassis parts as a means of reducing costs during the global economic crisis.
The German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reported that the proposals caught teams by surprise, prompting them to cancel their participation in the Geneva meeting and send Montezemolo in their place to show a united front. The Italian was expected to present Mosley with an alternative cost-cutting plan, which could include longer engine lives and a US$6.7 million (Dh24.6m) cap on the cost of engines supplied to smaller teams.
Mosley had described the sport's combined $1.6bn spending in 2008 as "unsustainable," saying the teams were relying too heavily on the goodwill of rich individuals and corporate sponsors. "There is now a real danger that, in some cases, these subsidies will cease," Mosley said in a statement released yesterday. "This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level.
"The FIA's view is that Formula One can only be healthy if a team can race competitively for a budget at or very close to what it gets from FOM (Formula One Management)." Mosley wants all teams to use a standard engine design from 2010. The engines would be built by the teams themselves or by a single supplier or contractor. From 2013 cars should use a chassis with more "common parts," including suspension, wheels and underbody, Mosley said. "However, we are completely open to new ideas," he added.