Motor racing-F1's smaller teams want reassurance on cost cuts

Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:21am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One's cash-strapped smaller teams want to see real evidence that the sport is fighting for their survival when bosses meet on Thursday to discuss how to proceed after scrapping plans to impose a cost cap.

The meeting, at Biggin Hill airfield south of London, has been called by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) to "clarify the means to achieve a substantial F1 team cost reduction".

All 11 teams, the FIA and commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone are due to attend.

It comes in response to a letter from Sauber, Force India, Caterham and Marussia that angrily questioned the decision to jettison plans, previously agreed unanimously by all teams, for a cost cap in 2015.

The move had been agreed by the F1 strategy group, which excludes the smaller teams, and the FIA's Formula One commission.

FIA President Jean Todt, a former Ferrari principal, announced at this month's Bahrain Grand Prix that cost-saving measures would have to come through regulation changes rather than any imposed cap.

The Frenchman said he understood all six teams in the strategy group did not believe a cost cap was viable and were opposed to it.

Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley, who has warned in the past that teams could be forced out of the sport without a more level financial playing field, said he would reserve judgment about the meeting.   Continued...