Formula One urged to cut costs as teams fail

Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:27pm EDT
 
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By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Sauber principal Monisha Kaltenborn has urged Formula One's decision makers to act in the sport's best interests and tackle a looming crisis after two teams went into administration in the space of a week.

Speaking after the governing FIA said the predicament of Marussia and Caterham showed the need for cost-cutting measures, Kaltenborn said she was 'beyond frustration' with how the situation had developed.

"It's one thing to just talk about this terrible scenario that some teams are not going to be there but for the sport and the people responsible for the sport to have let it come that far is extremely disturbing," she told reporters at the U.S. Grand Prix on Thursday.

"Some stakeholders and people are just not willing to understand where the problem lies," added the Indian-born principal, whose own Swiss-based team is facing considerable financial challenges.

"What we really need to look at, and we as a team have been saying for so long, is you have to get the figures right in the sport. I think it's a real shame that we have turnovers of billions of dollars and as a sport, as a community, we are not capable of making sure that 11 teams survive."

Formula One has annual turnover in excess of $1.5 billion but more than half that goes to the commercial rights holder, with private equity group CVC the largest shareholder.

The teams share some 47.5 percent but only the top 10 get a share of the prize money and payments are based on performance and vary considerably.

  Continued...

 
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany leads next to Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (R)  after the start of the first Russian Grand Prix in Sochi October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh