Mosley says F1 heading for major crisis

Thu Jul 2, 2015 4:00pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - Former FIA president Max Mosley has warned that Formula One risks serious difficulties unless it changes direction and cuts costs.

"There are no two ways about it, if Formula One continues on its current path, it is headed for a major crisis," the Briton, who stood down from running the governing body in 2009, wrote on the Daily Telegraph website.

"The futures of six out of 10 teams on the grid are uncertain, there is too much artificiality in the racing, costs are far too high, and all that is giving us uncompetitive and, at times, boring racing."

The 75-year-old, who regularly urged teams to cut costs during his time in office, suggested the problems could also affect the transfer of ownership from controlling rights holders CVC Capital Partners.

Recent reports have indicated RSE Ventures, which owns the Miami Dolphins NFL team, and Qatar want to buy CVC's 35.5 percent stake in Formula One in a deal that would be worth $7-8 billion.

"Once spectators stop coming, the grands prix are no longer viable for the organizer. If television audiences go down, Bernie Ecclestone has to trim down the contracts," he said. "From then on it becomes a downward spiral.

"And for CVC Capital Partners, the majority shareholders, it becomes especially difficult when they are trying to offload the sport."

Mosley, who was a close ally of Ecclestone over decades in the sport, said he would allow teams more technical freedom if they adhered to a cost cap of about 60 million pounds ($93.55 million) a season.   Continued...

Former FIA racing chief Max Mosley leaves the High Court in London January 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth