• Marussia

F1 will fail without cost control - Marussia

ESPN Staff
April 26, 2014 « Cost cap a losing battle - Wolff | Long Beach commits to IndyCar until 2018 »
Small teams such as Caterham and Marussia are concerned about budget © Sutton Images

Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon believes Formula One will be setting itself up for a fall if it tries to implement cost control through regulations alone.

A crisis meeting on May 1 between all 11 teams is being held after the F1 Strategy Group unanimously voted against a cost cap for 2015. Marussia and the other teams not in the group are furious at the decision and feel the gap between the biggest and smallest teams will continue to grow.

The plan now is to achieve cost-cutting through sporting and technical regulations, but Lowdon cites McLaren's approach this year as a reason why that approach alone will not work.

"Over the years, through regulation changes, we've cut back on such things as testing and engines," Lowdon said. "Yet this season we had a public statement from McLaren saying they're spending more money than they've ever done, which tells you you can't do it through the regulations alone.

"At the end of the day the best teams with the cleverest guys will still win, but Formula One should reward skill and not just financial strength. Right now there is far too much evidence to suggest it rewards financial strength whereby you make a mistake and you just buy your way out of the problem.

"We have a set of regulations at the moment where you can buy performance - if you spend more you can go quicker. If there is a ceiling then it will prevent the grid from getting stretched too far."

Lowdon is a firm believer F1 should follow the example of other major sports such as the NFL, which has achieved a level playing field through a budget cap for all its teams.

"We want to see Formula One grow, and there is an important lesson to be learned from sports that have demonstrated huge growth over the last five to 10 years. There are two elements that are a feature of those sports; one is an equitable distribution of finances within the sport, and the second is cost control of some description.

"Those sports have delivered in terms of close, exciting competition and fans of Formula One want to see close, exciting racing. If Formula One cannot achieve that, when other sports can, it would be seen as some kind of failure. Why should this be a step beyond its ability? For me it makes no sense."

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