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SBD Global/September 10, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

FIA President Says Sport Is Too Expensive, Could Lose Teams

FIA President Jean Todt fears F1 will be unsustainable if costs aren't cut.
FIA President Jean Todt fears that F1 "will be unsustainable if costs are not cut" by 30% over the next three years, according to the PA. Todt said, "Formula One is too expensive. It's up to the teams to work with our people and the commercial rights holder [F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone]. We need to agree what to do, otherwise it will be unsustainable." Todt believes that if costs are not cut, then it could "sound the death knell for the smaller teams," particularly with new engine regulations due to come into force from '14. Todt added: "We must reduce the costs in order to keep everybody on board. I prefer to present it like that" (PA, 9/8).

CALLS FOR EARLIER STARTS: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported that Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo suggested that F1 "should consider holding shorter races later in the day to attract a younger audience." Montezemolo said F1 needs to "rein in costs and improve 'the show.'" He said Ferrari "wanted more testing, to allow younger drivers to get experience," and returned to his long-held view that "teams like his should be allowed to supply third cars for others to race." Montezemolo: "Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that we have to look very carefully what we can do to improve the show of Formula One. I give you one example: one hour and a half for the young, it's a long time. Maybe why don't we do a test and we do two starts?" He contineud, "Maybe it is a mistake, but we have to think of something, we cannot stay always the same...we have to be innovative without losing the F1 DNA." While most European Grands Prix start at 2pm local time, some are much later. Montezemolo suggested some European races should also change. Montezemolo: "I don't think it's good to race in July and August at two o'clock in the afternoon, when the people are at the sea and on vacation. If you look at a sport like soccer, they play six o'clock, seven o'clock, eight o'clock" (REUTERS, 9/8).
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