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SBD Global/May 1, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Formula One Future Rests On Cost Cut Talks Between FIA, Ecclestone

F1 chiefs "have been warned the sport could face a fan exodus if it does not make serious headway in addressing rising costs" during a meeting on Thursday, according to Jonathan Noble of AUTOSPORT. Ahead of the get-together between the FIA, teams and F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, there "is a growing feeling in the F1 paddock that action is now essential." Marussia Sporting Dir Graeme Lowdon belives that the outcome "is not just crucial for the survival of teams, though, because he thinks the sport's popularity is also at stake." Lowdon fears that if the financial situation is not changed to help level the playing field and open up the fight for wins, then F1 risks "losing more fans at a time when it is already seeing an audience drop." Lowdon: "The most important asset in F1 is not any particular driver or team -- the most important asset is the fans." The costs meeting "has been called amid fury from four of the sport's smallest teams" -- Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia -- about plans for a cost cap being abandoned (AUTOSPORT, 4/30). The PTI reported Ecclestone "promised the return of Indian Grand Prix in 2015 provided the race promoters, Jaypee Group, fulfill the financial requirements of the existing five-year contract." Ecclestone said from his London office that "he is expecting a meeting with the Jaypee officials soon to sort out the contractual matters which has put the future of the race in doubt after it was dropped from the 2014 calendar'' (PTI, 4/30).
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