Lotus Boss Eric Boullier Says Proposed Budget Cap Needs Further Discussion
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone's "attempts to cut costs by imposing a potential £155M ($250M) budget cap on each team" has been called "unrealistic" by McLaren F1 Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, according to Mark Cue of the LONDON TIMES. Ecclestone revealed during last weekend’s Indian Grand Prix that "he had proposed such a figure, which would include driver salaries and all other costs, to the 12 teams." Red Bull and its sister team, Toro Rosso, "have previously opposed the resource restriction agreement, prompting Ecclestone’s bid to force through a resolution under which every team could comfortably operate." Lotus F1 Team Principal Eric Boullier "can see the benefits of Ecclestone’s idea but believes further discussion is required." He said, "Bernie is very serious. The budget cap is one of the best ways to have control over useless expenditure and to end the competitive war." When asked whether he though the budget cap or the RRA was a better idea, Boullier replied: "I don't know yet. The idea of a budget cap from Bernie is quite new, and we just need to look at it a bit more" (LONDON TIMES, 10/30).
A WOMAN'S TOUCH: F1PULSE.com's Ubaid Parkar reported that Monisha Kaltenborn became the first woman team principal in the history of F1 when Peter Sauber handed the title to Kaltenborn, "who had been functioning in that position for quite some time without the official nomenclature. Kaltenbord said, "I've never thought of seeing my position as the first woman (to be a team principal)." An ambassador for the FIA's Women in Motorsport Commission, Kaltenborn's "role and responsibilities has now increased." She said, "What we want to do is to show that the demands, which we put on women who have to be on top have to be the same as they are for men." Whitmarsh said, "Team principals are probably the most sexist, machismo bunch of managers you could ever hope to meet. If you are a bloke and an engineer and whatever I think it's easier." He added, "You come in and bluster your way around like I have done for the last 20 odd years and eventually someone gives you the job" (F1PULSE.com, 10/22).
RING OF FIRE: GULF NEWS reported that the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE "is taking extra precautions ahead of this weekend's Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix by partnering with one of the Middle East's premier fire safety organisations." The event’s organizers have "teamed up with AssetCo Fire and Rescue to provide emergency pit lane response in a move directed to avoid incidents such as this year’s garage fire at Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona." AssetCo "will volunteer two 10-man teams of qualified firefighters" (GULF NEWS, 10/30).