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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mosely fears for future of sport

FIA president Max Mosley predicts hard times for Formula One in today’s economic climate, warning problems could set in as early as 2010 unless radical cost-cutting measures are introduced.

“It has become apparent, long before the current difficulties, that Formula One was unsustainable," Mosley told the BBC. “It really is a very serious situation. If we can't get this done for 2010, we will be in serious difficulty.”

Highlighting the plight of the privateer, Mosley easily sees a point where the grid gets so small the racing isn’t credible.

“It depends at the moment on millionaires - billionaires, we don't have millionaires now - subsidising it, people like Vijay Mallya of Kingfisher (Force India) or Dietrich Mateschitz of Red Bull (Racing),” he said. “Without them, those teams wouldn't be there.”
But he also sees a time when the investment is no longer worthwhile for the manufacturers.

“The days when they could just toss out the 100, 200, 400m euros a year, which is what Formula One costs those big companies, I think they are finished,” he said.
One place he believes costs can be cut are on drivetrains.

“If you can believe this, the engine and gearbox together for an independent team is upwards of 30m euros a year,” he said. “That could be done for probably 5 percent of that cost without the person in the grandstand noticing any difference at all. Even those big spenders, if they are given the opportunity to save 100 or 200m euros a year will do so.”
Canada taken by surprise

Organizers of the Canadian Grand Prix only learned their race was dropped from the schedule by reading it in the media.

"The organisers of the Canadian Grand Prix have learned through the media of the Canadian Grand Prix's removal from the 2009 Formula One championship calendar," Setanta quotes from an official statement. "Consequently, no comments will be issued before speaking with the interested parties, Formula One Management [FOM] and the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile [FIA]."

Ferrari turn off the lights

Ferrari will go back to a standard lollipop system for pitstops at Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

This follows more than one failure of the light system Ferrari had been using this season, the most recent at the Singapore Grand Prix, where Felipe Massa’s race was ruined when he was given the green light with the fuel hose still attached.

"We need to stay calm so we've decided to go back to the old system," Stefano Domenicali is quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ferrari’s light system is designed to operate automatically, but has a manual setting as well. The Scuderia decided to use the manual setting in Singapore because of the high amount of pit traffic due to the safety car.

Massa was leading the race when he pitted, but the operator pressed the button too soon and Massa left the box with the fuel hose, knocking down two mechanics in the process. When all was said and done, Massa was touring at the back of the field. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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