Sauber: big teams have cost-cut duty

f1-logoA crunch meeting will be held on May 1 between F1 teams and the FIA to discuss a way forward in the wake of the governing body abandoning plans for a cost cap.

Although some small outfits face an uncertain future if costs are allowed to continue spiralling out of control, Kaltenborn believes that the real issue is the health of the entire grid.

That is why Kaltenborn, with Sauber being one of four teams to warn the FIA in writing of big trouble if a cost cap does not happen, wants the biggest outfits to stop thinking only of themselves.

“Since the bigger teams don’t have the challenges that we the smaller teams face, they should stand up for the sport,” she said.

“I can imagine the teams that are healthy thinking they would expect to have the same kind of revenue and exposure if F1 had only the same four teams, or just A and B teams – but I don’t think that really works.

“They should think about the sport, but not only the sport. In any area of business, you want – through the rules or laws – diversity and you want healthy competition.

“You want a sustainable business and you want the businesses to run in a sustainable way. So why should F1 be any different then?”

Unfair revenue share at heart of F1 cost row

Kaltenborn points out an example from football, where Bayern Munich’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has this week offered to forgo rights income from the German DFB Cup so it can be shared around smaller outfits, as the kind of stance that F1 teams should be taking.

And she is adamant that an action plan has to be agreed on May 1, because time is running out to prevent a big financial crisis.

“We have spoken enough,” she said. “The time has long gone where we should have made the decision.”

F1 FRONTRUNNERS FACE DANGERS TOO

Although the fight to bring costs in F1 under control is being pushed hard by the smaller teams, Kaltenborn reckons that the situation poses risks for the big outfits too.

“The danger is that if you are not winning and you are still putting in these astronomically high amounts, knowing this from our own history with a manufacturer, at some point of time we know the board is not going to do this,” she said, referring to former Sauber owner BMW’s decision to quit F1 at the end of 2009.

“Or if you have a situation where you have achieved your goal, what more do you need to prove? That is what you have to be careful of as well.

“It could very well happen that some teams up there, if they have reached their goal and proven what they want to do, maybe go and do something else.

“We have had that all before and it is not the first time.”

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