FIA to cap F1 team budgets for 2009

We love Formula 1. Have for years. We believed it was the pinnacle of motorsport, and by golly each team had the stratospheric budget to prove it. There was a time when a single top team in F1 spent enough to run 12 or 13 top dollar teams in IndyCar. Teams have been wanting the costs to come down, which is fine, because we also miss the days when privateers had a punter's chance at winning a race. Bring back the days of Jordans, Saubers, and Tyrells, we say.
But we're not so sure about the way the FIA is going about its cost cutting. Max Mosley, FIA president, has said that as of 2009, budgets will be capped. The cap isn't set, nor are the details of what is and isn't included as part of the capped amount. For instance, the team principal, driver, and marketing department, as well as the engine, might not be included in the spending limit. If the teams accept a limit, then they'll get other rewards like additional use of their wind tunnels or more computer time for CFD work.

This, along with the 5-year engine freeze (which we still don't understand), is meant to allow teams to operate with a mooted budget amount of $150 million per year. Compared to the nearly $500 million dollars that a team like Ferrari spends, or Toyota's rumored $700 million budget, it will be fascinating to see what teams come up with. It will also be neat to start hearing about the sudden astronomical rise in marketing budgets, and to get a whiff of all those cooked books, because we simply don't believe teams will spare a bit of extra coin when championship silverware is on offer. The FIA meets with teams again at the end of this month to discuss the matter further.

[Source: Motor Authority]

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