Renault managing director Flavio Briatore supports the FIA's cost-cutting measures aimed at 2008 and beyond but believes President Max Mosley could have proposed further measures. Briatore suggested a budget cap of $100 million per team, with the...
Renault managing director Flavio Briatore supports the FIA's cost-cutting measures aimed at 2008 and beyond but believes President Max Mosley could have proposed further measures. Briatore suggested a budget cap of $100 million per team, with the FIA policing the budgets, and also a drastic reduction in testing, which he has long since advocated.
"Max is right with the new rules," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "We must cut the cost to guarantee the future of Formula One. For me he could have gone even further with his cost-saving measures."
"A grand prix is a two-day event. Friday should be a test day then we would not need to test during the season at all. The single tyre supplier and a few additional standard parts on the car will support that.
"I would cut testing before the season to one week. That should be enough to see whether the new cars are running and everything is safe. We burn millions of dollars with testing and nobody watches us. What a waste of money."
Renault is a member of the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association (GPMA), the group that has threatened to split from F1 and form a rival series come 2008 when the current Concorde Agreement expires. However, it appears that Briatore does not think a breakaway is a viable solution.
"The cards are on the table and everybody is free to decide what they choose," he remarked. "The ones who want to compete with reasonable cost have to stay in Formula One; the rest have to do something different. We should only keep one thing in mind -- it took years to bring this sport to the level we have now. It would only take one season to destroy it."
Even if Briatore himself is perhaps thinking that signing up to the new Concorde Agreement may be the way to go, Renault is currently bound to the GPMA unless all involved -- the other members of the group being Mercedes, Toyota, Honda and BMW -- agree to cancel the arrangement.
Recently its been reported that talks between the GPMA and the F1 contingent have been making progress, with Renault F1 president Patrick Faure suggesting that an agreement may be reached in the not too far distant future. However, that was before Mosley voiced his opinion that the manufacturer teams should not get any income from F1 revenues from 2008…
Whether Renault will sign up to F1 from 2008 remains to be seen but company CEO Carlos Ghosn's recent comments at a press conference indicated that the manufacturer is cautious about its long-term commitment to the sport. "At the moment it is a good investment for Renault," Ghosn said. "As long as it remains a good investment, we will stay. The day it is no longer, we will go."
"There will be changes to the rules in 2007/8, which we are analysing, and on an extremely objective basis we will decide on the length of our commitment in light of that," he added. "For the moment, we are moving forward, we are fighting and, what is very important in my view, we are proving through F1 what Renault is capable of, and that the cost of F1 is in fact an investment."