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Jean Todt: "F1 must remain affordable" as power unit proposal deadline closes

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Jean Todt: "F1 must remain affordable" as power unit proposal deadline closes
Jan 15, 2016, 4:33 PM

On the day the FIA’s deadline for manufacturers to present ideas to lower the cost of engines expires, FIA president Jean Todt has said that Form...

On the day the FIA’s deadline for manufacturers to present ideas to lower the cost of engines expires, FIA president Jean Todt has said that Formula 1 must remain affordable to all the teams and is confident a solution can be found to satisfy all parties.

Todt was speaking at the Watkins lecture at the Autosport International Show today – the same day engine manufacturers had been asked to submit their proposals to solve F1’s issues regarding the sound, price, complexity and availability issues that surround the current power units.

This followed strong moves from Todt and F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone to pressure the manufacturers to cut prices, which culminated in the December meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council giving them a mandate to force change.

F1 team bosses

Things will now move quickly; the F1 strategy group and F1 commission will meet on Monday and Tuesday next week to discuss the manufacturers' proposals. The discussions may well stretch beyond just power units into other areas of the car where common parts could be introduced to cut costs, with Todt confident that a suitable compromise could be reached so that engines are affordable to all the teams, while manufacturers will still be able to make a business out of it.

He said: “We must make sure motor racing remains affordable at all levels, including Formula 1. One of my priorities in the Formula 1 championship is to make sure it is affordable for all the teams who are participating in the championship.”

Todt, who addressed a crowd of safety volunteers at the Motorsport Safety Fund’s annual lecture, also explained that the FIA had to come to an agreement with all of the sport’s stakeholders, but stressed that governing body did not have sole responsibility for finding solutions to the power unit problem.

XPB.cc Bernie Ecclestone Jean Todt

He said: “We are only the legislator of motorsport, so it’s a combination with the commercial rights holder, with the teams, with everybody. In a way we have to suffer some decisions which are not directly under our responsibility.

“The solutions that are to do with Formula 1 – we have nothing to do with that. At the end of the day we may become the victims of the way it is distributed.

“[But] we will end up with a result – what is important is to achieve a result. Sometimes they complain that I don’t communicate enough, but I am more interested in getting a result [and] I am committed to achieving this.”

XPB.cc Lewis Hamilton

Todt also said that although uncertainty was necessary to create a thrilling spectacle in F1, it would be unfair to single out Mercedes for its recent dominance.

He said: “When you have a team that is dominating, you don’t create as much uncertainty as you would like, but on the other side you cannot punish somebody for [being successful].”

Do you think the manufacturers will be able to reach a compromise to solve the power unit problem? Should the FIA do more find a solution? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Series Formula 1