F1 will end up with just “three or four” teams, warns Mallya

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Force India owner Vijay Mallya foresees a bleak future for F1’s smaller teams as costs are set to rise.

Mallya said he feared engine and associated costs will double due to the expense spent on developing new V6 units for 2014.

He blamed F1’s richest teams for wrecking initiatives to control costs: “The FIA and FOTA [Formula One Teams’ Association] – when it existed in full strength – had resolved that we need to reduce the costs of Formula One.”

“But rather than reducing costs, one or two teams have decided winning at any cost is more important than the sustainability of the sport, so there is no resource restriction that is implemented, quite contrary to the fact that costs are going up.”

FOTA suffered a major split when Ferrari and Red Bull left the teams’ body at the end of 2011.

Mallya said the current situation could force more than half of F1’s teams out of the sport: “Whether it is the commercial rights holder, the FIA, or the teams themselves, I think it is very necessary that all the important stakeholders sit across the table and find a viable solution.”

“If you only want three or four teams in Formula One running three cars each you should proceed in the way it is now. But I think Formula One also needs the smaller independent teams as well, so everybody must also look at the common interests – not only the individual interests.”

Last week Mallya’s deputy Bob Fernley questioned whether costs were being allowed to rise in order to force the smaller teams out and hasten the introduction of customer cars.