Force India, Sauber make fresh call for F1 budget cap

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Force India and Sauber have launched a fresh call for greater cost control in Formula 1 in reaction to an idea proposed by former FIA president Max Mosley in the German media earlier this week.

The sport has been ravaged by a cost crisis for much of the past decade, and hit a low point in 2014 as both Caterham and Marussia entered administration and missed races due to their financial difficulties.

Although Marussia was reborn as Manor for the 2015 season, Caterham did not return, and is currently in the process of having the few remaining assets auctioned off.

Force India, Sauber and Lotus also encountered financial problems towards the end of the season and over the winter, and threatened to boycott last November’s United States Grand Prix over the financial gulf between the big and small teams in F1.

Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport in Germany, Mosley, who was president of the FIA between 1993 and 2009, suggested that a budget cap could be implemented whilst giving the teams more technical freedom.

Sauber reacted to his idea on Twitter via the official team account, saying that it was something “we fully support”.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn elaborated on this in an interview with Autosport, whom she told that F1 was in need of a “French revolution”. Now, Force India has joined the back-slapping over the idea of a budget cap, tweeting its own support following Kaltenborn’s interview on Thursday.

The idea of a budget cap in F1 was first taken seriously towards the end of Mosley’s presidency, with the plan being that the three new teams for the 2010 season – Lotus Racing (which would become Caterham), Virgin Racing (then Marussia, now Manor) and Hispania (then HRT) – could be competitive without breaking the bank.

Six seasons later, two of the teams are bust and the other survived by the skin of its teeth. In total, they scored just two points in total (Jules Bianchi’s ninth place finish at Monaco in 2014) in that time, and failed to compete as all ideas of cost control were put to one side by the sport.

Following the demise of FOTA and the formation of the meritocratic F1 Strategy Group, though, the idea of cost control being taken seriously in the sport seems further away than ever.