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Marussia: Cut costs or fail

Friday 25th April 2014

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Marussia: Cut costs or fail

Marussia: Cut costs or fail

Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon says F1 needs to adopt some sort of cost cutting technique or risk being "seen as some kind of failure."

Although the FIA had hoped to introduce a cost cap next season, those plans were scratched when the sport's Strategy Group - comprising Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Lotus and Williams - refused to play along.

The veto has not gone down well with Formula 1's smaller teams with Lowdon warning that the sport could face long-term consequences unless something is done.

"We want to see Formula One grow, and there is an important lesson to be learned from sports that have demonstrated huge growth over the last five to 10 years," he told Press Association Sport.

"There are two elements that are a feature of those sports; one is an equitable distribution of finances within the sport, and the second is cost control of some description.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be a cap. There are other techniques used - ceilings, luxury taxes, financial fair play mechanisms.

"All the major global sports that have demonstrated high growth have adopted something and reaped the rewards.

"Those sports have delivered in terms of close, exciting competition and fans of Formula One want to see close, exciting racing.

"Some people have said it's too difficult to implement financial rules. Frankly, that's absolute rubbish.

"Financial accountability is the cornerstone of commerce, and the methods of auditing and accounting are as tried and tested as measuring the size of wings in scrutineering, or anything else like that.

"If Formula One cannot achieve that, when other sports can, it would be seen as some kind of failure. Why should this be a step beyond its ability? For me it makes no sense.

"It's something that can be done and should be done. It's an important step, and we need to seize the opportunity.

"We've been talking about these measures for years. It cannot be that difficult, even if there might be some short-term pain for some people."

The Marussia man reckons it would not be too difficult to implement at least two measures of cost control, such as a "ceiling" for how much can be spent and the introduction of more standard parts.

"We have a set of regulations at the moment where you can buy performance - if you spend more you can go quicker," said Lowdon.

"If there is a ceiling then it will prevent the grid from getting stretched too far.

"So what we would like to see is a mixture of cost cap, together with sporting and technical regulations that limit areas of potential high spend.

"We could have some common components, some limits on materials, the banning of certain devices, or whatever.

"If you have this mixture then it would prevent teams from spending to gain success."

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