BMW to Make Budget Cuts in 2009

Despite investing a lot in developing their Kinetic Energy Recovery System last year, BMW Sauber revealed that they managed to cut their budget by almost 30% between 2005 and 2008. Not only that, but BMW Motorsport boss Mario Theissen insisted that his team will keep the cost-cutting trend in the years to come, especially with the new cost-reduction measures that are to be introduced by the FIA in 2010.

“For our team I can say we have shrunk our budget by 30 per cent from 2005 to 2008 already. So with our own team in 2008, BMW spent 30 per cent less than in 2005 as an engine supplier to Williams. For 2009 we expect a further cut back of our budget, and again for 2010,” said Theissen at the unveiling of BMW's challenger for 2009, the F1.09, in Valencia.

However, Theissen argued that these cuts in the teams' budgets should not come with technical restrictions or standardized parts, as it will affect the very nature of Formula 1. In exchange, FIA should impose budget caps and allow teams to manage their funds as they please, focusing either on technical development or hiring more experienced staff. More, budget-capping would be easier to police than some technical innovations developed by one team at some point.

“We have had very extensive discussions on budget cuts last year. In principle we have always supported the budget cap instead of individual technical restrictions because very simply if you want to save money you should limit money and not something else.”

“So in our view this is a very valid approach, you can always argue about the figure then, but the principle of going to a budget cut and allowing the teams to spend the money in areas they think will make them competitive, is something we would approve.”

“I think it wouldn't be that difficult. If you police a budget cap it's just one figure you have to police. In my view it's much more difficult if you don't achieve a budget cap and come up with individual restrictions like wind tunnel use or, simulator use, or whatever,”added the BMW official.

The idea about introducing budget caps in Formula 1 was resumed by Frank Williams in December 2008, shortly after FIA agreed on a new cost-cutting plan for Formula 1. It is also expected to be top priority subject during the next FOTA meeting.
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