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F1: FIA president blasts teams' cost-cutting plans

Jean Todt, the president of the FIA, first thought as "a joke" when he discovered the plans of the Formula 1 teams for cost reduction.

The Strategy Group vetoed FIA's cost cap proposal earlier this year, arguing it would not be feasible.

This made the smaller teams really angry. Sauber, Sahara Force India, Marussia and Caterham wrote an explosive letter to FIA and warned the European Union about the fact that Formula 1 was not run under the competition act.

On May 1st, a crisis meeting took place in London, involving the 11 teams directors plus Jean Todt for the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone for F1. Everybody agreed to find solutions to reduce the budgets in F1 through the technical and sporting regulations.

The FIA president talked about the meeting.

"My advice - make a contribution as to how we reduce the costs. We know they have budgets of between 100 and 400 million and the proposal they seem happy with is to reduce by two million, which is ridiculous. When we speak about costs we are talking about reducing them by 30 to 40%, and then we can feel comfortable," said Jean Todt.

"I have some ideas, some input. Now I want to see what the teams say. We will meet all of the people again. Hopefully they are sensible people and they come up with some sensible suggestions. But what was proposed was a joke," revealed the Frenchman.

It is suggested that Mercedes has 1,250 people working on their programme. Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and McLaren around 700 to 900, and Marussia only 200 people.

Jean Todt would like to start by reducing the number of staff.

"We have too many people in a team. I was in Pau the other day attending a gala dinner and I saw a movie with Fangio, Nuvolari, Jim Clark and Jack Brabham, and there were maybe 10 people in a team," said FIA president.

"Times change, we must accept that, but between having 800 to 1,000 people or 30, there has to be a proper balance. What costs money are people. It is big. Then we have the number of developments that are made, the number of parts. This is what we are assessing," Jean Todt concluded.