Fernando Alonso says F1 needs to use 'common sense' to get a grip on finances
New rules often 'go in the opposite to the direction of saving costs'
By James Galloway in Austin
Last Updated: 03/11/14 6:14pm
Fernando Alonso has called on F1 to display “common sense” in getting to grips with cost issues to ensure the sport remains on the healthiest possible financial footing.
The confirmation last week that Caterham and Marussia, backmarker teams since joining the grid in 2010, had both fallen into administration amid mounting debts has triggered major debate and argument about the sport’s financial model.
With off-track discussion at this weekend’s U.S. GP dominated by money matters, the grid’s struggling smaller outfits have been vocal in calling for a more even distribution of F1’s revenues, demands they took to Bernie Ecclestone following qualifying on Saturday.
As one of the grid’s most experienced drivers, Ferrari’s Alonso has seen many different rounds of cost-cutting discussions over the years, and suggests that F1 often makes decisions on rules that only serve to increase budgets.
“We need to put common sense altogether in the sport,” he told reporters when speculation over the threats of some teams to boycott Sunday’s race was put to him.
“Also with the regulations, year after year, try to be on the cheapest side of the changes. Engine unfreeze…there are many things that we talk [about] and it goes the opposite to the direction of saving costs. So we need to put common sense in everything.”
While the bulk of Alonso’s hugely-successful career has been spent at well-resourced manufacturer-backed teams, the Spaniard started at the top level with former perennial backmarkers Minardi in 2001.
And while not professing to know all the ins and outs of teams’ financial arrangements, Alonso is aware the situation is challenging for those further down the grid and hopes solutions can be found so the field expands again rather than shrinks.
“Obviously I don’t know exactly the problems and why we always arrive every year with one or two teams in economic problems. Formula 1 is a tough sport economically so big manufacturers, big teams can compete in Formula 1, the others they try but they never get the right balance," he added.
“It’s difficult to know how they share the money at the end of the championship, how crucial it is for some teams to score points in the Constructors’ Championship. There are many things obviously which is out of my knowledge.
“Hopefully they will find a solution to be healthy in this sport and more teams and manufacturers are coming that everyone is happy with.”