'Formula 1 needs solid business model'
4 June 2014 – Formula 1 needs to produce a 'solid business model for the future' or else the sport could find itself with only four teams, Lotus Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi has warned.
His comments come ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend and in the wake of a meeting of the all teams last month and the Strategy Group where the issue of cost control was again discussed.
Although all the teams have voiced their opinions recently - and were quizzed on the matter in the FIA team representatives' press conferences in both Monaco and Spain, Gastaldi has now reiterated just how important it is that something is done. He also believes it would be 'beneficial for all'.
"There are a lot of discussions. The problem is that while we seem to be in the same boat, we are not yet on the same page," he said. "We all have different agendas and different things to worry about. Ultimately, Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and we all try to spend as much money as available to try to beat the opposition.
"If you have a massive budget and good people you place yourself well to be able to produce a very good racing car. It is true that Enstone has a history of punching above its weight in regards to creating very competitive cars on smaller budgets than the opposition, but cost cutting can be beneficial for all. The crucial aspect is that it needs to be done so there are no loopholes.
"Ultimately, we need to ensure the sport in the current economic and sponsorship climate is sustainable. If we don't do this we could find a situation where Formula 1 has only four teams. We need to make sure we, as Formula 1, produce a solid business model for the future," he underlined.
Gastaldi also added that it is very difficult these days to find sponsors given the current economic climate.
"It is never easy and certainly title sponsors are something of a rare breed at the moment. As a team we have a number of strong partners and we have a secured operational budget for the season, notwithstanding that we don't have a title sponsor as such. What we have been able to do – and we've seen more of this happening elsewhere too – is secure additional support from new and existing partners. In Monaco, we saw Saxo Bank on our sidepods - and they were very happy with the value they received from this activation - and in Montreal we have EMC in this position and we know they will be happy with the activation they can leverage from this [too]," he noted.