Williams Martini Racing has vowed to fight against any cost increases as part of the 2017 regulations changes being discussed during today’s F1 Strategy Group meeting.
There appears to be consensus between the teams that costs will not rise significantly as a result of the rules changes, at a time when there is a concerted effort to cut overheads amidst growing financial pressures.
However, with FOM pushing for cars to be five to six second per lap quicker than today’s racers there are fears that costs could easily escalate, as specific technical details on how this will be achieved have yet been defined.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal of Williams Martini Racing, spoke with Autosport on the matter: “We haven’t had a Strategy Group meeting for a while, but the next one will be the point where we know the costs involved in those revised regulations.”
“One of the changes around the regs is that it doesn’t incur a significant cost increase – that was one of the objectives. I don’t anticipate it, and I hope there isn’t a huge increase – if there is then we would have to fight against it.”
“We’ve been one of the biggest contributors to the cost-control conversation, but nothing is ever agreed upon in the meetings on costs because the group around the table don’t necessarily need to worry as much as the teams we’re trying to benefit. We do our bit but unfortunately it’s a bit of a stalemate.”
“For the majority of teams who are going to benefit you have to reduce the costs by £20-30 million. If you try and look at the areas to achieve those cuts it’s very difficult to get rid of £20-30 million from your business unless you look at a wholesale change or restructure.”
It is anticipated that the results of the latest Strategy Group meeting will be revealed in time for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
For more on F1’s plans for 2016/17 and beyond, check out the results of the last Strategy Group announcement.