6 Mar 2009

F1 works on further cost cutting

6:02 am on 6 March 2009

Formula One motor racing teams have unveiled drastic cost-cutting measures to secure the future of the sport and boost entertainment value ahead of this month's season-opener in Melbourne.

The proposals will halve costs within two years in an attempt to keep small teams alive and stop big automobile makers and sponsors from leaving the sport.

F1 Team Association chairman Luca di Montezemolo says this is an unprecedented moment in Formula One history.

The first steps this year will if approved limit the number of engines per driver to eight in a season, cut testing during the race season and decrease the price of engines for small teams.

In a bid to boost audiences, race winners will earn 12 points instead of 10, while real-time race data currently restricted to teams will be opened up to television.

More measures will be added in 2010, including a further cut in engine cots to five million euros per team, a further 50 per cent cut in costly aerodynamic testing, and restrictions on the use of "exotic" materials.