FOTA budget cap response not ready
BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen thinks it unlikely that Formula 1 teams will be able to respond to the FIA with their ideas for a budget cap limit before next week's World Motor Sport Council meeting.
As AUTOSPORT revealed earlier this week, the FIA has asked the teams for input about whether its plans for a £30 ($43m) million budget cap limit are realistic.
Although the governing body set a deadline of yesterday for answers, Theissen thinks that it will take longer for the teams to consider their response – and reckons nothing will happen prior to the next FOTA meeting that takes place before the Spanish Grand Prix.
"Generally speaking, I think it is good to come back to the idea of an overall budget cap which was extensively discussed a year ago," said Theissen in Bahrain. "At that time we supported it as a principle and we will still do.
"The critical thing is still to agree on the right figure, although I have to say that at that time not all teams were in favor of a budget cap. So if it comes back on the table, I think we should give it serious thought, should try to come to an agreement on the right cap and that is what we intend to do. But that is definitely not possible within 24 hours.
"We will deal with it at the next FOTA Executive Committee meeting and we will probably not have an answer before next week's (WMSC) meeting."
When asked if the failure to respond before next week meant there was a danger of the FIA pressing ahead with its own scheme, Theissen said: "There are lots of dangers in life."
There has been talk of teams favouring a budget cap limit in the region of $70-$100 million, but Theissen thinks finding a suitable limit agreeable to all will require a big consultation process.
"I think if we pick up on it we will have a spread of probably 100 percent between what the smallest teams wants and what is acceptable to the biggest team," he said. "And on top of that, it would be wise to agree on a glide path over two or three years, rather than jumping in with a hard limit right away. What we need is a sensible approach and a sustainable approach for the teams in place.
"So, I think it is a bit more complex than just naming a figure and saying that is what is valid from now on."