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Cost cap debate damaging F1's image - Kaltenborn

ESPN Staff
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Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn believes the ongoing debate over the cost cap is ruining Formula One's standing in the world of sport and says the smaller teams still favour its implementation.

The issue goes back to the decision on April 7 by the Strategy Group - which includes Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Williams - to vote against the cost cap, which had been unanimously agreed for 2015 earlier this year. The decision infuriated the teams not in the Strategy Group, which includes Sauber, and meetings since have not appeared to come any closer to a resolution.

Football governing body UEFA has recently starting implementing penalties to top European clubs - notably Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain - for breaches of financial regulations, something Kaltenborn thinks F1 needs to learn from.

"I think it is what we underestimate in this is we are being looked at by the world," Kaltenborn said. "It's by the fans, it's by companies either in the sport or hoping to get in the sport, and what kind of an image are we giving out there?

"Look at so many other sports. Let's take football which is so much bigger than we are. Top clubs in different leagues have even been served penalties because of the actions they have taken. Now one can argue it might not be a lot for these types of clubs but at least that kind of a measure action has been taken."

"We are here where other sports have gone much further ahead and we are arguing about such basic things. It is not good for our sport and I think we should stop harming ourselves and finally get down to such simple things. Everyone will understand what we are doing here. We are moving in financial dimensions which I don't think the common fan out there can understand.

"I think it's important to say that the kind of levels we are looking at in the real world is a lot of money, it might not be much for some teams here but in today's world it is a lot of money we are talking about."

The regulations for 2015 need to be ratified by June 30, giving the smaller teams precious little time to find a resolution with those in the Strategy Group. At present the plan is to achieve cost-cutting through sporting regulations, something Kaltenborn feels is unacceptable if implemented on its own as an alternative to a cost cap - which the small teams still agree is the way forward.

"I think nothing much has changed in the positions, at least not in ours. We still [say], and we maintain the position, that we are in favour of a cost cap. In our view that principle was agreed unanimously at the beginning of the year. We have never said that it is a cost cap or anything else, it's always been a cost cap to be accompanied with further measures if possible. That includes rules and regulations coming in that are aimed at saving costs. I think you can look at both things but we are not going to change our position as we think that is only right way ahead."

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