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Mon 12 Jan 2009 12:00 PM

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Renault F1 IT budget to see 'significant cuts'

Refuses to collaborate with other teams on cost cutting measures

Renault Formula One has confirmed that it will cut its technology budget for 2009 – but will not collaborate with other teams on cost cutting measures.

In an interview with ACN, IT Manager Graeme Hackland reveals that motorsport will not escape the devastating effect of the global credit crisis.

“We’ve seen Honda pull out of F1, Kawasaki pulling out of MotoGP and some of the WRC teams pulling out. The situation is serious, not just for Renault but for all the teams. What we have done is get together as the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA). They’ve made proposals on how they can cut costs and take out the things that are really not adding benefits to the spectators but are costing the teams lots of money.

Hackland would not disclose the size of Renault F1’s previous budget or the specific percentage by which it will be reduced but believes the team will weather the storm: “We’re going to see significant cuts this year. In terms of our company, we’re in a strong position. We’re not known as a team which wastes funding. When we won the championship in 2005 and 2006, we had about the fifth or sixth biggest budget. There’s not a huge amount of fat in the company in terms of people or resources.”

He also suggested that a reduction in headcount was possible: “With the regulation changes in terms of testing and aerodynamics – Max Mosley (President of the FIA) said last week that it’s inevitable that there may be a loss of people from within F1. Though that’s very sad, that may have to happen.”

Many F1 insiders have suggested that the teams should do more in terms of collaboration to improve economies of scale.

Hackland rules out such a meeting: “There is no contact between the teams at that level. There is at technical group level and FOTA with the team managers, but the IT level will not engage in contact between the teams.

“It’s just the history of F1, isn’t it? We are all very secretive. The IT director of Honda did an assessment several years ago and got a few of the teams to respond. He had to be so careful and make all the teams anonymous so they couldn’t tell who each other were. We’re more likely to work more closely with the Renault Group than with the other teams,” he concludes.

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