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Mercedes: Costs must be cut 50 per cent

Costs must be cut 50 per cent

Eurosport - Fri, 05 Dec 17:20:00 2008

German car maker Mercedes has said Formula One teams must cut costs by at least 50 per cent over the next two years, although its own financial position remains solid.

FIA: Formula One costs 'unsustainable'
The future of F1 is up in the air after McLaren Mercedes' Japanese rival Honda announced that it was pulling out of the sport due to spiralling costs.

"Within the Formula One Teams Association we're working very hard on measures to cut costs, and over the next two years we must achieve cuts of at least 50 per cent," said Norbert Haug, the head of Mercedes Motorsport.

"Our Formula One involvement is built on financially solid foundations and is in large part financed by our sponsoring partners."

McLaren won the 2008 drivers' championship through Briton Lewis Hamilton (pictured), although they were beaten to the manufacturers' title by Italian marque Ferrari.

"This pullout is very sad," Haug said of Honda's withdrawal. "It only shows how important the cost-cutting measures are that we've been advocating for more than five years, and which have only been realized to a small degree.

"Mercedes-Benz's contribution is cost-efficient, the resonance in the media and in the public which last season and Lewis Hamilton's win generated was worth many times our financial investment."

In a separate statement, German car maker Audi said its US factory team would not take part in the American Le Mans Series, despite a series of wins since it first entered in 2000.

Another Japanese team Toyota said it was also committed to cutting costs.

"We are contributing to the FOTA activities which will achieve significant cost reductions whilst maintaining the spirit of the sport," a team statement said.

"We hope FOTA's proposals and activities will be given the widespread support they deserve as they provide the sound, stable base Formula One requires at this time."

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