May 7 (GMM) Norbert Haug has moved to calm speculation that car manufacturers are considering pulling out of formula one.
Amid the global recession, the crisis in new car sales and now the controversial budget caps for 2010, plenty of recent media coverage has been devoted to the future on the grid of carmakers, even the steadfast and robust Ferrari.But after a meeting of the FOTA team alliance in London, Mercedes' competition chief Haug was quoted as remarking that despite the grumblings about budget caps, teams are focused on moving forwards in F1."Even Ferrari wants to save (money)," the German is quoted as saying by spox.com. "Perhaps they are concerned about the terms of the budget cap and the past approaches of the FIA."But a withdrawal is at the moment not at all a topic of discussion," Haug insisted.Former Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger, however, can foresee the current situation leading to an exodus of car manufacturers."Maybe formula one would then be as it was in the 80s and 90s," the former grand prix winner said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport."It was then that Williams, McLaren and Jordan raced one another for 45 million a year. The fans were discussing the sport, great overtaking moves, the drivers, and not all the technical stuff," Berger added.The Austrian, a friend of Max Mosley, fully supports the FIA president's desire for budget capping."Let's wait and see what happens when the big sponsor contracts run out," Berger continued. "If you then get a deal for 10 per cent (of the previous value) you will be happy."The next step is the Bernie Ecclestone income: he can't possibly keep the prices of the organisers and the TV companies the same, so the teams won't be getting 30 million but only 10 million."He also believes that if the two-tier budget cap system begins in 2010, it will not be long before the big-spending manufacturers join in."If someone spending only 45 million is just as good as you, or better than you, when you're spending 300 million, then the executive committee will soon be asking, 'why aren't we doing this with 45 million?'" said Berger.