YEONGAM, South Korea (AP) — Formula One is headed toward a crisis within the next 18 months unless costs are cut significantly, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said.
Whitmarsh said the introduction of V6 turbo engines next year added even more costs to an already highly expensive sport, and more needs to be done to ensure the smaller independent teams can survive.
Along with the introduction of new engines and gearboxes, in-season testing will also be reintroduced next year, which alone is expected to cost teams $8-10 million. Some of the smaller teams may skip one or more of the tests for cost reasons.
"We have made some mistakes with introducing the new powertrains, we didn't control the costs enough, and the sport may well pay the price of that over the next 18 months," Whitmarsh said on Sky Sports late Friday from the Korean Grand Prix.
"We are not at crisis yet, but we have to be careful we don't wait for that crisis."
Previous efforts to reach a cost-control agreement through the Formula One Teams Association have failed because the bigger teams have been unwilling to handicap themselves for the good of the sport.