Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn fears that Formula 1’s plans to introduce an alternative engine will drive sponsors away, thus failing to solve the problem it set out to solve, that of cost.
The Swiss team is just one of several struggling to pay its bills – something that wasn’t as much of a problem in the past when sponsors were lining up to be involved in the sport, but gone are those days.
Kaltenborn fears the FIA’s plans to introduce a cheaper alternative 2.5-litre non-hybrid V6 would create a two-tier sport which sponsors wouldn’t want to be involved in, therefore exacerbating the financial problem.
“The manufacturer’s and the FIA have decided that we are going down the hybrid route. I think, for the whole sport, it is not good if we turn back again,” she is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
“If we do, it will again mean that we are completely unrealistic and pass by reality. We would have problems with the sponsors, they would no longer want to participate. Look at Formula E. It shows how the wind is blowing.”
The 44-year-old believes the solution is to bring the cost of the current engines down – something the FIA tried implementing before Ferrari vetoed the move.
“The second problem is the implementation. We get a two-class society, this is not a good solution,” added Kaltenborn.
“This is an idea that does not help anyone. We should rather focus on bringing down the cost of the current engines.
“We have said from the outset: you must look at the cost. That was always promised, only no one has done it. It is now time to bring down the cost to a reasonable level.
“Nobody is saying yes, we must return to V8 prices, but there must be a middle ground between then and the prices that we pay now.”