F1 strugglers optimistic over crisis
Formula One`s midfield strugglers believe they may have found a solution to their current cash crisis and hope Bernie Ecclestone can endorse and support their plans before next weekend`s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Lotus team chief Gerard Lopez and Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn both said the deal -- which involves teams receiving an extra `base payment` from the sport`s commercial rights holder -- offers a fair solution given the exisiting difficulties for small teams in the sport.
"We three teams that have been speaking to each other have agreement on that," said Kaltenborn on Monday, referring to Sauber, Lotus and Force India.
"Nobody is asking here for anything unreasonable. I think we have to recognise that times have changed, the level to enter Formula One has changed.
"There was a reason for the system earlier, now things have really changed so one has to rethink that. We all have put in too much investment in to this that you can`t just let it fizzle out.
"Those times are long gone where a bunch of people got together on the weekends and went from track to track and raced."
Lopez said he felt confident a deal can be struck this week with Ecclestone and F1`s controlling shareholders CVC Capital to allow the smaller teams to receive enough money to operate on a workable budget.
"I really think there is a way to solve this in the coming days, probably even to get to a proposal before Brazil, in which case I don`t see the point in doing anything drastic that would damage the sport," said Lopez.
"I know CVC and Bernie have been looking at this, but it`s going to be a base payment given to the smaller teams, the racers, which is essentially going to make it possible for a normal budget to be pretty much closed here."
F1`s biggest teams have been reluctant to make sacrifices and, under their agreements, they would also be entitled to an extra payment.
Lopez thinks a deal can be agreed to keep everyone happy.
"It`s really not a complicated thing to do. It just requires a bit of good will."
Kaltenborn added: "I believe that the figures we have been discussing are at a decent level and can allow us to be in the sport decently.
"That`s all we say, the rest is up to us. We`re not asking for a solution where it`s dreams come true and we just have a comfortable, cushy life.
"No, all we say is you have to be allowed from the income that the sport generates itself to have a decent living in here -- and that you`re not struggling every month, every year to really make ends meet."
The pair were voicing optimism that a way out of the current crisis can be found 24 hours after Lewis Hamilton`s triumph in Sunday`s United States Grand Prix, which edged Mercedes` British ace closer to his second world title.
He is now 24 points clear of teammate Nico Rosberg, with Brazil, and the season-closer in Abu Dhabi were there are double points up for grabs to the winner, to come.