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Mosley offers to phase in budget cap

FORMULA One teams may get a year's grace before having to race with a 40-million pound (US$63.74 million) budget cap, International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Max Mosley said yesterday.

"(There could be) a higher figure (next year), and then going to the full cap in 2011," he said at the Monaco Grand Prix after meeting team principals. "This is a possibility."

Mosley also said one or two manufacturers could leave at the end of the season, with or without a budget cap, but he was confident that champion Ferrari would remain in Formula One despite its threat to quit.

"I think one or two of them may have to stop, but nothing to do with these discussions," he said.

"It is very difficult for a major manufacturer to continue in Formula One when they are doing economies in their factories like shutting off every other lift, turning down the electricity, not cleaning the windows, not serving coffee at the meetings.

"A company that is in that sort of situation is unlikely to go on pouring massive money into Formula One," said the Briton.

Former champion Renault, which is facing a gaping hole in its team budget after main sponsor ING announced its departure at the end of the year, and Toyota are seen as the most uncertain.

Japan's Honda has already walked away, its place taken by championship leader Brawn GP.

Mosley has been pushing the budget cap as a way of encouraging new entrants while also reducing costs to keep existing teams in the sport.

The 2010 regulations published last month included the optional 40-million pound cap, with teams who accept it granted greater technical freedom than those remaining with unlimited budgets.

Ferrari has said that would create an unacceptable two-tier series and has threatened to walk away. So too have Renault, Toyota and the two Red Bull teams.

"I am confident Ferrari will still be here," said Mosley, who said new teams were still desperately needed.

"We need to get Formula One to the point where an independent team can operate profitably because that's a condition of being able to continue indefinitely," he said.


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