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Team bosses agree on cost cuts in bid to save F1

ALL Formula One's car manufacturers and current teams are prepared to commit to the sport until the end of 2012, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said yesterday.

"All the teams and car manufacturers are prepared to commit to enter in the new Concorde Agreement until the end of 2012," he told the first news conference held by the new F1 teams' association.

Montezemolo, who chairs the organization and is also head of Italian carmaker FIAT, said the teams had agreed proposals that would halve the cost of competing in F1 by next year compared to 2008.

The measures, some yet to be fully approved by the governing FIA, included slashing the costs of engines and gearboxes and making some parts, such as the controversial new KERS energy recovery system, standard from 2010 while "preserving the sport's DNA." There would also be a further reduction in testing and personnel attending races.

F1 carmakers have been hard hit by the global credit crunch, with Honda already announcing in December that it was pulling out and concern about the commitment of Toyota and Renault. However, Montezemolo said the global financial crisis could also be a positive.

"The crisis represents a huge opportunity to improve Formula One, in terms of cost, competition and to really look ahead," he said, adding that the teams were now in legal discussions about signing up to a new version of the confidential Concorde Agreement which governs the commercial side of the sport.


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