Sep.26 (GMM) Formula one is not immune to the worsening global financial crisis, leading figures of the sport said on Friday.
In an amusingly pithy round of questions with reporters in Singapore, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said the sport's long-term contracts mean that formula one is not in the same danger as some other elements of the world economy."I suppose it will have some side effects but what they'll be, I don't know," the 77-year-old billionaire said.But Gerhard Berger, co-owner of the small Toro Rosso team that faces needing to become a full constructor by 2010, predicts tough times ahead."I think it is going to affect all of us," said the Austrian. "I think it is going to be difficult times, no question."If you look at new sponsors coming into formula one, it is very seldom, especially the big ones. As I see it, it is not going to be easy the next two years," Berger said.Red Bull's Christian Horner agrees."The global economy at the moment isn't in great shape and it affects all areas of the pit lane."On the brighter side, F1's governing FIA is pushing hard for cost reductions, and the teams recently formed a rare unanimous alliance (FOTA)."I think what is important, as with any business, is to prepare and we are trying to do that, some perhaps harder than others," said Adam Parr, chief executive of the Williams team."I think that in spite of the global environment we are in rude good health but we will only stay in rude good health if we prepare for the future because the world is changing right now, very, very fast, faster than anybody could have imagined even a month ago," he added."I think it is time to get down and change a few things."