Whitmarsh joins FIA to help with Budget control

Whitmarsh joins FIA to help with Budget control

Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren team boss, is all set to return to Formula 1 in a temporary consultancy position with the FIA.

At the end of 2013, Ron Dennis came back and took control of the McLaren F1 team, and Whitmarsh was removed from the CEO position.

After leaving F1, Whitmarsh was involved heavily in yacht racing as the chief of Land Rover BAR outfit. He then stepped down from the chief’s role and took an advisory position.

Whitmarsh accepted the role of a representative on Formula E’s Global Advisory Board last November. The board is chaired by four-time F1 world champion and FE team owner Alain Prost.

In his new role at the FIA, the British businessman will help the governing body to create and implement cost control rules in F1- which may even include a budget cap.

Whitmarsh’s experience as the chairman of the F1 Teams’ Association from 2010 to 2012 and his knowledge of managing a team will be helpful in figuring out the smartest way to implement financial controls on the teams.

Matteo Bonciani, the FIA’s F1 head of communications, said: “Whitmarsh has accepted an invitation to work with the FIA on a temporary basis in order to support it in defining financial regulations for fair and sustainable competition in the FIA F1 world championship.”

More details about Whitmarsh’s role will be publicised after the Strategy Group meeting scheduled for Thursday.

Unanticipated consequences

F1 had tried to start a budget cap in 2013 and back then Whitmarsh had warned that such restrictions would only work if every team agrees to the plan and doesn’t use the regulation to gain an advantage over other teams.

His experience with the teams and the management may become crucial in helping the FIA to create the framework for such a regulation.

“If we want to do it [introduce a budget cap] we have got a way of doing it, but a minority will always be opportunistic or try to frustrate it,” Whitmarsh told Autosport at the time.

“There have always been and will always be ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, [and] the problem is that the ‘haves’ never want to deal with it.

“It is so easy to have unforeseen consequences and changes in a finely balanced situation.

“I think it can be done, but if there is not a big enough will…”

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