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FIA poised to unveil next move

Motorsport's governing body is expected to reveal its latest ideas to cut the cost of competing in Formula One when it meets to discuss various proposals affecting the sport today [Tuesday].

Aware that the current economic downturn is focusing the minds of the teams more than ever, the FIA has already confirmed that it is prepared to make 'radical proposals' to further reduce the cost of taking part in the top flight ahead of the 2010 campaign, and is expected to announce a combination of its own proposals and ratification of those presented by teams' body FOTA following its own summit in Geneva earlier this month.

''The financial barriers to entry were already too high before the current world financial crisis,'' FIA president Max Mosley told the teams recently, ''We had a championship dependent on the willingness of world's car industry to continue spending vast sums on Formula One racing and the few remaining independent teams (with one exception) entirely reliant on the generosity of their billionaire owners. In current circumstances, it would be crazy to assume this can continue.

''Costs must be reduced to a point where a well-run independent team can operate profitably with just the FOM money and very moderate sponsorship. This is the only way to safeguard the championship and allow new teams to enter to fill the gaps as well as replace those leaving.

''The FIA itself would not be financially disadvantaged by a collapse of Formula One, but it would suffer in other ways. And, in any event, we believe we have a duty to do whatever is necessary to preserve the championship for the competitors, the commercial rights holder and motor sport generally. We are therefore prepared to act radically.''

While no details of what may be agreed in Paris have been leaked, the 'radical' proposals are likely to encompass greater use of 'shared' technology, including a standard gearbox and underbody, along with a specified list of chassis parts and other systems which, from 2010 onwards, will be the only elements which can be developed by the teams, with all remaining other elements becoming either standardised or 'frozen'. The controversial KERS technology which teams are frantically working on, independently, for 2009, could also be included on the standardised parts list, while engines could be subjected to new rev limits and tuning restrictions, with testing allowances also reduced.

The governing body is also keen to see Cosworth supply cheap, competitive engines to those unable to land 'works' or customer deals with the major manufacturers, while Mosley has admitted that he would be prepared to welcome greater use of moveable aerodynamic devices in an effort to improve 'the show'.

Perhaps the most controversial move of all, however, could come in the form of budget capping, which made a return to the agenda in Mosley's letter to the teams in January and also featured in FOTA's Geneva meeting, although suggestions that F1 may succumb to 'wholly or partially reversed grids, allocating leading grid places by lot, giving the world championship to the driver with most wins and so on' may also raise eyebrows should they be passed.

The meeting is also expected to consider a number of proposals put forward by the teams as a result of their pow-wow in Switzerland, aimed at 'increasing the stability, sustainability, substance and show of Formula One'.

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piercarlogassolini - Unregistered

March 17, 2009 3:09 PM

......on the other hand, the idea of allowing more freedom if a team can keep to a £33m cap is a great idea. That is NOT a lot of cash these days. I hope Williams go this route and run rings round the opposition.

rob - Unregistered

March 17, 2009 2:14 PM

I can see it now. A driver can have the season wrapped up with early wins and then just coast around the track for the rest of the year. Why change everything at once?

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