A compromise is understood to have been struck in the stand-off between Formula 1's teams and its governing body the FIA over the mounting budget cap crisis threatening to tear the sport in two - with suggestions that the cap will still be implemented, but no longer in 2010.

FIA President Max Mosley insists that the introduction of an upper limit on spending is vital to the future preservation of the top flight and also to attracting new entries to swell the depleted grid, but the present incumbents are unhappy with the initiative on two counts - fearing that its optional nature will engender a confusing 'two-tier' championship of haves and have-nots that runs the risk of penalising the larger, better-funded teams who will miss out on the 'technical freedoms' granted to their capped rivals, and adamant that for the manufacturer outfits, a dramatic reduction from as much as a ?200 million annual budget to just a fifth of that in less than a year is simply unworkable.

Following a number of long meetings and discussions between Mosley, F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) in Monaco this weekend, it is believed that an official agreement is now not far away - with the understanding that the basis for it is a deferral of the cap until 2011, with further concessions on Mosley's governance of the sport, which has come in for a considerable degree of criticism over the past year with the Englishman being deemed to have taken advantage of his position to autocratically and unilaterally impose new rules and regulations, without first running them by the teams following the lapse of the governing Concorde Agreement in 2007.

Competitors are also expected to be allocated a greater share of the financial pie and television rights money from Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company - something for which they have been pushing for quite some time. Though the details have yet to be finalised before they are made public, it is hoped that the resolution will prevent such as Ferrari, Toyota, Renault and Red Bull from following through with their threats to quit over the damaging dispute, ending the renewed menace of a 'breakaway' series that Mosley argues was never a real danger.

"Slowly we're getting to a situation where everyone is going to agree," the 68-year-old told BBC Sport. "There may be an intermediate year in 2010 - that is still under discussion - and we'll really come down to that figure (?40m) in 2011. Ultimately, it's going to have to be that sort of region.

"Just imagine in today's world, [that] you go out to get sponsorship and you are just an ordinary team, so to raise EUR45 million is a massive undertaking. Everybody can talk figures - it ought to be this figure or that figure - but if a team cannot raise the money, then there is nothing they can do. Everyone understands that it simply cannot go on at the present level; the money isn't there.

"They (the teams) want to go back to the days of the F1 Commission and the system we had before the Concorde Agreement ran out so they can sit down and discuss all the rules. From our point-of-view it's a very tiresome process, but it does actually work.

"There's genuinely a constructive atmosphere - everyone wants to reach agreement. Quite a lot of progress has been made because we can see solutions now. I don't think there is any fundamental diversity of view. Even those teams who have still got a lot of money at the moment realise that others haven't, and if we want to keep a full grid the costs have to come down.

"I think they all realise that [a breakaway series] isn't practical. We (he and Ecclestone) tried all this in 1980-81 and we had a lot more going for us than they do. You can't really do that - all you do is destroy what you've got - so that's a bargaining position."

The stipulated deadline for submitting entry applications for next year's world championship is now less than a week away on 29 May, six months earlier than usual, and whilst Mosley is optimistic that most teams will do so, he did acknowledge that F1 'may lose one or two manufacturers or teams' at the close of the 2009 campaign, with the continued participation of Toyota, Renault and BMW all under question against the backdrop of the current global economic climate.

It is also rumoured that should grid numbers fall below the current level of 20 - with a maximum of 26 spots available next year - then the commercial rights money of any of those who leave could be distributed to teams willing to run a third car for a rookie driver. The present restriction on manufacturers supplying more than two teams with engines - waived this season to enable Brawn GP, formerly Honda, to survive - may also possibly be scrapped.

"I think there's a general acceptance that Formula 1 should be played out to one set of regulations, but there are a lot of other issues," underlined McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "There were some constructive parts of the meeting, but not everything is agreed.

"There is a lot of pressure on all sides. We can't spend months negotiating and coming to a conclusion - we need to do it pretty damn quickly - but there are still some fundamental differences as to how we ensure a sustainable way forward for Formula 1. We've just got to make sure by working together that we can resolve those. I think we all have a responsibility - those of us involved in the sport - to find a positive way forward."


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