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F1 a winner with FOTA plan, claims Howett

Formula One Teams Association vice-president John Howett has claimed that, should the sport's governing body accept the proposal put forward by the ten competing teams in opposition to the budget cap plan favoured by Max Mosley, F1 will emerge stronger and more attractive.

Speaking as FOTA waited to hear back from the FIA - and the ten member teams waited to hear whether their conditional entries for 2010 would be accepted on the terms under which they were submitted - Howett insisted that the two parties were working towards a common goal but along different roads, and that FOTA remained committed to cutting the cost of competing.

"As everyone involved in F1 knows, it has been a long and, at times, challenging process, which is not yet concluded," he noted, "However, if the conditions attached to our entry are accepted, I believe F1 will be the winner."

Despite rumbling to the contrary, all ten existing F1 team submitted entries for 2010 by the 29 May deadline, but did so on the condition that the current regulations were retained albeit 'amended in accordance with proposals that FOTA has submitted to the FIA'. The teams also demanded that a new Concorde Agreement be finalised by 12 June, the date on which the FIA is due to reveal the 13 teams accepted for next season.

Although Williams jumped the gun and announced that it had submitted its entry for 2010 ahead of its nine FOTA partners - a move for which it was temporarily suspended from the organisation - Howett was keen to point out that the teams remained steadfast in their opposition to the FIA and its plans to cap spending at £40m.

"It has been extremely gratifying to see the unprecedented level of unity within FOTA," he admitted, "Naturally, we are all competing on the track, but we all recognised - and acted upon - the need for co-operation to ensure a viable future for F1 as we know it. The constructive and open atmosphere within the organisation gives me great hope for the future health of F1.

"Cost reduction was one of FOTA's founding principles, and we have reduced the costs of leasing engines and transmissions by over 50 per cent, with further significant savings contained within our proposed 2010 regulations. These include limits on aerodynamic development, restrictions on the use of exotic materials and prohibition of some costly technical activities, such as wheel rim heating, which don't add to the spectacle of F1. In all, we have proposed many effective measures to reduce the cost of entry to, and participation in, F1."

Despite the obvious threat to existing teams from outsiders looking to join the championship in a cost-controlled era, Howett said that FOTA had no objection to new blood being accepted, provided that the two-tier system of rules that appeared likely under initial budget-capping proposals was dropped.

"We are happy to see new teams but we made it clear from the start that everybody has to compete under the same rules," he pointed out, "There is no budget cap contained within the FOTA proposals for 2010 regulations. Instead, FOTA has proposed a sensible method of controlling expenditure which can be managed in a very simple, practical manner whilst avoiding external and potentially costly auditing mechanisms. We have put forward a comprehensive document of proposals for the 2010 regulations which we believe will allow F1 to prosper."

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Alan D - Unregistered

June 03, 2009 11:00 AM

So what will Max say next? Will he stick to his budget cap rules, or will he try to claim credit for this and spin the story that he forced FOTA to come up with ways of saving money? And for those of you who are thinking "Well he has, hasn't he", FOTA didn't just dream up these proposals overnight. Dreaming things up overnight and not consulting anyone is Max's speciality.

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