After maintaining a dignified silence over the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, teams and drivers have finally spoken out regarding the FIA's highly controversial new proposal to have just a single engine-supplier in the top flight as of 2010 – suggesting such a move would render the sport 'no longer Formula 1'.
FIA President Max Mosley dropped the bombshell of a standardised engine idea upon the teams last Friday [see separate story – click here
], with long-time ally and F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone furthermore championing the initiative as a way of not only significantly cutting costs, but also generating a more level playing field.
Mosley was due to discuss the matter with the ten team bosses during a meeting between the governing body and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) in Geneva tomorrow (Tuesday), but following a hastily-arranged reunion in Shanghai, it has been decided that only FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo (Ferrari) and deputy chairman John Howett (Toyota) will now make the Swiss trip.
F1's six car manufacturers – Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Renault, Toyota and Honda – are violently opposed to the proposal, feeling it removes their very raison d'être
within the sport.
They are expected, F1SA
claims, to put forward alternative means by which to bring down expenditure, such as extending the current two-race engine rule to cover three grands prix, and reducing the rev limit from 19,000 to 18,500rpm.
“All parties had agreed a clear agenda for Tuesday,” an angry McLaren team principal Ron Dennis is quoted as having said by German magazine Auto Motor und Sport
. “It is incomprehensible that the FIA torpedoes this schedule with a radical proposal.”
As a measure of the overwhelming shock within the grand prix paddock at Mosley's announcement, ex-McLaren and current Renault star Fernando Alonso was uncharacteristically in agreement with his former boss, insisting he doesn't think such a dramatic change 'is good for Formula 1 to be honest'.
“We have big car brands here in the paddock and it would seem strange that we all race with the same engine,” the double world champion asserted. “This would no longer be Formula 1.”