FIA president Max Mosley has said that he will push for the new-for-2009 Kinetic Energy Recovery System [KERS] technology to avoid standardisation, despite claiming that F1 ought to move towards a degree of commonality in other areas.
Due to meet with Formula One team representatives, under the recently-formed FOTA umbrella, in Geneva today [Tuesday], Mosley is understood to be proposing freedom in the development of supposedly environment friendly advances such as KERS, while pushing teams towards a spec engine and drivetrain. The latter has raised more than a few hackles in the paddock, especially among those that believe that F1 should be a technology-driven exercise rather than just a 'one-make' series for the very wealthy, but Mosley no doubt sees keeping KERS and other ideas yet to be proposed officially as satiating that desire to be better than the opposition.
"KERS will be essential on all road-going vehicles in the future, irrespective of their means of primary propulsion," the president told Reuters
, "The FIA therefore intends to keep KERS as a performance differentiator in Formula One - and, indeed, increase its importance in 2011.
"This will give Formula One far more relevance and credibility than the use of vastly expensive racing engines or extremely light and sophisticated gearboxes, both of which are almost entirely irrelevant to modern road transport.
"To standardise a new technology which is directly relevant to the biggest single problem confronting road transport -- energy efficiency -- while allowing continued development in wholly irrelevant areas such as Formula One aerodynamics, is not rational. Technologies like KERS, as well as the recovery and re-use of exhaust energy and heat, should be the future performance differentiators in Formula One, not old or useless technologies such as ultra-high speed engines or Formula One-specific aerodynamics."
A statement issued by the FIA on Monday confirmed that cutting spending on engines, drivetrain and other areas was of paramount importance to the future of the sport - even if the teams did not agree with every proposal.
"The FIA believes that Formula One costs are unsustainable," the statement confirmed, "Even before current global financial problems, teams were spending far more than their incomes, insofar as these consist of sponsorship plus FOM money.
"As a result, the independent teams are now dependent on the goodwill of rich individuals, while the manufacturers' teams depend on massive hand-outs from their parent companies.
"There is now a real danger that, in some cases, these subsidies will cease. This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level."
While Bernie Ecclestone has surprised some by embracing Mosley's plans for standardisation, it is not an idea warmly welcomed by the major manufacturers, who wish to keep F1 as a means of proving that they are better than their opposition in the market place.
"A standard engine is something we don't really like," BMW Motorsport's Mario Theissen admitted, "I think there are other measures to make sure that costs go down."