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Engines at centre of Geneva meeting.


Although few details of Tuesday's meeting between the FIA and the recently-formed Formula One Teams Association were officially released, a handful of the proposals put forward by the constructors have emerged.

A two-line joint statement issued by the FIA and FOTA claimed that the Geneva meeting had 'produced significant cost savings for 2009 and 2010', and that 'FOTA are working urgently on further proposals for 2010 and thereafter', without actually revealing the content of the talks, or any decisions taken.

The teams, represented at the meeting by Ferrari and FOTA president Luca di Montezemolo and Toyota's John Howett, were expected to put forward their ideas on how best to cut the cost of competing in Formula One, but still retain a degree of individuality in the face of FIA president Max Mosley's controversial suggestion that the category use a 'spec' powerplant from 2010.

Mosley even went as far as issuing an invitation to tender for the contract to develop and build the new engine during last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, but many expect the move to be little more than sabre-rattling, designed to kick constructive talks with the teams into life.

The Geneva agenda, released by the FIA on the eve of the meeting, included discussion the possible introduction of a high-technology/low-cost powertrain - incorporating engine, gearbox and 'heat recovery' technology - for 2013, with other options - including single supplier engines and the supply of 'customer' powertrains - on the table for the intervening period. The list of topics also covered the possibility of using common chassis parts, including standard suspension and wheels and other expensive parts which 'add nothing to the spectacle or the public interest of Formula One'.

"It was a very constructive meeting," an FIA spokesman told journalists. "We welcomed the teams' proposals and we look forward to taking the discussion forward."

Officials of three teams, who did not want their identities revealed, provided a little more inside information, however, claiming that the cost of 'customer' engines supplied to independent teams would be capped at $13.2m a year, with a set number of units - thought to be 25 - to be provided for that price, while the current 'engine life' rules would see powerplants having to last for three race weekends instead of the current two.

The individuals also confirmed that the FIA and FOTA would meet again during next weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix to discuss possible changes to current testing regulations, mainly centring on the mileage limits for 2009 and beyond, while further meetings will be scheduled after Interlagos to discuss the rules for chassis design that are due to take effect from the 2010 season.

Energy recovery systems are also expected to have been discussed at Tuesday's meeting, with a difference of opinion having arisen between Mosley and some of the teams after the FIA president revealed that he would like to see the technology becoming a major 'differentiator' in future F1 seasons. The teams, meanwhile, had been exploring the possibility of making KERS systems available as part of the drivetrain package, or as individual customer units, in a bit to cut development costs.



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Pam

October 22, 2008 2:15 PM

Some guy blowing up on the last lap to lose the race would be pretty exciting by F1 standards. I don't see why there's such a fuss about all this. In days when there was a Cosworth in the back of almost every car nobody complained.

Huge - Unregistered

October 22, 2008 6:51 PM

Great idea Max: Forget engines, (saved £13.5m already). Increase the size of KERS flywheel and add a big spring. Get the mechanics to pull the cars backwards at the start line and just let ''em go!. Furthest wins! I had a great little model car that did that years ago!



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