Luca di Montezemolo has spoken enthusiastically of 'a new Formula 1 in the year 2012', based on 'economic levels as in the 90s' – but the Italian refused to elaborate on just what had been discussed and decided during the watershed FIA-FOTA meeting in Monaco yesterday.
The sport's governing body and Formula One Teams' Association came together in the Principality to hold crisis talks about the future of F1, in the wake of escalating expenditure and Honda's shock withdrawal last Friday.
Whilst Mosley expressed that he was 'delighted with the outcome' of what was described by both parties as 'the most successful meeting on Formula 1 matters which any of the participants can remember' [see separate story – click here
], it is still not clear just what has been resolved in terms of engine regulations for the 2010 campaign and beyond.
FIA President Mosley had been pushing for the introduction of a standardised, low-cost, Cosworth-supplied powertrain, whilst FOTA had by contrast put forward an alternate low-cost, 1.8-litre turbocharged, but not standard, engine formula. The agreed decision will go before the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Friday for final ratification.
“I am very glad about the climate of enormous collaboration at the meeting,” remarked FOTA chairman and Ferrari President di Montezemolo. “There is a common sense of the difficult moment of our sport. Yesterday we could see the great responsibility of all the participants.
“The worldwide economic crisis and the enormous increase of costs in Formula 1 over the last years led the FIA and its president to give a strong and right impulse to cut costs as of 2010 to get our sport back into acceptable economic dimensions, so all teams will be able to participate.
“The answer we could find was beyond all our expectations. The extreme compactness, never seen before, and all the participants' passion for this sport brought the FOTA members to go beyond the requests made by President Mosley, taking into account courageous proposals, while voting unanimously for a substantial reduction of costs already as of 2009, which will be the most difficult year for the world economy and for the automotive industry in particular.
“The proposals presented to President Mosley, with Formula 1's DNA in mind – made of technology and sportiness – will enable us to drastically cut costs as of the upcoming season to have a complete new Formula 1 in the year 2012.
“Projected into the future [and] distinguishing itself by an innovative spirit and great attention as far as the environment is concerned, [it will nonetheless be] on economic levels as in the '90s, while maintaining the fascinating challenges, which is one of the factors [explaining] why this sport is one of the most popular sports in the world.