The FIA has unveiled the cost-cutting measures that will be implemented in Formula 1 from as early as next season following consultation with the sport's teams, with strict engine limitations, testing reductions, a ban on re-fuelling and possibly a uniform transmission all on the list – but not Max Mosley's controversial standardised engine idea.
The FIA President's push for the same low-cost powertrain for all teams, supplied by Cosworth, was rejected by the Formula One Teams' Association during crisis talks held in Monaco on Wednesday, but a compromise has been reached whereby teams will use powerplants that cost less and last longer than the current models. A maximum of 20 engines will be available to each team per season, with the power and rev limits to be capped.
As of 2010, the top flight's independent outfits will use engines costing no more than £4.5 million per season, provided to them either by an independent supplier or by a manufacturer with a guarantee of continuity.
More immediately, all in-season testing will be banned from next year except that which takes place during race weekends, whilst manpower will be reduced by measures such as the sharing of information on tyres and fuel. The possibility of shortening the distance and duration of grands prix will also be looked into.
The governing body contends that the changes will save teams at least 30 per cent in 2009 alone – closer to 50 per cent in the case of independent squads – with significantly greater savings coming in the years that follow.
“The basic idea is that you get the costs right down,” Mosley had told BBC Radio 5 Live
ahead of the landmark WMSC meeting. “Currently a manufacturer can spend anything up to €200 million a year on its engines. That is unsustainable.”
“We have no intention of utilising a standard engine,” Toyota Motorsport President John Howett had added. “We can offer the same engine at extremely competitive costs with smart usage of the engine during the race weekend.
“The customer teams [will] have an outstanding package and the fans will still see great engines and a degree of challenge between the engines.”
The proposals in full:
Engine revs to be restricted to 18,000 rpm, and life to be doubled, with a maximum of eight engines per driver per season, with an additional four per team for testing
Engine cost for independent teams to be approximately half of 2008 prices, and engine introduced in 2010 to also be used in 2011 and 2012
Standardised radio and telemetry systems, a ban on tyre-warmers and re-fuelling on race weekends
No wind tunnel greater than 60 per cent scale and 50 metres-per-second to be used after January 1, 2009
Restrictions on aerodynamic research, combined with a full analysis of factory facilities
Subject to confirmation of practicability, the same transmission will be used by all teams
FIA to compose a standard parts list for the chassis
FIA and FOTA to investigate the possibility of an entirely new powertrain (engine and transmission) for 2013, based on energy efficiency