Motorsport's governing body has suggested that plans are afoot to ease the process of entering a team in future Formula One world championships, without treading on the toes of those who manage to ride out the current recession.

With Honda joining Super Aguri on the sidelines in 2008, and adding their names to the list of teams to have tried and failed to crack the top flight, the FIA has released a statement claiming that it will try to make it easier for aspiring newcomers to make it onto the grid.

In a week when the much-hyped USF1 team finally broke cover and insisted that it would attempt to be in competition by 2010, the governing body is claiming 'radical proposals' that will slash the cost of breaking in to F1.

With the $48m bond previously required to lodge an entry no longer a problem, the FIA's proposals are expected to reflect plans revealed by president Max Mosley earlier this year to continue with his cost-cutting drive via the introduction of more spec parts and better use of resources, now that testing and other so-called 'extravagances' such as wind tunnel time have been limited by December's agreement between the governing body and teams' group FOTA.

"In view of the difficult economic conditions which continue to affect Formula One sponsors and major car manufacturers, the FIA is preparing radical proposals for 2010," the official statement claimed.

"If adopted by the World Motor Sport Council, the new regulations will enable a team to compete for a fraction of current budgets, but nevertheless field cars which can match those of the established teams.

"These regulations will not affect the established teams which now have stable backing from the major car manufacturers, but will enable new teams to fill the existing vacancies on the grid for 2010 and make it less likely that any team will be forced to leave the championship."

In his January letter to the ten existing F1 team, Mosley was already talking about the need to take cost-cutting measures far beyond what had been hammered out with FOTA in the run-up to Christmas 2008.

"The financial barriers to entry were already too high before the current world financial crisis," he claimed, "We had a championship dependent on the willingness of world's car industry to continue spending vast sums on Formula One racing and the few remaining independent teams (with one exception) entirely reliant on the generosity of their billionaire owners.

"In current circumstances, it would be crazy to assume this can continue. Costs must be reduced to a point where a well-run independent team can operate profitably with just the FOM money and very moderate sponsorship. This is the only way to safeguard the championship and allow new teams to enter to fill the gaps as well as replace those leaving.

"In any event, we believe we have a duty to do whatever is necessary to preserve the championship for the competitors, the commercial rights holder and motorsport generally. We are therefore prepared to act radically."

Among the 'really big changes' proposed for 2010 were new rev limits, restricted tuning and technology freeze for engines, a further restriction on testing miles, the introduction of a spec Cosworth engine costing under EUR5m, a spec transmission system from XR and a raft of chassis parts and systems which would be the only elements that could be developed by the teams, with the rest remaining either standard or frozen. The 'radical curtailment' of R&D is hoped to, in turn, cut back on the need for wind tunnels, CFD and simulators.

Interestingly, however, Mosley also revisited the idea of introducing a budget cap that would bring each competing team into line financially.

"The idea that each team should have the same amount of money, so that success is simply a function of intellectual ability, has great appeal," he wrote, "If properly enforced, it would be a very fair system."

The latest FIA missive said that the undisclosed February proposals would be put in front of the next World Motor Sport Council meeting, scheduled for 17 March.



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