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Friday, December 5, 2008

"Guardians of the sport"

In the wake of Honda's shock announcement it is leaving the sport, the FIA sent a letter to the teams further pushing it cost-cutting measures, including standardized engines by 2010.

“As the guardians of the sport, the FIA is committed to working with the commercial rights holder and the remaining members of FOTA to ensure that Formula One becomes financially sustainable,” the FIA said in its statement.

The FIA revealed negotiations with Cosworth, Xtrac and Ricardo Transmissions (XR), to supply the low-cost powertrain.

The unit is one of three options the FIA proposes, the others being for teams to build their own engines to Cosworth’s specs, or to continue with their current ‘frozen’ engines. All options would include the standard transmission.

Overshadowed by Honda's news yesterday was the meeting of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), where teams unanimously agreed on their own cost-cutting plan in hopes of heading off the standardized option.

"FOTA met today in London to address the relevant commercial challenges that are faced by Formula One," Autosport quotes from a FOTA statement. "The teams had previously unanimously agreed measures that will significantly reduce costs in 2009. In today's meeting the teams have agreed to further measures implementing substantial cost cutting for 2009 and 2010, and additional initiatives to improve the show. Furthermore it is unanimously agreed that a new low cost engine will be introduced in 2011."
Autosport claims the new engine formula being proposed is based on a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine with energy recovery systems. The more efficient design will result in 30% less fuel consumption.

Changes in qualifying are also on the table. All proposals will be presented to the World Motor Sport Council at its meeting next week.

Teams have until December 11 to express interest in the FIA standardized engine.

The full release from the FIA:

Press Release
Formula One Costs

The announcement of Honda’s intended withdrawal from Formula One has confirmed the FIA’s longstanding concern that the cost of competing in the World Championship is unsustainable. In the FIA’s view, the global economic downturn has only exacerbated an already critical situation.

As the guardians of the sport, the FIA is committed to working with the commercial rights holder and the remaining members of FOTA to ensure that Formula One becomes financially sustainable.

The FIA President has today sent the attached letter to all of the Formula One teams.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still think this is the wrong direction. What the FIA refuses to accept is that they, too, have contributed to the rising cost by continually tightening the rules. Innovating in the few remaining loopholes has become more and more expensive for less and less return. This shuts out small innovators with small staff. The FIA has handed the sport over to major manufacturers, who, as predicted, are leaving during tight financial times. Open the rules, open the specs and let some small outfits who truly could have the 'greatest designer' or 'greatest technical director' take their shot.

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