I’ve written extensively about the moves afoot to bring down costs in Formula 1 over the last couple of months and talked about how the FIA intended to produce a set of rules for 2010 based on areas of non-compete on the cars to reduce costs for everyone. The key proposal is for the big teams, who choose to spend money on a technology, to be made to sell that technology to a smaller team at a capped price.
Today the FIA put out a statement which shows that it is going for this sooner rather than later, in an effort to help the sale of Honda and in plenty of time to give the USF1 project and other similar initiatives a chance of life in 2010.
The statement said, “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.
“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. The proposals will be submitted to the World Council on 17 March.”
This is a bold statement, if rather more vague than the FIA has been in the past when laying out its plans, this is possibly a pre-emptive strike ahead of next week’s FOTA press conference in Geneva, at which we will learn exactly what thea teams have been plotting for the last few months. The FIA’s proposal does, of course, affect the larger teams as the purpose of the changes will be to allow small budget operations to compete with them.
The FIA is in a position to ram through anything it wants using the justification of force majeur, because of the global recession. Although the wording of today’s statement makes that less likely because it acknowledges that the leading teams have ‘stable backing’ from the motor manufacturers.