FIA pushes for ‘radical’ change in 2010

fia-logoThe FIA has signalled its intention to introduce further cost-cutting proposals in 2010, shifting its focus to the long-term future of Formula One.

The regulating body has already rubber stamped a raft of radical measures to curb teams’ spending this year – such as banning in-season testing and restricting aerodynamic and engine development – but in the context of a worsening economic climate the FIA believes further change is needed to secure the future of grand prix racing and guarantee the participation of the smaller independent teams.

Indeed, Honda’s decision to withdraw from the sport has delivered something of a wake-up call to the sport’s powerbrokers, while the recent loss of major sponsorship backing from the Royal Bank of Scotland and Dutch Bank ING has compounded fears about the sport’s income streams.

Although a last minute management buy-out of Honda Racing ensures the presence of twenty two cars on the grid in Melbourne there now exists real concern about how to retain the smaller independent teams, such as the new Honda outfit, and make competing more financially viable.

The FIA will submit further proposals to this end at the World Motorsport Council next month. It is believed that the proposals will build on existing regulations to introduce more standard parts and restrict testing. Autosport reports that budget capping could also be considered.

“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 FIA said in a statement on Friday.

“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.”