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FIA content with current V10 restrictions

the airbox restriction on the STR1Scuderia Toro Rosso have been assured that there will be no move by the FIA to slow down their V10 engines before the start of the season - even though rival teams are concerned about their pace.

The Red Bull Junior team are the only outfit running a restricted V10 engine this year and some other teams are worried that the current rev limit and air intake hand it an advantage over some of the V8 power-units on the grid.

But FIA president Max Mosley said today that the governing body is happy with the current performance levels of the two types of engines - and has made it clear that the V10 will not be automatically slowed to be at the back of the field.

"We think it shouldn't be an engine that you would voluntarily use if you had access to a competitive V8," he said when asked by about whether the V10s should be slower than every V8 on the grid.

"Well, what is a competitive V8? We think that from all the test and all the information we have got, it will be in the lower half of the spectrum of engines on the power curve, although it will have an advantage with a more favourable duty cycle. It can use what it has got all the time, unlike the faster engines.

"We have got an open mind, but we think it is sufficiently below a competitive engine. So it (the V10 resitriction) has achieved its purpose."

Although work by the Midland team in testing last year to provide back-to-back data on a Toyota V10 engine performance against a V8 indicated that the older power-units did have an advantage, Mosley believes that by the start of the season the two configurations will be on a more level-playing field.

"Midland did some good tests, which were very scientific, and the V10 came out ahead of the V8," Mosley said. "But there were several factors there.

"The Toyota V10 was probably better than the Cosworth V10 from the previous years, and the V8s will all improve whereas the V10 will not. So by the time we get to Bahrain, it (the V10) will be quite a long way down the pecking order."

Despite his satisfaction with the current performance of the V10s engines, however, Mosley has not ruled out taking action if the power-unit started achieving decent results during 2006.

"We have said to Cosworth, 'Don't get it wrong because we will change it at a moment's notice if you do.' That would be massively inconvenient, so they have got a huge incentive not to take the Mickey."

The FIA's belief that the V10s are currently performing at a satisfactory level will come as a blow to the Midland team, who have made no secret of their unhappiness at the Cosworth power-units being used in F1.

Team principal Colin Kolles said recently: "If they are in front of us then they will have a problem, because I will not be very happy with this and I am very clear about this."

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