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Engine makers still hopeful of FIA deal

Formula One's leading manufacturers are optimistic that they can agree on plans for 2008's engine rules in a meeting with the FIA next week, even though it will be their last chance to sort the situation out.

After FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting deferred a vote on the plans for part-homologation at a meeting of the Sporting Working Group on Thursday night, moves are now being made to set up an official vote at Indianapolis next week.

With a June 30 deadline to amend the current rules, the meeting will need to be held before Friday night at Indianapolis if a decision is to then go to the Formula One Commission the week after the United States Grand Prix.

Despite the imminent need to find agreement, the leading carmakers are upbeat about the prospects of a deal being reached - even though so far there has not been a consensus.

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said: "I think it is a positive situation. We are evaluating what is good for the sport, what is good for the teams. Yesterday in the Sporting Working Group, Charlie Whiting confirmed that the FIA will support this process so for the time being I think it is a good situation and a good discussion."

Honda Racing boss Nick Fry added: "At the moment, assuming it carries on with good dialogue over the next week or so, I think there's light at the end of the tunnel.

"We want something which is good for the future of F1, and a good compromise obviously between technology: a level playing field for all the competitors and obviously a cost reduction, so it really is a combination of things. Ideally we want that from next year, providing we can reach something that meets all those criteria."

"But time is tight. There were discussions about having this tidied up by the end of June, which means that we've got to move fairly quickly between now and the end of next week."

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