Teams agree on new engine rules
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, July 2nd 2006, 16:15 GMT|
Formula One teams this morning reached a unanimous agreement on future engine rules, which should finally bring an end to the long-running debate about homologation in the sport.
After a series of meetings over the Indianapolis weekend aimed at finding a compromise solution, the teams finally settled on a package of rules that will see a part engine freeze in the sport from the start of the 2007 season.
Although the exact details of what is contained in what has become known as the Indianapolis Agreement have not been revealed, sources claim that the basic premise is for a package of rules that will last for the next four years.
Manufacturers will have to freeze the basic block of their engines for this period but will be allowed to develop some parts every year. These modifications can only be introduced at the start of each season.
The specification of the basic block will be lodged at the start of 2007, rather than using the current units that have already been handed over to the FIA.
It is understood that the compromise package sits somewhere between the Maranello Agreement proposed by Ferrari, Renault and Cosworth and the Monaco Agreement proposed by Honda, BMW, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz.
A document containing the rules package is now being circulated in the Indianapolis paddock for each team boss to sign.
It is expected that this will be completed today, prior to the rules then being put forward to next week's meeting of the Formula One Commission.
It is unlikely that the commission will reject the rules, which can then be put to the FIA World Council.
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen remained cautious about saying too much on the situation until all the teams had signed the paperwork. He said: "It looks like we are close to getting all the signatures, but we are not there yet."
But Renault boss Flavio Briatore was more forthcoming. He welcomed the end of the debate on engines, even though he is still angry that the discussions on the matter have gone on so long.
"It is the United Colors of Formula One," he told autosport.com about the agreement, cheekily referring to the slogan of the former Benetton team. "It looks like we are OK.
"It is good for F1 but I don't understand why we have been talking only about engines for F1. We are so obsessive with it. We have been looking at an engine formula and not an entertainment formula. This is the problem we have.
"We produce the more expensive cars for the most boring event. This is the problem. People don't care about our business; they only care about the engine.
"If I go out to the grandstands today and say we have the Indianapolis Agreement or the Maranello Agreement, they don't know what the fuck we are talking about. This is the problem is F1."