GPMA urges FIA to accept engine proposal
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, July 16th 2006, 10:57 GMT|
The car manufacturers in Formula One have urged the sport's governing body to accept their proposal for future engine rules, but FIA president Max Mosley has made it clear their offer is not enough.
In a statement issued today by the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA), the body says all six car manufacturers - Renault, Ferrari, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda and BMW - have reached a unanimous agreement on the future engine format, supporting the so-called 'Indianapolis Proposal'.
The proposal, according to the GPMA, suggests to freeze engine development from as early as next year, for a period of up to four years, but to allow the engine makers one annual update each season on a selection of components.
The manufacturers' proposal is accompanied with an offer to create a €40 million (EUR) engine fund, which would support independent engine builders such as Cosworth - or, in other words, help the independent teams, not owned by a car maker, with their customer engine purchase.
The GPMA said ten of the 12 Formula One teams support the proposal. Autosport.com understands the two teams not supporting the 'Indianapolis Proposal' are Midland and Prodrive, who feel the engine fund is not enough.
Their stance is supported by FIA president Mosley, who is believed to be pushing for a fund of at least €70 million (EUR).
"The reason the €40m is no good, is because it's not enough to support the independent teams," Mosley told autosport.com. "I'm sure the matter will play itself out over the next few days."
But the GPMA have called on the governing body to accept the existing proposal, stating that it is currently the best offer available for the benefit of the private teams as well.
"At the Formula One Commission meeting on 6 July 2006, the FIA President requested unanimous team support for the Indianapolis engine proposal by the end of the French GP weekend, in order to implement these regulations from 2007," the GPMA said.
"All six car manufacturers participating in Formula One have unanimously agreed upon the Indianapolis Proposal, which is also endorsed by ten of the twelve teams.
"The Indianapolis Proposal could be introduced from 2007 - one year earlier than the FIA's full freeze - and would significantly reduce costs while retaining the spirit of competition.
"In addition, GPMA proposes engine supply for the independent teams for considerably less than their current arrangements.
"To this end, and subject to competition and fiscal issues, a proposal to provide a fund of €40m over the next four seasons to support the development efforts of an independent engine supplier was made.
"The engine fund provides the opportunity for an independent engine supplier to plan a structured development programme and ensure its engines remain competitive and affordable.
"This initiative is without precedent in motorsport and represents a significant effort to reach out to all teams, in the best interest of the sport.
"GPMA is currently unaware of any alternative proposals to contribute to the availability of affordable engines for independent teams but hopes this significant gesture will encourage other stakeholders to support this initiative."
The teams have until 4:00pm today to reach a unanimous agreement on future engine rules, and it seems increasingly unlikely that Midland and Prodrive will change their stance by that time.
Failing to meet the deadline, set out by the F1 Commission, will mean the FIA will stick with its current planned regulations, which include a full freeze on engine development starting from 2008.