The FIA is set to reject an 11th hour bid by manufacturers to head off the threat of an engine freeze in Formula One.
Just minutes before the start of the French Grand Prix, the sport's governing body issued a statement revealing that the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA) had finally put together the requested offer of €15 million (EUR) each to pay for an 'Engine Fund' to help independent teams.
That deal, which is five million Euros more than the original offer made by the manufacturers up until Sunday morning, would provide the independent teams with the €70 million (EUR) 'Engine Fund' that would secure cheap customer engines for the next five years.
However, the FIA has expressed its confusion at the latest offer - which comes just a few hours after the GPMA claimed that its original offer of €40 million EUR (contributed by four manufacturers) was in the best interests of F1.
The FIA statement said: "In addition to the press release issued today by GPMA offering to put up €10 million for four years, the FIA has just received a letter from [BMW director and GPMA chief] Professor Burkhard Goeschel 'on behalf of the GPMA' offering to put up €15 million for five years subject to certain conditions.
"The FIA is hoping the GPMA will clarify this rather confusing situation and will identify the six manufacturers referred to in their press release.
"It has been repeatedly explained to the GPMA that if engine development is to continue, as desired by some GPMA members, the independent teams must be guaranteed a supply of competitive engines."
With less than two hours to go before the 4:00pm deadline set by the Formula One Commission last week, the FIA indicated that the governing body would continue with plans for a full engine homologation from the start of 2008 despite the latest offer.
Sources have indicated that the conditions related to the €15 million (EUR) offer are almost impossible to be evaluated before the deadline.
The FIA statement added: "Some members of the GPMA are apparently still having difficulty with the word 'proposal' and also with understanding that starving the independent teams of competitive engines is not in the interests of Formula One.
"The result of all this is that the rules will stay as published and agreed. As always, all agreements including the Concorde Agreement, will be adhered to and enforced.
"The positive aspect is that all the manufacturers involved can now concentrate on important and relevant future technologies in Formula One which they have been invited to discuss with the FIA.
"This means that they can stop wasting vast sums of money trying to make the existing engines even faster than they are already."
Sources have suggested that moves are now being made to try and bring a full engine freeze in from the start of next season, with is based on engines that will be homologated later this year.