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Ecclestone says car makers won't leave

Bernie EcclestoneFormula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone does not believe manufacturers will withdraw from the sport in the wake of the FIA pressing ahead with plans for a standard engine.

As the car makers refused to comment today in response to the FIA announcement that a tender process has begun for a standard engine from 2010, Ecclestone played down talks of teams pulling out - saying the car makers should be happy that moves were being made to help them reduce costs.

"It is what everyone was expecting," Ecclestone told autosport.com. "They have announced that they are trying to get people to use homologated engines. We are just trying to get a level playing field, to be honest with you."

Asked if he thought car makers would remain in F1 in spite of the move, he replied: "I hope so.

"I don't see why they should leave," Ecclestone added. "We are saving them an awful lot of money, I hope."

The FIA announced on Friday that it will open a tender process for standard engines and transmissions to be used from 2010 to 2013.

But added that F1's manufacturers will still be able to build their own engines when standard power units are introduced from the start of 2010, according to the sport's governing body.

A spokesman for the FIA also confirmed that the governing body now plans to amend F1's regulations.

Ecclestone said that he did not think the tender would stop manufacturers using F1 as a showcase for technology and added that all the FIA was trying to do was reduce the cost of being able to compete on a level playing field.

"I don't see why they should [pull out]," he said. "Why should someone pull out because they are going to save a lot of money?

"All the technical things will still be there so they can show all their talents.

"What we want is to reduce the necessity to spend to be competitive. That is the simplest thing."

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