FOTA pushing for five million Euro engines
|By Jonathan Noble
||Thursday, November 6th 2008, 12:20 GMT
Formula One team principals are still pushing to come up with five million Euro customer engine deals for 2010 that will stave off the threat of standard power units being introduced by the FIA.
The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) met in London this week to discuss a package of measures that they hope will reduce costs in F1 and allow the FIA to ease off their plans to introduce standard power plants from 2010.
FOTA has been discussing proposals at the last few races and, although some suggestions like a delay in introducing KERS until 2010 have been rejected, other measures were approved in this week's meeting - so can now go to the FIA for consideration.
FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo told Gazzetta dello Sport: "This is a first package of proposals, voted unanimously, which will bring important cost reductions. We agree on trying to have five million Euros engines in 2010. We also agree on producing new engines in 2011 at lower costs.
"Before the end of 2008 we'll face the issues regarding 2010. It was unthinkable that the future of Formula One should be decided between the Chinese and the Brazilian GP. More time is needed, but the spirit of collaboration is really nice."
Teams had gone into the FOTA meeting optimistic that the measures they were talking about – with plans to reduce testing, allow technical partnerships between teams and introduce more standard parts - would be positive for F1's future.
Toyota president John Howett, vice-chairman of FOTA, said before the meeting he was upbeat about what was on the table.
"I think it is very positive," Howett told autosport.com about the progress within FOTA. "A lot of items are at a stage where they can be voted on by the executive committee. I think it will be a really sincere and concrete package to support smaller teams, reduce costs and not alienate the bigger teams. There are still one or two contentious issues though."
Honda Racing team principal Ross Brawn added: "I think the work that FOTA is doing is very good and I hope through FOTA we can make some alternative proposals which achieve the FIA's objectives, FOTA's objectives and we can come together on that. There are some very good ideas."
The FIA has asked teams to come up with a proposal to supply independent teams with engines for five million Euros per season as an alternative for the need to introduce standard engines from 2010.
Manufacturers claim that five million Euro engines cannot be introduced for next year, however, because of the unit cost of the current power plants.
"It is impossible with the current engines," said Howett. "That is the current outline discussion, but whether it is voted and approved I don't know. All that has been agreed so far is a three-race engine and a reduction in test mileage, which is a double win for everybody."