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FIA set to unveil cost-cutting plan

Max MosleyThe FIA will unveil later today in Monaco the raft of cost cuts that look set to secure the sport's future.

Following what has been hailed as a breakthrough meeting between FIA president Max Mosley and the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) earlier this week, new regulations aimed at slashing budgets are due to be rubber-stamped by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

No details of what was agreed have yet been released in public, but it is understood they revolve around dramatic cuts in testing - which perhaps go as far as a total in-season testing ban - plus reductions in wind tunnel work and aerodynamic development.

Furthermore, it is believed that the FIA will approve an 11th hour decision to drop plans for a standard engine for 2010 after the manufacturers agreed themselves to supply cheap power units to independent teams.

As reported earlier this week, the standard engine proposal had looked like going ahead when five teams - including manufacturer team Renault - expressed an interest in signing up to the deal.

However, with a number of car makers keen to ensure that engines remain a technical challenge for them, there was a late move to further extend engine life - which would allow the manufacturers to offer cheap deals to other teams.

Mosley had made it clear in letters to the teams that the standard engine option would only go ahead if the manufacturers could not make available engine deals for independent teams costing around five million Euros.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who is chairman of FOTA, was excited about the plans that will be unveiled later today.

"The proposals presented to President Mosley, with Formula One's DNA in mind - made of technology and sportiness - will enable us to drastically cut costs as of the upcoming season, to have a complete new Formula One in the year 2012, projected into the future, distinguishing itself by an innovative spirit and great attention as far as the environment is concerned, but on economic levels as in the 90s, while maintaining the fascinating challenges, which is one of the factors why this sport is one of the most popular sports in the world," he said.

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