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F1 NEWS 

FOTA progress continues this week

The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) continued to make progress with moves to cut costs and improve the spectacle of grand prix racing during its latest meeting on Tuesday.

Although much of the get-together was dominated by discussions about putting processes in place to move its policies forward, headway was also made on a number of measures that FOTA has been focusing on in recent months.

It is understood that FOTA reaffirmed its commitment to supply independent teams with cheap engine and gearbox deals from 2010, as outlined in the previous meeting earlier this year.

The manufacturers who are members of FOTA have guaranteed that they will offer any team that wants it a powerunit deal for 5 million Euros per season, plus a gearbox contract for 1.5 million Euros.

Although such a move would preclude the need for an independent team to use the FIA's standard Cosworth engine offer, FOTA has said that it would not stop any member for taking up that option if they so chose.

Further talks were also held about the plans to scrap refuelling from 2010, and discussions moved forward the idea for standard telemetry. Furthermore, the teams analysed the prospect of a two-week summer factory shutdown for next year as well as further restrictions surrounding wind tunnel usage.

FOTA also began preliminary discussions about the results of a major market research campaign it has commissioned to find out what fans want to see in F1. Although the full findings from the document are not yet believed to have been delivered, initial results are now being looked at to allow teams to consider what changes can be introduced to make the sport better.

It is not known how much time in the meeting was devoted to the ongoing debate between the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) and the FIA regarding a restructuring of the superlicence fees that was scheduled for discussions, nor for the idea of allowing extra testing during the forthcoming season, which has been rumoured in recent days.

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