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FIA seeking massive cost cuts for 2010

FIAThe FIA is preparing to unveil a new package of drastic cost-cutting measures that will reduce Formula One teams' operating budgets to just 50m Euros from 2010, in a bid to ensure continued manufacturer commitment to the sport.

While the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) and the FIA recently agreed a raft of cost-cutting measures, has learned that the sport's governing body sent a letter to the team principals in December outlining the need to take further steps to prevent more teams following Honda out of F1.

According to today's Financial Times, the FIA will call for a defined area of competitive technical development, such as energy recovery systems, and another, described as 'non-compete', which will effectively expand the range of standardised parts to include gearboxes, wheels, braking systems and suspensions.

Despite these measures, which may be perceived as restrictive by some of the top teams, the FIA wants to maintain the 'technical awe' of F1 and believes it can achieve this by defining specific areas of open development.

However the blueprint also calls for manufacturers that do develop technology in these areas to make it available at a set price to customer teams.

The FIA is taking action in the face of the continuing extraordinary global economic conditions, and in view of Honda's failure to find a buyer for its team so far, feels justified in pushing them through in time for next year.

But FIA technical consultant Tony Purnell suggested that this new rule package allows the FIA to open up and areas of development in the future depending on the world's economic climate.

"When we see that things are picking up and there is more money in multinationals for discretionary spend, then we can start reintroducing a wider technical competition," he told the FT. "But we'll keep to a central philosophy that engineers work on things that are relevant to society, like fuel economy and efficiency."

In December, the FIA announced a number of cost-cutting measures for the 2009 season that were agreed with FOTA. These included a total ban on in-season testing, major reductions in aerodynamic development during the season and limit of eight engines per-driver per-season.

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