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FIA: Interest justifies push to cut costs

The FIA believes that its big push to reduce costs, which has put it at loggerheads with current teams, has been fully justified by the high level of interest from new outfits to join Formula 1.

Motor sport's governing body revealed on Friday that 15 applications had been made by new teams to enter F1 in 2010, although only three were chosen in the entry list that was published.

In a statement issued by the FIA on Friday afternoon, detailing the selection process for the new teams, it made it clear that it believes the cost reductions planned for next year had been the key factor in producing so much interest.

"It was a surprise in some ways, but more reassuring than surprising," said the FIA about the high level of interest. "Formula 1 is a fantastic prospect and with the financial reforms to lower the barrier to entry to realistic levels it is good to see such a strong market for new teams.

"This exercise has demonstrated that the only reason there have been vacancies on the F1 grid for many years was the excessive cost of participation."

The FIA revealed that it conducted full financial examination of all the entries to check they had the money to compete in F1, as well as conducting face-to-face interviews with the entrants in London.

This enabled the governing body to whittle down the leading contenders to a shortlist of five, which was then sent to FIA president Max Mosley.

"There were 15 applicants and we took 12 of these through the process initially," said the FIA. "We interviewed nine of the more promising potential teams. There were a surprising number of well-presented entries, with substantial funds behind them."

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