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FIA: FOTA can't finalise rules by itself

The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has been told by the FIA that it cannot go it alone and finalise new regulations by itself unless it has the full support of non-member teams, AUTOSPORT has learned.

With the eight FOTA outfits set to meet with Williams, Force India and the three new teams at the Nurburgring on Wednesday to begin discussing the plans for 2010, the FIA has made it clear that unanimous support will be required for next year's rules to change.

In separate letters that FIA president Mosley has sent to teams, both inside and outside of FOTA, plus Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, it has been made clear that there must be approval from all competitors for the governing body to be able to adopt new regulations.

"As you are aware, Article 66 of the International Sporting Code states that no change can be made to the published regulations without the agreement of all confirmed entrants," wrote Mosley in one of the letters to the non FOTA member teams.

"As a result, changes to the 2010 regulations require your agreement and consent.

"I would therefore ask you engage as a matter of urgency with the FOTA teams to seek agreement and to formalise the above principals into suitable contracts and propose a draft set of FIA regulations that all teams are satisfied with.

"Should significant problems arise, I shall be glad to involve the FIA Senate, but I hope this will not be necessary.

"Once these arrangements have been finalised to your satisfaction, you will need to notify the FIA so that the regulations can be formally amended."

In a more recent letter to di Montezemolo, FOTA teams were advised that the approval of the rules by the five non-member teams was vital because they were the only entries that had been fully ratified for 2010.

FOTA teams have entered on the basis of an agreement reached with the FIA last month being put in place. With those rules not yet agreed, FOTA was advised its teams could theoretically only be 'observers' in the future discussions.

Article 66 of the International Sporting Code states that: "No amendments shall be made to the Supplementary Regulations after the beginning of the period for receiving entries, unless unanimous agreement is given by all competitors already entered, or by decision of the stewards of the meeting for reasons of force majeure or safety (see Article 141)."

Getting approval from the new teams for the scrapping of the budget cap rules may not be straightforward, though, with the teams having signed up to the championship when the 40 million limit was in place.

Manor Grand Prix boss John Booth told AUTOSPORT last month that the scrapping of the budget cap was not ideal for his team - although he felt it too early to judge what difference it would make to his plans.

"It makes it more difficult of course, but I think we can just about manage it," he said. "It just depends what the target is in two years time, what 1990s levels were. Honestly, it's almost impossible to comment."

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