FIA president Max Mosley believes plans by Formula 1 teams to run third cars are a 'fantasy' that will be unable to reach fruition.
AUTOSPORT understands that following a meeting of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, the body's Sporting Working Group has been asked to evaluate the possibility of teams being able to run an extra car from next year.
The idea has been initiated by Ferrari, which is keen to have the opportunity to give Michael Schumacher the occasional race outing in 2010 if he is back to full fitness.
Although there has not been universal support for the idea within the paddock, enough teams are ready to consider it for the concept to at least get discussed.
However, Mosley thinks teams have missed their opportunity to achieve the ambition - as the current Concorde Agreement that binds the sport together effectively rules out the idea unless the number of teams on the grid drops.
"Three cars would mean re-writing the Concorde Agreement, and the time to think about three cars was before we all signed that, not after," Mosley told a selected group of media, including AUTOSPORT, at the Italian Grand Prix. "Now you would need unanimous agreement to do that.
"Unless the number of cars falls below 20... but the whole reason for getting the new teams in was to stop that happening. Three cars is a nice story, but it's a little bit of fantasy, and difficult to get unanimous agreement on."
There are some suggestions that one way for teams to get around the third car rule would be allow other teams to run the extra car, but Mosley has also poured cold water on that idea.
"That would mean another re-write of the Concorde Agreement," he said.