Domenicali confident ahead of FOTA meeting

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali is optimistic that FIA president Max Mosley will support the teams' ideas for cost-cutting measures in their crunch meeting in Geneva on Tuesday

Mosley is to meet with the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), who will be represented by Ferrari's Luca di Montezemolo and Toyota's John Howett, to discuss ways to make F1 cheaper in both the short and longer term.

FOTA held two lengthy meetings in Shanghai over the weekend and agreed on a set of proposals that it hopes will address what the FIA wants to see happen.

And although no details have emerged on exactly what the proposals are, Domenicali says there is reason to feel confident about an agreement being reached.

"We've agreed on a document that I think is very important, because it goes in the direction the FIA has rightly pressed on with regards to costs, while keeping what we feel are the right variables in F1," he explained.

"And also keeping in mind both the interests of the independent, smaller teams, who need to make significant savings in the short term, but also keeping in mind the interests of the constructors with research and technology."

When asked if he was afraid Mosley would be unmovable for his plans, which include the idea of a standard engine from 2010, Domenicali said: "I don't think so, because I think there's no interest on the FIA president's part to face the teams in a tough manner, because - I repeat - what we've discussed goes in the direction the FIA wants, which in this phase is to fundamentally reduce costs, look at new technologies and keep in high consideration the smaller teams."

The FIA on Monday released the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, confirming that the discussions will be about reduce costs, engine regulations for the future and equalizing power-unit performance for next year.

In a letter that accompanied the agenda, Mosley wrote: "The FIA believes that Formula One costs are unsustainable. Even before current global financial problems, teams were spending far more than their incomes, insofar as these consist of sponsorship plus FOM money.

"As a result, the independent teams are now dependent on the goodwill of rich individuals, while the manufacturers' teams depend on massive hand-outs from their parent companies.

"There is now a real danger than in some cases these subsidies will cease. This could result in a reduction in the number of competitors, adding to the two team vacancies we already have and reducing the grid to an unacceptable level. The FIA's view is that Formula One can only be healthy if a team can race competitively for a budget at or very close to what it gets from FOM.

"We should like to hear the teams' views on this together with comments on the FIA's proposals and other suggestions for the measures, which will be necessary if major reductions in cost are to be achieved."

Mosley eyes a downsized direct injection engine with exhaust energy and heat recovery systems to be used from 2013.

He also has told the teams that there will either be a standard engine in F1 from 2010 to 2012, or that FOTA supplies customer powertrain deals to independent teams for five million Euros per season. On the chassis, he wants to see more standard parts.

The meeting between Mosley and FOTA is viewed as a key test for the new team's association, amid suspicions that efforts are being made to destabilise it. That is why only two representatives are going, because it will lessen the chance of Mosley exploiting any disagreement among the teams.

Domenicali said he was optimistic of total unity among the teams.

"This is the first time there is this kind of cohesion in F1 despite the interests being necessarily different between the various teams," he said.

"So I think this is a positive thing that goes in a direction that wasn't predicted by some, because I remember when we signed the association in Monza, some people were betting that the association would dismantle after two days.

"We are keeping together, this is positive. What happened between yesterday and this morning is something new which is good for F1."

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