Following on from the proposed 2011 engine regulations, the FIA has now opened up discussions for the complementary chassis rules. Sure enough, they talk of a single design spec chassis.
When this idea was first suggested to the teams there was predictable dismay. At a stroke, two-thirds of their design and manufacturing base would be redundant, not to mention their windtunnels and all the associated staff.
It also cuts through the very core of what grand prix racing has always been - with chassis design and innovation at the heart of the technical challenge.
However, for many years now the sport has tangled itself in a bit of a knot. Its competitive striving has been powered by hugely enhanced technological and commercial power on the one hand.
But on the other, the place this has taken the sport has required it to be technically constrained for reasons of safety, cost and entertainment. Therefore solutions in any one of these areas has more often than not meant making things worse in one or more of the others.
The FIA proposals look ostensibly like the first real attempt to untangle the knot. But something has got to give; there needs to be a sacrifice. It cannot be safety, the participants don't want it to be commercial - and so the governing body is suggesting it should be chassis technology.
In terms of safety, the sport's most lethal period was in the early days of wings in the late 1960s. Downforce created a massive increase in grip - especially when the wings were mounted direct to the wheel uprights. But designers had no real idea of the load variations being fed through the suspension over bumps or kerbs when being pressed to the ground by the new fangled wings.
Designers quickly realised the wings were even more effective when mounted up high on long stalks, putting them in clean undisturbed air. Now the loads were even bigger but were being fed through structures - the stalks - that made them yet more precarious. But still there was a more dangerous development to come - moveable wings.
It was the obvious performance solution to trim the wings out on the straights to reduce their drag and have them at full angle of attack under braking and through the corners for maximum grip. Lotus, Ferrari and Matra all featured devices of this sort by the end of 1968 and into the early races of '69. But it introduced yet another potentially lethal failure at a time when the engineering was struggling to keep up with the concepts.
The governing body was forced to step in after the double Lotus crashes in the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix when both cars became airborne and crashed as a result of their wing stalks snapping over a crest. Ever since then wings have not been allowed to be mounted direct to the suspension, they have not been allowed to be moveable and their dimensions and where they are sited have been ever more restricted.
So it's quite radical that the FIA is talking of a possible reintroduction of moveable aerodynamic devices. They are saying that if the teams don't like the idea of a spec chassis - which they assuredly do not - then one way of meeting the objectives of more overtaking and making F1 have more relevance to road car design could be to introduce active and passive moveable aero.
In this way drivers might trim their aero to go faster down the straight, but in so doing they will be creating a cleaner wake that will make slipstreaming up to them easier.
The argument is that the engineering and technology is now sufficiently advanced as to allow moveable aero without the perils of the devices failing mid-corner. The way that active aero might be used to blank off cooling, balancing drag reduction against airflow through the radiators, is something that might be relevant to the road car industry's search for maximising energy efficiency.
But, as ever, the knot tightens. Moveable active aero would undoubtedly make the cars significantly faster over a lap - and would make them much faster down the straights. At the moment the engine proposals are for hybrid units with around the same power as current 2.4-litre V8s. With moveable aero, the cars would be reaching potential speeds of 250mph+ at some places.
Are those sort of straightline figures acceptable from a safety standpoint? Would the cars be sufficiently aerodynamically stable with wings retracted? Would lap speeds overwhelm the built-in safety margins of current circuits? As such, engine power would need to be reduced. But when you do that, you make overtaking more difficult. And doing two sets of windtunnel aero configurations would increase costs too. And so the knot tightens again.
It's clear then that there is still a long way to go before something workable emerges. But it seems the process of untying the knot is now ongoing, with the governing body having assigned separate working groups for powertrain development, on-track racing and cost containment. But it's a hugely complex conundrum, like doing a five dimensional Rubic's cube when you're colour-blind.
My favoured way of undoing the knot? Take away 80 per cent of the money by deliberately making your solutions commercially disastrous. That way you'd automatically control costs, you'd lose the necessity of having to please the manufacturers because they'd be gone. We would no longer be racing in venues with little or no ground level racing interest
We'd avoid the nonsense of environmentally wrong night time racing. The only people still involved would be racers. And the sport would revert to being a sport. We could go to out-of-the-way circuits in the middle of nowhere, in beautiful venues well away from big population centres. People could come and watch it if they wanted. Now that would be radical.