As the cars rolled into parc ferme at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago, a process kicked in that will alter Formula One for the next three years at least.
Mercedes-Benz FO 108S © XPB/LAT
Part of FIA president Max Mosley's vision going into the next decade will see the specification of engines frozen until after 2010. The change is unprecedented in F1 history and has been the subject of much political dispute.
According to the new rules, the engines will be subject to a homologation process, whereby the design of the engine and any subsequent alterations are controlled by the FIA. Thus, there will be no fast-paced development of engines, and power levels will effectively be capped - compounded by the additional limit of 19,000 rpm.
The change is part of Mosley's agenda to control several aspects of F1, namely: speed, costs, environmental issues, and improving the "show".