FIA announces future F1 plans

The FIA has announced its plans for a budget-capped F1 following the Extraordinary World Motor Sport Council held yesterday in Paris. As we suggested would happen the entries for the 2010 World Championship have been brought forward to put pressure on the F1 teams to enter. They must now make and entry between May 22 and May 29. Teams must state in these applications whether they will compete under the cost-cap regulations or continue without any restriction on spending. The maximum entry will be 26 cars, or 13 teams. The FIA will then publish a list of entries accepted on June 12. The FIA says that in 2010 the teams will have the option to build cars for under $58.8m (£40m). This budget cap will include all costs except marketing and hospitality, drivers, fines and penalties, engine costs and any expenditure which the team can demonstrate has no influence on its performance in the championship and dividends.

A new Costs Commission is being established to monitor and enforce these cost-cap financial regulations. The Costs Commission will consist of a chairman and two other commissioners, appointed by the WMSC for terms of three years. One Commissioner should be a finance expert and the other should have high level experience in motor sport. The chairman should have appropriate experience and standing in motor sport or sports governance. All members of the Costs Commission shall be independent of all teams.

In addition to the payments which it already makes to the top 10 teams in the Championship, Formula One Management, the commercial rights holder, has agreed to offer participation fees and expenses to the new teams. This includes an annual payment of US$10m to each team plus free transportation of two chassis and freight up to 10,000 kg in weight (not including the two chassis) as well as 20 air tickets (economy class) for each round trip for events held outside Europe. In order to be eligible for this, each new team must qualify as a constructor and demonstrate that it has the necessary facilities, financial resources and technical competence to compete effectively in Formula 1.

The cost-capped cars will be allowed to have movable wings, front and rear and no rev limit on the engines. These teams will also be allowed unlimited out-of-season track testing with no restrictions on the scale and speed of wind tunnel testing.

Refuelling during a race will be forbidden in order to save the costs of transporting refuelling equipment and increase the incentive for engine builders to improve fuel economy (to save weight). It was also confirmed that tyre blankets will be banned and that the ban on other tyre-heating devices will be maintained.

The World Council has voted itself the right to approve the issue of the Formula 1 Super Licence to persons judged by the Council to have met the intent of the qualification process.

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