The World Motor Sport Council met today in Monaco to discuss the future of Formula One and how best to reduce costs in order for all current teams to remain, and possibly in the future to entice further competition from new entries. So far, a raft of measures have been agreed upon and the team’s, voiced through their newly formed association FOTA, have unanimously agreed to the following changes to be implemented.
Engine life is to be doubled. Currently, an engine has to last two races, but under new instruction, the power units will have last four race weekends. This will be helped with a reduction of maximum revs from 19,000 to 18,000. Each team will be allowed four engines for testing, thus limiting the total number of power plants for each squad to just 20 per year. There can be no internal retuning of the engines, although trumpets and injectors are allowed to be adjusted. Renault’s engine will be allowed to be altered, a list of measures being agreed upon by all parties. It will not require any comparative testing.
From January 1st, 2009, any wind tunnels that exceed 60% scale are not to be used. This ban also extends to any wind tunnel that exceeds 50metres/second speeds. The team’s factories must also close for six weeks of every year.
The number of staff from each team allowed to attend a race has been reduced. This has been achieved by agreeing to share data on tyres and fuel, thus eliminating the need for spotters around the track. Bernie Ecclestone’s medal proposal will not be discussed further until market research has been competed and analysed. And finally, no in-season testing is allowed aside from the practice sessions during a race weekend.
These changes should, according to the WMSC, reduce the manufacturers budgets by as much as 30% compared with 2008. The private entries should see a greater reduction in costs.
For 2010, further proposals were agreed upon, and they are as follows:
By 2010, power plants should be made available to independent teams at a cost of less than €5million per team per season. The options are to use an independent supplier, like Cosworth, or use an already competing manufacturer. If an independent organisation is used, the deal has be agreed upon by December 20th, 2008. If a manufacturer is used, they will need to sign an guarantee of continuity contract, essentially meaning they cannot pack up shop one day and leave the sport high and dry.
Also, the same engine from 2010 will be used through 2011 and 2012 now, meaning there will not be a new power plant in 2011. The teams and the WMSC are discussing the use of a standardised transmission, but nothing has been agreed yet on this as further research is required.
The teams have agreed to ban tyre warmers, refuelling and mechanical purging of tyres. They have also agreed to using standardised radio and telemetry systems, although a supplier is yet to be discussed. And finally, they have agreed to discuss the possibility of reducing the race length, but are waiting to see the results of market research first.
There was also talk of further limitations being place on factory activities and aerodynamic research.
So what say you, readers of BlogF1? Are all these changes necessary, or does it not even go far enough? Is standardising some parts better, like the radios for example, but engines and transmissions less so? Or is it all necessary to help the sport continue into the future? Have your say in the comments below…