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FIA targets carmakers in 2008 rules
Alan Baldwin | December 22, 2005 11:52 IST
Formula One's governing body has published rules for 2008 to tackle what it sees as the "financial profligacy" of manufacturers determined to win whatever the cost.
Measures include allowing teams to sell parts or even complete cars to each other, a single tyre supplier and engines made to last for three races.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said the aim was to rescue significantly the cost of competing in the first season after the expiry of the sport's existing commercial agreement.
"The rules must discourage financial profligacy and ensure that an independent team with ordinary commercial sponsorship... can compete with a car manufacturer prepared to spend in excess of $300 million (a year)," the FIA said in a statement.
It said an acceptable budget was about $100 million.
"The FIA believes current manufacturers' budgets are unsustainable and are putting the whole of Formula One at risk," it added.
FIA president Max Mosley said the real argument in Formula One, which remains in the grip of a power struggle with carmakers threatening their own series from 2008, was not about governance or revenues but costs.
"The world championship must remain financially viable for independent teams," he said in the document. "Against this, two (possibly three) manufacturers want to win by spending unlimited amounts of money.
"This approach has caused great damage to motor sport, most recently to IRL in America. We don't want it in F1," he added.
"One manufacturer is spending a sum greater than half its total annual dividend. This is unsustainable and sooner or later the shareholders will notice."
Major carmakers own, or have significant stakes in, six of the 10 current teams.
Changes outlined in the technical regulations included the banning at the end of 2008 of new technologies that would give a team an advantage for one season but were then adopted by all at significant expense.Rear wings will be split in two for safety reasons, there will be standard electronic control units for the engine and gearbox while wider, slick tyres will return.
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