Teams finalise F1 rescue package


FORMULA ONE:Formula One teams have put the finishing touches to their blueprint for securing the future of the sport. The Formula One Teams Association (Fota) said in a statement that senior management from the teams, including what was Honda, had met in Geneva ahead of a scheduled news conference tomorrow.

It said the proposals to be put forward were "aimed at increasing the stability, sustainability, substance and spectacle of the sport."

The statement added that the teams had taken into account the findings of a Fota-commissioned survey of Formula One audiences across 17 countries.

Fota, headed by Fiat and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, was set up last September to provide a united stance in negotiations with the governing

International Automobile Federation (FIA), and commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone.

Both the FIA and Fota have already agreed cost cutting measures for this year to help teams weather the effects of the credit crunch but the departure of Japanese carmaker Honda and some prominent sponsors has led to calls for more dramatic rule changes.

FIA president Max Mosley wants a team to be able to compete for around €50million a season, less than a fifth of some team budgets last year.

The governing body said in a statement last week that it was preparing “radical proposals” for 2010 to be submitted to the FIA's world council on March 17th.

"If adopted by the World Motor Sport Council, the new regulations will enable a team to compete for a fraction of current budgets but nevertheless field cars which can match those of the established teams," it said.

"These regulations will not affect the established teams which now have stable backing from the major car manufacturers, but will enable new teams to fill the existing vacancies on the grid for 2010 and make it less likely that any team will be forced to leave the Championship."

The failure of Honda-backed Super Aguri last year left vacancies for two teams on the starting grid with Honda's departure raising the spectre of just nine starting the season.

However there has also been talk of a U.S.-based team entering next year.

Honda team principal Ross Brawn, who is expected to remain at the helm under a management buyout that has yet to be confirmed, attended today's meeting as head of Fota's Technical Working Group.

Force India owner Vijay Mallya was absent but will be present on tomorrow.