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Mosley turns up the pressure

NEWS STORY
01/03/2006

Ahead of the 'manufacturers' commitment window' later this month, a seven-day period during which the manufacturers which currently comprise the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA) must commit to the 2008 Formula One World Championship or face exclusion, FIA President Max Mosley has written to the manufacturers and team principals.

The FIA World Council meets on March 22, and Mosley hopes to gain approval for a seven-day window (from March 24) during which the manufacturers must commit to the 2008 championship. After this time some of them might not be able to gain entry, even if the proposed breakaway series fails to materialise, since new teams may well have signed up.

Mosley also warns the manufacturers that should they fail to sign up in time they would also face exclusion from talks regarding future rules.

Pitpass has obtained a copy of Mr Mosley's letter:

To all team principals and manufacturers' representatives known to have an interest in the 2008 Formula One World Championship.

1 March 2006

Gentlemen

On 22 March 2006, the World Motor Sport Council will be invited to approve Formula One Sporting Regulations for 2008. These proposed regulations include a provision that entries for the 2008 Formula One World Championship should open on 24 March 2006 and close on 31 March 2006.

The reason we are proposing this relatively early closing date is that both the Sporting and Technical regulations may need some limited fine tuning before they are finalised, and we intend to give the teams that are committed to participating at least eighteen months' notice of changes which may affect the design of the cars. This means that many of the 2008 regulations must be fixed no later than 30 June 2006. Once the entries have closed, the participants in the 2008 Championship will be known, enabling the FIA and those teams to use the three months from 31 March to 30 June 2006 for the discussion and agreement of any final adjustments to the regulations. Naturally, discussions on the fine tuning of the 2008 regulations will only involve those that intend to participate in the Championship.

The draft 2008 Technical Regulations were, of course, published prior to 31 December 2005 as required by the Concorde Agreement. A preliminary draft of the 2008 Sporting Regulations has already been circulated to the teams which have committed to the 2008 Championship as well as to certain new teams which have indicated that they may wish to enter. We will be happy to provide a copy of this preliminary draft to any other team that requests it, though this may not be exactly identical to the final draft which will be submitted to members of the World Motor Sport Council in the week following the Bahrain Grand Prix with a recommendation that it be accepted. We intend to be able to make a final draft available as soon as it is ready.

The FIA very much hopes that all the teams and manufacturers competing in this year's Championship will also enter for 2008. Some of the sporting changes proposed for 2008 may be seen as radical, as are some aspects of the Technical Regulations already adopted. However, the objective is to reduce costs, improve the spectacle and at the same time, maintain and, where possible, increase current safety levels.

The FIA believes that at a time of painful restructuring in large sections of the automobile industry, it is only a financially viable Formula One that can hope to retain the major car manufacturers as participants in the medium and long term, not to mention the independent teams. Hence the need to reduce costs.

The FIA fully understands that one of the objectives of the major car manufacturers is to demonstrate technical excellence, but believes that this can be achieved without excessive expenditure. Bearing in mind that much of the engineering effort in the road car sector is aimed at technical excellence at low cost, it is appropriate that the World Championship regulations should attempt to bring this approach into Formula One. The credit which a major car company will gain from winning the World Championship will not be any the less if money is no longer being spent on technologies which are largely irrelevant to road cars and often entirely concealed from the public.

We very much hope that all the current participants will support this approach and submit their entries in due time.

Yours sincerely,

Max Mosley

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