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FIA to press ahead with engine freeze plans

NEWS STORY
09/06/2006

Despite protestations from a number of manufacturers who believe that another solution is possible, the FIA is to push ahead with its plans for a three-year engine freeze beginning in 2008.

At a special press conference today, FIA President Max Mosley that the manufacturers failure to come up with their own solution has left the sport's governing body with no alternative but to press ahead with a plan that has already had a couple of manufacturers threatening to walk away from F1 in fear of the sport losing its reputation as the ultimate in motor sport technology.

"The regulations that have been published state very clearly that engines will be homologated for three years, in 2008, 2009 and 2010," said the Englishman. "There have been some discussions about whether the homologation should be relaxed to some degree, but in actual fact we've reached a situation where there are at least three and possibly more views on this.

"Some teams think we should stick with completely homologated engines, with no changes at all," he continued. "Some people like the so-called Maranello agreement and some would like a more liberal agreement than Maranello, but there is no consensus.

"Under those circumstances the 12 teams who have entered the championship from 2008 have done so under the regulations as published, so we intend to stick quite simply to the rules as they are, and as they were approved by the World Motorsport Council on March 22.

"I would remind you that the reason for homologation was that we want to eliminate engine development costs where the major manufacturers are spending between 100 and 200 million euros per year. Indeed more than that in some cases - and that is quite clearly unsustainable when the outcome of all that expenditure is just to make the engines run 200-300rpm faster each year. It's not sustainable and can't continue.

"So, we will implement the homologation rule as published," he revealed. "That means we will be sealing a number of two-race engines - in fact we have already sealed some of them. We will be sealing more once they have done two races and those will be the spec engines. Each manufacturer will be required to supply us with a complete dossier on these engines so that we will know what the spec is."

With some fearing that in spite of the recent easing of tension between the manufacturers, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone, culminating in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding that supposedly ends the threat of a breakaway series, there could still be all-out war between the manufacturers and the FIA, the situation will not be helped by Mosley appearing to throw dowen the gauntlet.

That is what we are proposing, in fact what we are going to do," said the Englishman. "The homologation is done, it's in the regulations and there will be no further discussion."

Indeed, Mosley went one step further by suggesting that the freeze be brought forward to include 2007.

"It would make no sense at all to run in 2007 developing the engines only to come back to the May 2006 spec in 2008, but we can't impose that," he admitted, "that has to be agreed by the Formula One Commission.

"But I would be very surprised if the Formula One Commission did not agree, having got the freeze for 2008, 2009, 2010, also to agree it for 2007, because it would save everybody a fortune and avoid a great deal of unnecessary expenditure."

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