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Full engine freeze in 2008

NEWS STORY
29/07/2006

With the deadline long since past, and no mutually acceptable agreement in sight, FIA President Max Mosley has written to all eleven Formula One teams, and Prodrive, which enters the Formula One World Championship in 2008, advising that there will be a full engine freeze from 2008.

His one concession is that teams will now be able to adapt their engines for a 19,000 rpm limit, citing Appendix 6, Article 1 (ii) of the 2008 regulations, which states: "An engine delivered to the FIA after 1 June 2006, or modified and re-delivered to the FIA after 1 June 2006, which the FIA is satisfied, in its absolute discretion and after full consultation with all other suppliers of engines for the Championship, could fairly and equitably be allowed to compete with other homologated engines."

It's understood that a deal was close to being agreed at Magny Cours two weeks ago, however, for reason best known to the various parties involved, it never happened.

Referring to the proposed 'fighting fund', whereby manufacturers would have been forced to contribute money to an independent, but rival engine manufacturer, a move which the manufacturers were against but partially accepted, Mosley writes that any restriction imposed by the manufacturers could be deemed "unlawful".

Although talk has usually centred on Cosworth, which is an independent engine manufacturer, the members of the GPMA were more concerned at the FIA tender going to Mecachrome, which has strong ties to both Renault and (Renault team boss) Flavio Briatore.

Consequently, in 2007, manufacturers can proceed to develop their engines knowing that in 2008 Formula One will revert to the powerplants supplied in June 2006, something that Mosley has long argued against.

Last week, the FIA announced that it was proposing to push through engine regulations for 2007 on safety grounds, something that the manufacturers - and many others within the sport - are against. Should this be the case, the issue could go to arbitration.

In his letter to the teams Mosley urges the manufacturers to concentrate their efforts on other issues, namely 'energy recovery' and 'fuel efficiency', in the hope that Formula One can: "demonstrate environmental relevance to the world's policy makers and accelerating environmental benefits for the world's motoring consumers".

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