The World Motor Sport Council will meet in Paris today, and amongst the subjects on the agenda, and one which will surely (further) provoke those manufacturers signed up to the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA), is a proposed engine 'freeze' for the seasons 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Article 86e of the proposed 2008 sporting regulations states that: "Only engines which have been homologated by the FIA in accordance with Appendix 6 may be used at an event during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons."
However, according to Appendix 6, potential entrants must produce their proposals for a definitive engine by 1 June this year.
With Max Mosley insisting that teams wishing to enter the 2008 must commit by the 31 March, this would mean that those manufacturers would not be able to play any further part in discussions about this or any other rule. Thereby, applying further pressure on the manufacturers to sign up sooner rather than later.
1. A homologated engine is an engine identical in every respect to :
(i) an engine delivered to the FIA prior to 1 June 2006
(ii) 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.
All such engines should be delivered in such a condition that the seals required under Article 85(d) can be fitted. Engines will be held by the FIA throughout the homologation period.
2. The supplier of a homologated engine and/or the team using the homologated engine must take and/or facilitate such steps as the FIA may at any time and in its absolute discretion determine in order to satisfy the
FIA that an engine used at an Event is indeed identical to the corresponding engine delivered to and held by the FIA.
3. The FIA, in consultation with the TWG and the engine suppliers, will from time to time issue indicative information as to the tests and inspection procedures to be applied.
In a letter to the teams contesting the 2006 World Championship, and those known to "have an interest" in the 2008 Championship, which includes the Sporting Regulations for the 2008 Championship, Mosley reiterates the fact that the 2008 regs have three main objectives:
To reduce the cost of competing
To improve the sporting spectacle
To maintain and, where possible, improve current safety standards
Although members of the GPMA, it is understood that as things stand, Honda and Toyota would have some say, courtesy of the fact that they provide (customer) engines to Super Aguri and Midland, respectively. However, Renault, Mercedes and BMW have no say.
Entry to the 2008 Championship will open on 24 March and close on 31 March.