Formula One's governing body has made teams a final offer, with changes to the controversial 2010 rules, in a bid to prevent the sport from tearing itself apart. Five of the existing 10 teams - championship leaders Brawn, BMW-Sauber, McLaren, Renault and Toyota - risk exclusion if they do not sign up by tonight's deadline with an unconditional entry.
Should they fail to do so, there is a risk of them setting up a rival series with constructors' champions Ferrari and the two Red Bull teams also at loggerheads with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Both sides are making last-ditch efforts to reach a compromise deal, however. In a new letter to the provisional teams sent out yesterday, the FIA president Max Mosley set out what the FIA was willing to concede in return for unconditional entries from the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA).
Changes included substituting the optional £40m (Dh239m) budget cap with a £85m one for 2010, which would be reduced later. "There will be self-reporting of compliance using a reputable auditor," Mosley added, in a move to overcome the manufacturers' resistance to opening their books to the governing body. "Any suspicions of breach would be investigated by a mutually acceptable auditor of suitable standing."
He added that the amendments were those agreed between the FIA and FOTA, the eight member teams association, at a meeting on June 11. Mosley added that the FIA was "not averse" to the teams' proposals concerning the International Court of Appeal and was prepared to discuss that and associated changes to the statutes of the governing body. An appendix detailed changes to the published regulations, with a return to the 2009 rules in several areas.
That included engines, although Mosley said the Cosworth unit to be used by at least three new teams would remain unrestricted for 2010 only. Thus far only Williams and Force India and three new teams, Campos Grand Prix, Manor Grand Prix and Team US F1 have been confirmed to race in 2010 Mosley has already warned there will be no more deadline extensions after today for the teams to sign-up, and if they don't make uncondional entriesthen their places on the grid are in jeopardy if more new teams ready to step in if there are vacancies.