FIA-FOTA agreement: Teams’ proposals accepted as Mosley backs down on KERS

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Max Mosley has reversed his position on future development of KERS
Max Mosley has reversed his position on future development of KERS

Details are emerging about the agreement reached between the FIA and FOTA, representing the F1 teams, following their meeting at Geneva today. A joint statement from the two declared “significant cost savings for 2009 and 2010” had been agreed but added no further detail.

However Autosport has published details of some points of the agreement including changes to the 2009 F1 rules.

It seems some of the more alarming proposals, such as standard engines and shorter races, have been staved off. But the decision to make Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) standard components as early as 2010 is a surprise.

Autosport claims the following have been agreed:

Engines to last three races in 2009 – a FOTA proposal.

Manufacturers to supply 25 engines at a cost of ??10m – presumably that is a year’s supply for one team. The FIA wanted such a supply for half that cost.

A new limit to be set on maximum testing distance – FOTA proposed a cut from 30,000km to 20,000km.

Future meetings to be held on reducing the cost of developing parts and extending the use of customer chassis

Standard KERS to be introduced from 2010 or 2011 – a significant change in Mosley’s position. As recently as this morning he said:

KERS will be essential on all road-going vehicles in the future, irrespective of their means of primary propulsion. The FIA therefore intends to keep KERS as a performance differentiator in Formula One and, indeed, increase its importance in 2011.

Since he first proposed KERS Mosley has been adamant that it would boost F1’s environmental credibility. But he seems to have conceded that the cost of allowing teams to develop these entirely new systems themselves is too great.

The prospect of only having to use a home-grown KERS for as little as one year will be good news for those teams known to be struggling with their development programmes ofr the hybrid systems, such as Ferrari.

The impression from these developments is that FOTA have had their way on a number of points and Mosley’s threats of radical changes such as standard engines has not cowed them into letting their position be undermined or provoking a split within their ranks.

That gives me the feeling we have not yet seen the full picture of what the future proposals are. Keep an eye on Mosley to see what his next move will be.

See this article for more background on the meeting: Max Mosley and FOTA meet for crunch talks on F1 costs in Geneva