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

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

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

  1. chaostheory said on 21st October 2008, 21:01

    Thank God! I can take a lot as a F1 fan, but not standard engines.

  2. Oliver said on 21st October 2008, 21:43

    Is KERS going to be cancelled or the teams will just use it for only one year after spending millions of dollars developing it?

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st October 2008, 22:02

    Oliver – it looks like they’ll have the option of using their own systems from 2009, then from either 2010 or 2011 they’ll be able to used a standard system, i.e. everyone has access to an identical KERS.

  4. ceedas said on 21st October 2008, 22:04

    Without an agreement from all the teams to postpone KERS until 2010, I guess we’ll have each team with their own system next year. Either way, it’s been an expensive mess.

  5. Robert McKay said on 21st October 2008, 22:37

    Call me cynical, but how much does extending the life of the engines by one race actually save?

    I’m thinking the windtunnel usage would be a good place to cut down.

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st October 2008, 22:52

    Robert – I guess if one team needs needs 18 engines for a 17-race season on two races per engine, then with three races per engine it will need 12 (which fits with the ’25 engines for a season’ above), so it cuts the engine purchase budget for customer teams by a third.

  7. Keith surely if Max pushed FOTA too much they could all just simply walk away from both the FIA and FOM (Bernie & Max) and setup their own series?

    Also the interesting note is the one regarding customer chassis does that possibly mean a Prodrive entry?

  8. so now drivers will be turning down the engines for two races…..?

  9. Rabi – Given the current Global financial crisis, FIA and the Teams both need each other. So they will squabble, bicker but not divorce. Manufacturers walking out was really a possibility couple of years ago, but Bernie/Max as masters of divide and rule game.

    Further Ferrari was not part of GPMA so Non Ferrari Racing series would have never generated interest in first place thats was one crucial reason of GPMA folding.

    Ferrari, did try to go solo by bagging the A1GP contract, but current Financial crisis, and Italian Management means Ferrari has been struggling to supply all the team, the A1GP season opener was let down as many countries couldn’t field their Car. Luca DM I guess did foresee the A1GP scoop not coming through and that maybe main reason for him getting involved in FOTA.

    Whatever the fans may have to say, it was surprising other member made Luca DM FOTA boss, he will have substantial negotiating powers and he will keep Ferrari interest on top For e.g the KERS postponement that Keith has Highlighted the blog.

    Knowing background of GPMA, the way GPMA was pleading Ferrari to reduce testing in 2002-04 and Ferrari have 365 day test schedule and similar issues, Ferrari Joining FOTA means definitely all is not well for the Italian Marquee.

    At this moment too much is happening in the World around and F1 is not immune to those changes. Lets hope all of us see through this storm

  10. Steven said on 22nd October 2008, 2:35

    yeh im with chaostheory
    I could put up with alot of ******** from the FIA and F1 but standard engines would of been the last straw. Thats what GP2 is for after all. Im not sold on the 3 race engines either….

  11. Well imagine that Keith. Perhaps the reason a BMW lump not designed by a BMW engineer is not a BMW lump was explained to Max.

    As the year goes on, the regulations, knee-jerk reactions and odd comments from Max are more and more perplexing.

  12. Journeyer said on 22nd October 2008, 4:17

    Too Good, the points you’ve just made were… well, too good.

    Very interesting analysis of Ferrari’s current situation. The fact that sales of both brand-new and second-hand Ferrari road cars will no doubt be hurting them as well.

    But I think the reason LDM became FOTA boss is that he’s the person Max would most likely agree with, given their strong (maybe too strong) bond. And given the speed and impact of the current financial crisis, there’s not really enough time to bicker, argue, and re-negotiate, that’s why they’re counting on LDM to make Max agree with them as soon as possible. One must also consider that budget deliberations are coming up for 2009 (which would fund building for the 2010 cars), so again, speed is of the essence.

  13. Eugene said on 22nd October 2008, 4:49

    I am looking for some idea and stumble upon your posting :) decide to wish you Thanks. Eugene

  14. Adrian said on 22nd October 2008, 6:44

    I’m not clear on the KERS issue, will teams still be able to run their own KERS in 2010 or will they all have to switch to a standard unit (McLaren badged as Microsoft again??)

  15. Would the cost of Developing an engine that lasts 3 races cost more then using an engine every 2 races?

  16. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd October 2008, 8:58

    Rabi – It’s been threatened before but as long as FOTA are getting their way, why should they? A split would always be the worst-case scenario.

    Negative Camber – “the odd comments from Max are more and more perplexing.” There are ways this seems like a climb-down from Mosley and that would be pretty unusual. Perhaps there’s more to it we don’t know yet?

    Eugene – Thanks, hope you liked it :-)

    Adrian – “Will teams still be able to run their own KERS in 2010 or will they all have to switch to a standard unit” – that appears to still be up for discussion. But the McLaren/Microsoft thing relates to the Engine Control Units, which is a different matter.

  17. Having one team supplying all the teams a piece of technology promotes unfair competition. It can clearly be seen this year that the McLaren car has enjoyed much less wheelspin out of corners than any other and is also far superior in damp track conditions , which has to be attributable to the McLaren supplied ECU.

  18. Surely for a standardised KERS system to be developed, it has to be in conjunction with a standard engine/hybrid/gearbox system too. You cannot expect say BMW to have developed their engine so far next year and then in 2010 to suddenly add the KERS to it, it all has to join together and work as a single unit.
    I am more interested in the fact that the FIA appears to be supporting Manufacturers providing chassis to the smaller teams at a decent price. All we need now are the likes of Cosworth and Judd to return and we can have full grids again…..

  19. Chalky said on 22nd October 2008, 9:49

    I am more interested in the fact that the FIA appears to be supporting Manufacturers providing chassis to the smaller teams at a decent price

    Which bit does it say that? I can see the 25 engines for €10m. I haven’t found anything about supplying chassis, other than the standard chassis components for all being mentioned?

    If the FIA would allow, for example, Lola to make a cost chassis, then maybe smaller teams could use this to compete. But I would not want to see all teams forced to use one chassis.

  20. stevepCambsUK said on 22nd October 2008, 10:32

    The 2009 season promises to be unfairer than this season unless teams perfect their KERS in time. As things stand teams have the choice to run KERS or not in 2009 then in 2010 a standardised KERS unit will be introduced.

    Rule changes
    On 22 December 2006, the FIA released the technical regulations for the 2009 season[28].

    Along with changes to bodywork, vehicle weight and tyre size, the document includes details of a “Kinetic Energy Recovery System”, or KERS. This is a regenerative brake device that is designed to recover some of the vehicle’s kinetic energy that is normally dissipated as heat during braking. The recovered energy could be stored electrically, in a battery or supercapacitor, or mechanically, in a flywheel, for use as a source of additional accelerative power at the driver’s discretion.
    After being banned since 1998, slick tyres will be provided by Bridgestone in 2009.[29]
    There will also be a cap on team budgets starting in the 2009 season.[30]
    Section 3.18 of the regulations contains details of “driver adjustable bodywork”. The angle of incidence of elements in a defined area forward of the front wheels can be varied by up to 6 degrees and adjusted by direct driver input. A maximum of 2 adjustments can be made on any lap
    (ref.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regenerative_brake)
    (ref.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Formula_One_season)

    I guess these rule changes are not set in stone yet but if teams have a power boost available to them for nearly 7 seconds per ‘charge’ then obviously every team will have to run the system to be competitive in 2009. The system weighs around 24kg and if the cars have to weigh 600kg this could prove to be very intersting indeed. Ferrari are still behind in development but they will work every second of every day to perfect their system.
    2009 proves to be very intersting…….

    Also, thanks for the autosport link

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