FOTA agrees on plan to help new teams

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FOTA has agreed to propose a system of technical partnerships for new teams to assist them in joining the grid in 2010, following a meeting between the team principals in London yesterday.

As the teams close in on an agreement with the FIA over the future regulations of F1 ahead of tomorrow's 2010 entry deadline, FOTA hopes this compromise would allow prospective new teams assistance from the established operations to compete credibly in their first seasons without having to fund a significant increase beyond the set budget cap.

FOTA is pushing for a "glidepath" approach to adopting the budget cap regulations, with a two-step reduction in expenditure in 2010 and 2011. This would see expenditure limited to €100 million in 2010, dropping to €45 for the following season. The technical partnerships would give the new teams assistance in terms of parts, particularly non-performance differentiators, as well as some design know-how.

The FOTA proposal is believed to stop short of allowing full-blown customer cars, something that is strongly opposed by several teams, and would be structured to ensure that the newcomers compete under the budget cap in their own right in 2011.

FOTA also discussed further ways to develop the budget cap concept, with the possibility of some commonality of non-performance differentiators still on the table in a bid to repackage the imposed limit as a programme of cost containment. Although final agreement has not been reached, it is believed that both the FIA and FOTA are confident that a resolution can be found ahead of the entry deadline.