Teams agree to budget capping

Formula 1 team bosses have agreed that the best way to reduce future expenditure is to introduce budget capping, rather than force competitors to make cutbacks in specific areas.

In December FIA president Max Mosley announced that from March this year there would be significant restrictions in the use of wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics, and that other areas – such as the number of personnel attending races – would also be addressed.

Mosley met the team principals in Paris on January 11 to discuss his plans, but the consensus was it would be impossible to police aero restrictions. Instead most teams preferred budget capping, as modern accounting procedures can guarantee that everyone follows the rules. The key dissenter was Ferrari, who preferred Mosley’s original idea.

Team financial chiefs were due to meet with the FIA at the end of January to confirm details of how it will work from 2009. Mosley has agreed that driver and team principal salaries plus expenditure on marketing and engines will not be included in the restrictions.

One definitive outcome of the Paris meeting was that the current V8 engine ‘freeze’ will now last for five years rather than 10, allowing a new ‘greener’ formula to be proposed for 2013.