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Thu 11 Dec 2008 08:19 AM

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Deal done to cut F1 spending in 2010

Formula One teams and FIA reach agreement to tackle global economic crisis which forced out Honda.

Formula One teams and world motorsports governing body The FIA reached agreement late on Wednesday over radically reducing costs in response to the present global economic crisis, FIA announced.

The agreement was reached after a four-hour meeting in Monaco between the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) and FIA.

"An agreement was reached on measures to be taken in order to achieve the targets set by FIA for 2010," read the statement.

"FOTA put forward propositions that would see significant savings made for the 2009 season, while still maintaining Formula One at the summit of motorsport and strengthening the interest in it."

Max Mosley, president of FIA, had most notably proposed a single engine for all teams, made by Cosworth, and a standardised gearbox.

FIA did not specify if these particular recommendations had been accepted as they face opposition from several stables.

According to Mosley it would bring down spending by 80 percent, crucial at a time when Formula One has been hit severely by the economic downturn with Honda pulling out of the sport last week.

Earlier on Wednesday Mosley called for Formula One engineers to innovate as they try to ride the shockwaves caused by the global credit crunch which has seen Honda quit the business.

The agreement will please UAE motorsport chief Mohammed Ben Sulayem, also the new vice president of the FIA, who said earlier this week: "The costs have been escalating out of control for some time. The economic problems the world is facing have brought everything into focus, and Honda's decision to withdraw from F1 is a big warning."

Sulayem, president of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, added: "There are a lot of things that can be done to save money, and if the teams really want to do it they can. For instance, wheel nuts alone cost a Formula One team $1.2 million a year, and that's just ridiculous.

"This is making the sport too expensive, and if action isn't taken now we could end up with only three or four teams. That just wouldn't be a championship."

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