The FIA has given those F1 teams who wish to compete in the 2010 World Championship just under a month to submit their formal entries and to indicate whether they wish to be bound by the planned cost-capping regulations or continue spending budgets on an open-ended basis.
Entries for the 2010 championship must be submitted between 22-29 May and the formal list of the 13 two-car teams which have been accepted will be made public on 12 June. The FIA World Motor Sport Council this week pegged the cost cap for next year at £40m – some £10m higher than originally envisaged – and there are some other tasty incentives which may tempt new competitors such as US F1, Prodrive and Lola to throw their hats into the ring.
Bernie Ecclestone’s F1 Management group has agreed to pay participation fees for any new teams of $10m (£6.5m) a year, as well as offering free transport for two chassis, 1000kg of freight and 20 round trip air tickets for each of the races taking place outside Europe. The new teams will, of course, have to be constructors in their own right, rather than using customer cars built by other manufacturers, and they will benefit from being allowed to use movable front and rear wings and engines which will not be subject to a rev limit.
The FIA has also banned in-race refuelling from the start of next year, a move welcomed by many, who believe that such a development will make F1 Grands Prix more tactical affairs rather than flat-out sprints between refuelling stops. The governing body will also establish a special commission to monitor compliance with the cost-cap regulations and has promised draconian penalties against any competitors who attempt to cheat the system.