FIA president Max Mosley has for a long time demonstrated an unswerving commitment to make the F1 business more eco-friendly and relevant to the car industry than it has been in the past when the pursuit of unfettered power was the only thing which mattered.

Now Max has formally outlined his vision for the future with a raft of new rules which will see the sport travelling down the hybrid route from the start of 2009 season as energy recovery systems will become the only means by which entrants can enhance the performance of their cars.

The development of engines has been frozen, creating a situation meaning that extra power can only be gained by making the better use of energy, or by getting more useful work from the fuel burnt.

Mosley explained: "In 2009, F1 is going hybrid as the first stage of a programme to divert the vast research effort at the pinnacle of motorsport towards energy efficiency. Called KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), this hybrid device is set to revolutionise F1. It will make the sport at once more environmentally friendly, road relevant, and at the cutting edge of future automotive technology."

Max added: "By bringing in rule changes which make these technologies the only means by which a power advantage can be obtained, we can ensure that the outstanding engineers and huge budgets available to F1 will be deployed on energy recovery systems which are directly relevant to the car industry's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions as well as the average motorist's fuel bill."

It will not be compulsory for competing teams to use a KERS system, but as one paddock insider commented, "not to do so would be the equivalent of using a 700bhp engine out of choice rather than an 800bhp engine."

Of course, a 700bhp engine which lasts to the end of a 200-mile grand prix might well be regarded as a better bet than an 800bhp unit that doesn't. It will be interesting to see if any teams find themselves worn down by the complexities of developing KERS systems and take the easy option.