F1 introduces optional budget cap for 2010

Formula One teams will be allowed to compete with greater technical freedom from 2010 providing they accept a £30m budget cap, the sport's governing body announced today.

"As an alternative to running under the existing rules, which are to remain stable until 2012, all teams will have the option to compete with cars built and operated within a stringent cost cap," the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement.

It said the cost cap would "cover all expenditure of any kind. Anything subsidised or supplied free will be deemed to have cost its full commercial value and rigorous auditing procedures will apply.

"To enable these cars to compete with those from teams which are not subject to cost constraints, the cost-capped cars will be allowed greater technical freedom," the statement added.