F1 to expand after budget cap agreed

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The Independent Online

Formula One teams will be allowed more technical freedom if they accept an optional budget cap of £40m next year, the sport's governing body said in a statement on today.

The maximum number of cars permitted to enter the championship has also been increased from 24 to 26 with each team allowed two.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA), who had originally proposed a figure of £30m, said that marketing and hospitality, drivers' salaries and any fines and penalties would be exempt from the cap.

So too would any dividends paid from profits relating to participation in the championship and any expenditure that the team could prove had no influence on performance in the championship.

The FIA's world motor sport council meeting in Paris on Wednesday had also agreed that engine costs will be excluded from the cap in 2010 to encourage manufacturer teams to take up the option.

The cap will be policed by a new costs commission, consisting of a chairman and two commissioners to be appointed by the FIA for a three-year period and independent of all teams.

Those teams accepting the cost cap would be allowed to use movable front and rear wings and have engines free of any rev limits, while those with unlimited budgets would remain subject to restrictions.

The governing body also said all teams wishing to enter next year's championship must submit their applications between 22 and 29 May and state whether they wished to compete with the budget cap.

The FIA said a list of those accepted for 2010 would be published on 12 June.

New teams entering the championship as constructors and with a budget cap would also get money from the commercial rights holder, the FIA added.

"Formula One Management, the commercial rights holder, has agreed to offer participation fees and expenses to the new teams," the statement said.

"This includes an annual payment of $10 million to each team plus free transportation of two chassis and freight up to 10,000 kg in weight (not including the two chassis) as well as 20 air tickets (economy class) for each round trip for events held outside Europe."

As previously announced, the FIA said refuelling during races would be banned next year in order to save the cost of transporting refuelling equipment around the world and give a greater incentive to improving fuel economy.