FIA president Max Mosley says there will be no backing down on his insistence that Formula 1 teams lift the conditions attached to their entries within 48 hours, but has hinted that a compromise could now be on the cards.
Following a letter from the Formula One Teams' Association to Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, viewed as a last-ditch effort to avert teams walking away from the sport, the FIA laid out the terms by which it would accept a deal. Although rejecting suggestions that the deadline for the matter be delayed from this Friday to July 1, and that standard engine supplier Cosworth be forced to detune its engines, the FIA says it would be willing to talk about governance changes and revisions to the cost cap.
In the letter, Mosley said there was no chance of a revised Concorde Agreement being sorted before Friday - so the 1998 version would have to be used as an interim.
"If we start to modify the governance provisions of the 1998 Concorde Agreement, a lengthy discussion will begin," he wrote. "There is no time left for this because we must answer the remaining applicants for 2010 no later than Friday."
He added: "Our proposal is therefore that all parties agree to accept the 1998 governance provisions by means of an exchange of letters. We can then negotiate a new 2009 Concorde Agreement under the protection of the 1998 arrangement. After all, we lived with these for ten years; a few more weeks or months should not cause any difficulty."
Regarding FOTA’s suggestions that independent accountants be appointed to oversee compliance with a budget cap, Mosley said that such an idea had already been suggested by the governing body. Furthermore, he wants the teams to accept the £40 million ($66m) limit for now, prior to further discussions that could see it changed in the next few weeks.
"A fundamental problem with the FOTA proposal was the absence of a clear figure," wrote Mosley. "The teams need to know what the constraints are, so do we. We therefore propose that you accept the 2010 rules, as published, which we agreed with you last year. If necessary, these can be revised with the above governance procedures in due course."
Mosley confirmed that there would be no two-tier regulations in 2010, which had been one of the biggest complaints of FOTA. However, he said that Cosworth would be allowed to run to 2006 regulations because it had "neither the time nor the resources to return for 2010."
And in a bid to get the matter sorted in the next day or so, Mosley said he would write to the teams to ask them to accept the FIA’s offer so they could drop the conditions attached to their entries before Friday's deadline.
"We will shortly send a letter for signature to each team. If signed and returned, the letter will make the above proposals legally binding and the relevant team's entry unconditional," he said.Related stories:• Mosley outlines deal offer to teams• FOTA urges compromise