Formula 1 officials pledge to cut costs

FORMULA 1 officials have come up with a ground-breaking plan to cut costs in the sport from next season onwards.

Motorsport's governing body, the FIA, and the Formula 1 Teams' Association came up with the proposals during a meeting in Switzerland.

The meeting is understood to have resulted in four developments, including increasing engine life from two to three races next season.

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Customer teams are to be offered 25 engine units, at a cost of 10 million (7.8 million), by manufacturers.

FOTA members are to meet at the Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of the month to discuss testing limits for 2009 and also the introduction of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for 2010 or 2011, with an option for teams to use it in 2009.

A meeting to discuss costs related to chassis development and the continued use of customer chassis in the future will be held between the FIA and FOTA after the Sao Paulo race.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo welcomed the initiative. He said: "Finally, we will have an economical Formula 1.

"Next year we will lengthen the life of engines to three races. This will translate into a total of 25 engines that, for the smaller teams, will cost 10 million a season.

"We have decided with (FIA] president (Max] Mosley that we will meet again after Brazil to talk again about limits to the chassis and engines in the future."

Meanwhile, the 2009 Canadian Grand Prix could be back on the Formula 1 calendar after government officials sought a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone.

F1 chief Ecclestone was believed to have left the race off next season's calendar because of claims contractual obligations for this year's race had not been met. Canadian GP officials denied owing any money, but admitted there was a disagreement over the fee for the 2008 race at Montreal in June.

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But Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay and two senior Cabinet ministers are expected to meet with Ecclestone this week, with the Quebec government keen to retain the event because of the boost it gives to the local economy.

"If we are able to reasonably and responsibly save this event, we will do it," said Raymond Bachand, the Quebec minister for economic development. "The grand prix is a big event – it's the biggest tourism event. I'm going to negotiate with Mr Ecclestone, so we will keep our cards to ourselves."