F1 to bring in budget cap from 2015
Formula One is to finally introduce a long-discussed budget cap from the 2015 season that could prevent teams from going to the wall.
The crucial move comes following a meeting in Paris on Monday of the F1 Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission.
A statement from the FIA read: "The principle of a global cost cap has been adopted. The limit will be applied from January 2015.
"A working group will be established within the coming days comprising the FIA, representatives of the commercial rights holder (Bernie Ecclestone) and Team representatives.
"The objective of the working group will be to have regulations approved by the end of June 2014."
The decision comes as a major surprise, although is much needed as costs have been spiralling out of control over the past few years.
At the height of the global credit crisis a few years ago, and in the wake of the withdrawals of major manufacturers Honda, Toyota and BMW, former president Max Mosley attempted to introduce a budget cap.
An initial £30million figure was raised to £40million, however the decision caused such division with the teams that a breakaway series was threatened, but ultimately came to nothing.
Although three new teams entered on the basis the cap would be put in place, such a proposal eventually fell by the wayside as plans to police it could not be agreed upon.
It resulted in the FIA proposing the Resource Restriction Agreement in an attempt to cut costs, but again not all the teams would sign off on the scheme.
Since then, the teams have been burning money at an alarming rate, notably so on the new powertrains that are to come into force from next season.
Although F1 is attempting to be leaner and greener by introducing 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged units, replacing the 2.4-litre V8s that took part in their last race in Brazil last month, they are proving highly expensive.
With recent talk of one or maybe two teams folding this winter, of potential mergers between teams, and again of the major marques running three cars, F1 has been forced to address its latest financial crisis.
At present, though, there is no flesh on the bones from the FIA as to how the budget cap will be structured, with the teams, the governing body and Ecclestone giving themselves six months to come to an arrangement.
Other significant rules to be adopted by the FIA from next year sees the introduction of double points in the last race for the drivers' and constructors' championships, rising from 25 to 50.
The FIA claims this has been done "in order to maximise focus on the championship until the end of the campaign".
Drivers will also now be able to choose their own number, from two to 99, which will be applied for the duration of their F1 career.
The number one will be reserved for the current champion, should he opt to take it.
Should two drivers choose the same number then priority will be given to the one who finished higher in the previous year's championship.
At present, driver numbers are based on the positioning of the 11 teams in the constructors' championship, running from 1 to 23, with the exception of 13.
Finally, Pirelli is to conduct a vital test of next year's tyres in Bahrain later this month, from the 17th to the 19th.
With the introduction of the new powertrain regulations it means the tyres will alter significantly for 2014.
After the exploding tyre issues of this season Pirelli did not want to be caught out again, but were finding no willing partners to help them undertake findings.
On safety grounds, the F1 Commission has agreed to a change of the sporting regulations for this year that previously banned testing until 2014.
All 11 teams were invited, but only Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso have agreed to take part.
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