Teams must sign by end of March for 2008

At a World Motor Sport Council meeting on March 22nd it was agreed that teams not yet signed up to the championship for 2008 must do so by the end of March if they wish to be involved with deciding future regulations. The window of opportunity for...

At a World Motor Sport Council meeting on March 22nd it was agreed that teams not yet signed up to the championship for 2008 must do so by the end of March if they wish to be involved with deciding future regulations. The window of opportunity for entries is from March 24th to 31st.

"The FIA will then begin a series of meetings with the teams which enter the 2008 Championship in order to finalise the regulations for 2008," the sport's governing body said in a statement, in regard to what will happen once the closing date is past.

"The regulations which affect the design of the cars must be finalised before 30 June 2006 to give the competing teams sufficient time to design and develop their 2008 cars. The regulations not affecting the design of the cars can be modified at any point up to the start of the 2008 season."

Teams may still enter for 2008 after the closing date, assuming that there are spaces on the grid -- FIA president Max Mosley previously said 12 teams was the limit -- but they may be excluded from the decision-making process.

The short time-span for teams to sign up for 2008 will put pressure on those who have yet to do so -- Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, BMW and Renault, the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association (GPMA). The Council also ratified the proposal for a freeze on engine development from 2008, something the GPMA was not in favour of.

The manufacturer group sent a letter to Mosley earlier this week, after it received a draft of the 2008 regulations, in which it outlined its concerns about the proposals and asked for further discussions before the regulations were finalised.

Mosley replied that although the letter had been noted, no alternatives had been suggested so the Council has gone ahead and finalised the rules. He also said that although the 2008 regulations were now decided, teams entered for that championship could make changes by a majority agreement.

The FIA said reducing costs, improving the spectacle and maintaining safety standards were its aims. Other regulation changes for 2008 include a single tyre manufacturer, a kilometre-per-team testing restriction, a ban on spare cars, a weight penalty if an engine is replaced before its two-race lifespan and a long-life gearbox to last four races.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes