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FOTA to reveal F1 vision
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The Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) will reveal their blueprint for the future of the sport on Thursday.

A series of radical, cost-cutting measures were agreed upon with FIA president Max Mosley in December in a bid to steer F1 away from potential ruin following Honda's demise.

FOTA had a meeting in Geneva on Wednesday and president Luca Di Montezemolo is due to announce proposals aimed at increasing the stability, sustainability, substance and spectacle of F1.

His comments will be based on the findings of a FOTA-commissioned survey of Formula One audiences across 17 countries.

Included in Wednesday's meeting were Mario Theissen (BMW Sauber), Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren), Flavio Briatore (Renault), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), John Howett (Toyota), Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Alex Burns (Williams) and Ross Brawn, boss of the team formerly known as Honda.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, and explaining FOTA's principles, Whitmarsh, who became team principal of McLaren on March 1, said: "Formula One is a work in progress.

Fantastic initiative

"FOTA is a fantastic initiative. It's the first time in the history of grand prix motor-racing all the teams have come to together.

"Inevitably in an organisation that contains all the teams that are highly combative on a Sunday and have a lot of history amongst them, it is quite challenging for those teams to work together.

"But so far they've done a fantastic job, and Luca di Montezemolo has been a great chairman, with a lot of teams making a lot of compromises, but that is what's necessary.

"If you look at a Formula One grid and you realise you have on one hand one of the world's largest companies in Toyota, and then Toro Rosso on the other, and you are trying to balance their ambitions and desires for the future of the sport, it is quite a tall order.

"Understandably, we have been focused on cost-saving measures so far because not so long ago we were looking at engine-only deals in excess of 20 million euros (£17.8million), and many millions required to develop transmission systems.

"But come 2010 we will have a system whereby a customer team can obtain a full powertrain for 6.5million euros (£5.8million).

"That's a big, big step forward for everyone, and shows the commitment of the automotive manufacturers who did not necessarily come into this sport to provide engines to more than their own team.

Improved spectacle

"So there's been a lot achieved so far, but we are mindful we have to look at how to improve the spectacle of the sport, and we have to make sure we make those decisions in a considered way.

"There have been a number of different surveys that are interesting and given us information.

"But the teams themselves have funded market research, looking at race format, qualifying format, what's important, what are the cardinal points of Formula One we make sure we retain."

Whitmarsh is insistent, though, that while "everyone has a very open mind about the future", he feels there is no need to rush into a whole range of changes.

He added: "The reality is the last two seasons have had a very exciting climax, and for us personally one was painful and the other slightly more joyous.

"But they've been very special because fundamentally Formula One is a fantastic sport and great for all of us involved in it.

"But we have to make sure we make it better for the fans that watch it, and hopefully we can grow new ones."

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