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FIA announce dramatic cost-cutting measures 07 Dec 2007

FIA flag on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Race, Nurburgring, Germany, 7 May 2006

Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, has published a series of measures that they intend to introduce which have been designed to reduce costs within the sport. The plans, agreed by the World Motor Sport Council in Monaco on Friday, include a variety of aerodynamic testing restrictions for next year.

One of the new measures will limit teams to using just one wind tunnel, with squads only permitted to carry out 15 runs over each eight-hour day. Weekend wind tunnel testing will also be banned and the FIA also plans to introduce limitations to prevent teams from diverting wind-tunnel resources into Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

It was also revealed that further restrictions would be announced concerning rig testing, design and manufacturing, suspension and brakes, hydraulic systems, bodywork, weight distribution, circuit testing and the number of personnel at races.

The FIA, however, did confirm that Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS), which are set to be introduced in 2009, will continue to be labelled as ‘entirely open technology’, and as such, the use of any type of KERS storage or transmission technology will be permitted.

In the statement it was also announced that as part of the planned ten-year engine freeze, only engines that have been homologated by the FIA and delivered by March 31, 2008 will be eligible for use during the 2008 to 2017 Formula One World Championships.

The FIA will disclose further details of its new measures to the teams at a meeting on January 11, 2008, before putting forward detailed regulations based on the principles during the spring meeting of the WMSC.

The planned aerodynamic testing restrictions in full:
- Teams to use no more than one wind tunnel.
- Test fluid to be air at atmospheric pressure.
- Maximum test section wind speed 50m/sec.
- Maximum model scale 60 percent.
- No more than one model to be tested during a run.
- Maximum usage to be equivalent to 15 runs per eight-hour day on five days per week for team F1 purposes. Tunnel may be contracted out at other times.
- Aerodynamic testing may only take place in wind tunnels if at reduced scale or at FIA approved test tracks if full scale. Full size testing to be subject to the F1 testing agreement.
- Full scale specific aerodynamic testing is to be reduced to 5 days per year.
- Restrictions will be imposed to stop shift of resource from wind tunnel testing to CFD.
- The number of people involved in CFD development will be limited to a number to be agreed.
- CFD computer systems will be characterised in order to set hardware performance limits but growth will be allowed year-on-year to allow for hardware / software development.