Mosley hopeful on budget cap agreement
By Andrew Benson and Ted Kravitz
BBC Sport in Monaco
Formula 1 bosses are closing on an agreement that will end the crisis over the future of the sport.
The teams have agreed with Max Mosley, president of governing body the FIA, the framework for a compromise over his proposals for a budget cap.
It has been agreed in principle to delay introducing a 45m Euro (£39.6m) cap until 2011, while Mosley has made other concessions to the teams on governance.
"Slowly we're getting to a situation where everyone is going to agree," Mosley said.
Everyone wants to reach agreement. Even those teams who have still got a lot of money realise others haven't and, if we want to keep a full grid, the costs have to come down
It is understood the teams may also receive more money from Bernie Ecclestone, who runs the companies which control the sport's commercial rights.
The deal has been reached after a series of meetings over the weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix involving team principals, Mosley and Ecclestone.
Further talks are required to flesh out the detail of the agreement, but the basic principle has been agreed.
"We have asked to go into next year with the 2009 rules and then see what we can do to change for next year," said Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.
"Cost is something all the teams are fully committed to working on, but it is something [on which] the teams have to decide what they can afford.
"We don't feel it is something someone can impose on us."
The principle behind the agreement was to ensure everyone came out of the talks with a victory and therefore no-one lost face.
It is a remarkable turnaround after the weekend started against the background of threats by Ferrari and other leading teams to quit the sport rather than race under a budget cap.
Mosley, who was speaking in an exclusive interview with BBC Sport, said: "There may be an intermediate year in 2010 - that is still under discussion - and we'll really come down to that figure (£40m) in 2011.
FIA president Max Mosley says an F1 breakaway was "never realistic"
"Everyone understands that it simply cannot go on at the present level; the money isn't there."
Sources say the teams have won a number of compromises from Mosley, among them that the budget restriction will not be called a "cap", which has become an emotive word.
In addition, the teams have forced Mosley to give ground on their long-running objections to the way he can impose rule changes since he allowed the Concorde Agreement, which governed the sport, to lapse in 2007.
In those days the rules were agreed by a body called the F1 Commission, which comprised the FIA, Ecclestone and representatives of the teams, sponsors and circuits - after being agreed by the teams.
Mosley said: "They want to go back to the days of the F1 Commission and the system we had before the Concorde Agreement ran out so they can sit down and discuss all the rules.
"From our point of view, it's a very tiresome process, but it does actually work."
Mosley has set a deadline of 29 May for entries for the 2010 championship - six months earlier than normal.
He said he was hopeful the majority of teams would lodge entries by that date.
But he added that he thought the sport "may lose one or two manufacturers or teams".
There is speculation that the future of BMW and Toyota is in doubt - although both teams publicly deny they are considering withdrawing.
BBC Sport understands that a plan is being devised to keep grids at least at current levels if teams do pull out.
This would involve giving the commercial rights money of any team that pulled out to other teams who would run a third car for a rookie driver.
The restriction on manufacturers supplying no more than two teams with engines - which was waived this year to allow Brawn to survive - could also be abandoned.
"There's genuinely a constructive atmosphere," added Mosley. "Everyone wants to reach agreement. Even those teams who have still got a lot of money at the moment realise that others haven't and if we want to keep a full grid the costs have to come down."
And he said the threat of a breakaway was never realistic.
"I think they all realise that isn't practical," Mosley said. "We [he and Ecclestone] tried all this in 1980-81 and we had a lot more going for us than they do. You can't really do that - all you do is destroy what you've got. So that's a bargaining position."
It is also believed that next year's rules will be fundamentally the same as this year's, with the exception of a few small "tidy-ups" to remove areas of ambiguity.