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Formula One governing body the FIA is writing to teams in order to be granted permission to run a fourteenth team and therefore twenty-eight cars on the grid next year. The news comes as Lotus joins the fray although the FIA would happily accept what it describes as an 'impressive application' from BMW Sauber.
The Hinwil-based team is currently out of the sport next season following manufacturer BMW's departure at the end of 2009, although the FIA has accepted the team as a 14th entry. Currently, only 13 are permitted to join the grid and so the FIA is now requesting permission from all 2010 competitors to increase the size of the grid.
The FIA released the following statement on Tuesday:
'The FIA also received an impressive application from the BMW Sauber Team. However, given that BMW has announced it will withdraw its support in 2010, there are still uncertainties regarding the future ownership of the team.
Nevertheless, the FIA considers that BMW Sauber's application is of high quality and would constitute a competitive participant in the Championship. As such, it has awarded BMW Sauber the '14th place' in the Championship meaning that it will be entitled to fill any vacancy that arises on the 2010 grid.
In addition, the FIA believes that a good case can be made for expanding the grid to 14 teams. The FIA will be consulting urgently with the existing teams regarding the introduction of an appropriate rule change to expand the grid to 28 cars in time for the first Grand Prix in 2010.'
With the size of the grid increasing, F1 Racing magazine reports that the Paris-based FIA will modify post-qualifying Parc Fermé rules for next season. As some circuits do not house the space to fit all cars into one designated area after qualifying, teams will be able to keep cars in their own garages as the FIA installs surveillance cameras in order to ensure no tampering of cars takes place before the race.
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