Mike Stevens | Jul 7, 2009

THE FIA HAS again come under fire amid accusations of commercial bias after it was revealed teams applying for entry to the 2010 championship were being directed to use Cosworth engines as a condition of entry.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that the three teams selected for participation next season were chosen according to their willingness to use Cosworth’s V8 power plants.

Proposed entries from Prodrive/Aston Martin and Lola were rejected on this basis, with an un-named team principal saying: “We were told that if we wanted to take up the 2010 grid slot we would have to sign a three-year engine contract with Cosworth.”

Another anonymous team boss said he “had a real possibility of obtaining a Renault, Mercedes or Ferrari engine. It was made very clear to me that it was considered a 'mandatory' condition from the powers that be that Cosworth was the engine supplier".

Cosworth denied it influenced any decision, but the FIA revealed the introduction of a new engine manufacturer was a priority for the organisation.

An FIA spokesperson said that without Cosworth’s return to Formula One “the whole grid would be at the mercy of the car industry and no new team would be able to enter without their permission.”

f1-brawngp-button-turkey-02-thumb.jpg

The news caps off a dire week for motorsport’s governing body after the independence of the FIA’s chief F1 steward Alan Donnelly was called into question when it was revealed he negotiated Virgin’s sponsorship switch from Brawn to the new Manor Grand Prix outfit.

Donnelly had previously come under criticism from FOTA for allegedly trying to cause a division between the teams at the Turkish Grand Prix at the height of the breakaway crisis, while the Guardian reported that one of his companies constructed Manor’s public relations campaign.

In an email cited by the Guardian, Donnelly attempted to orchestrate a meeting between Manor, Virgin and the Saudi Royal Family over a proposed investment.

“I will be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and look forward to seeing you at our planned meeting . . . with representatives of Manor and Virgin," Donnelly wrote in an email sent to the Saudi Royal.

"However if you would like a pre-meeting with me privately on Sunday then please let me know."

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+