Mike Stevens | Dec 11, 2009

THE FORMULA 1 teams are in negotiations to host a mass launch of their 2010 challengers at Valencia ahead of the first test in January.

While the event has been agreed to in principle, the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) is yet to finalise the date and final shape of the launch, which will replace the individual events which used to be the norm.

The decision to co-host an event was reportedly prompted by a commitment to cut costs and assist the sport’s newcomers – Campos, Virgin and USF1 - in their introduction to the sport.

Mercedes Grand Prix Chief Executive Officer Nick Fry was coy when questioned by Autosport, but confirmed FOTA intends to display its unity via a mass launch.

“I don't want to go into too much detail about what the plans actually are, but we have agreed between all the teams to do a joint launch and we do wish to turn it into a proper event,” he said.

“We are getting a lot of help from the venue and investment in communication and marketing to do that. I think I am going from here to a meeting this afternoon to discuss the subject.

“I wouldn't wish to spill the beans on what we are going to do, but it is going to be hugely innovative.

“It is going to be a clear demonstration of how we are going to be working together. We are not all going off and doing our own individual launches, so we can do something that is a lot more customer friendly.”

Meanwhile, Fry confirmed that Mercedes Grand Prix remain open to the prospect of potentially welcoming Michael Schumacher back to the F1 fold through its outfit.

“I think whether it be Michael or having another prior world champion, it just adds another very interesting element," he said.

“Can someone who's 40 or 41 years old compete against someone who is 24 years old? In other sports people have proven that they're very capable even at that age, and I think that would add another fascinating aspect.

“It's irrelevant whether it's Michael or Jacques, or I was joking with Mika [Hakkinen] the other day that maybe he should throw his hat in.”

Sceptics believe the Schumacher speculation has been manufactured in an attempt to overshadow the loss of Jenson Button to McLaren.

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