HUNTINGDON-based racing car manufacturer Lola hopes to know early next month whether it will be part of an expanded Formula One line-up in 2010. On Friday, the sport s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l Automobile, announced new rules to a

HUNTINGDON-based racing car manufacturer Lola hopes to know early next month whether it will be part of an expanded Formula One line-up in 2010.

On Friday, the sport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, announced new rules to attract teams such as Lola, including a cap on expenditure.

For 2010, teams that take part under the cap rules - they are not compulsory for existing teams - will be limited to spending £40million on the F1 season, excluding the cost of engines (which will be covered in later years), driver's wages, marketing and hospitality.

Lola is expected to submit a formal application towards the end of May and to know early in June whether it has been successful - possibly even before the chassis constructor takes on the mighty and hitherto dominant Peugeot and Audi diesels in the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13 and 14.

Although £40million cap is a third higher than the previously foreseen £30million, it has not deterred the St Peter's Road company, which is owned by former racing driver Martin Birrane.

"We anticipated that there would be some tweaks to what would be mooted by the FIA," said spokesman Sam Smith. "There's a lot that's attractive about doing it, including an initial television package for new teams."

Announcing the package last week, the FIA said: "Formula One faces a period of great uncertainty during this harsh recessionary period. Funding a team is increasingly seen as a discretionary spend for the majority of team owners and sponsors. To ensure a healthy grid all are agreed that costs need to be cut."

The technical freedoms the capped teams may enjoy are front and rear movable wings and an engine that is not subject to a rev limit. The teams will also be allowed unlimited out-of-season track testing with no restrictions on the scale and speed of wind tunnel testing.