A climate of hot politics has once again descended on F1, as the competing interests of car manufacturers and the governing body collide.
FIA president Max Mosley recently invited team bosses to Geneva for a meeting on Tuesday, as he attempts to ram through drastic cost-slashing measures -- including his highly controversial proposal for a standard engine design.
The issue, however, took a dramatic turn last weekend when, on the eve of the Geneva get-together, Mosley put out a tender for a third party supplier of the F1 engines for 2010.
The move shocked and angered the carmaker-backed teams, who under the cover of their new FOTA alliance gathered for a marathon meeting in the Shanghai paddock to consider a riposte.
Ultimately, the ten F1 team bosses have decided not to travel to Geneva, instead sending only FOTA chairman Luca di Montezemolo, and deputy John Howett, to deliver a unified response on behalf of the alliance.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said: "All parties had agreed a clear agenda for next Tuesday.
"It is incomprehensible that the FIA torpedos this schedule with a radical proposal," he is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.
There is no doubt that F1's big spenders are violently opposed to the single engine concept.
Via Montezemolo, they are expected to push for alternative cost-cutting measures on the engine side; the extension of the one engine per two races rule to three races, and perhaps a reduction in the rev limit from 19 000 to 18 500 r/min.
Former double world champion Fernando Alonso makes clear he does not support the idea of a single engine formula.
"I don't think it is good for Formula One to be honest. We have big (car) brands here in the paddock and it would seem strange that we all race with the same engine. This would no longer be F1," he said.