Grand Prix teams agree sweeping changes

The FIA President, Max Mosley, admitted last night that he was "astonished" by the favourable reaction of Formula One team principals to proposed regulation changes, following a high-level meeting in Monaco.

"There was a very good atmosphere from the start," said Mosley, who last week at Imola laid out the governing body's proposals for swingeing changes from 2008 onwards. The objectives are to improve the racing spectacle; to put a greater emphasis on driver skills by finally eliminating electronic aids; to reduce the costs to both the major and minor teams; to encourage new teams to enter Formula One; and to encourage a full grid of 24 cars

Among the technical changes mooted are 2.4 litre V8 engines with a standard electronic control unit (ECU) provided by the FIA and a life of two race weekends; a manual gearbox and clutch; a ban on electronic drivers' aids such as traction control; and standard brake discs, pads and callipers. There would also be limitations on aerodynamics; a single tyre supplier and limitations on the number of tyres per weekend; and a drastic reduction in testing.

Additionally, there will be no restriction on the sale, loan or exchange of chassis and components between teams or to new entrants in the championship, to encourage new teams such as Arden International (from Formula 3000) or Carlin Motorsport (Formula Three) to graduate to Formula One.

Yesterday's meeting was expected to be volatile as six teams - Williams, BAR, Toyota, Sauber, Jordan and Minardi - who are in favour of the changes faced four - Ferrari, Renault, Jaguar (Ford) and McLaren, who apparently were not. The latter had been ardent supporters of the proposed manufacturer-run Grand Prix World Championship breakaway series. However, last week it became clear that Ferrari are in favour of the new changes, and the others voiced little opposition yesterday.

"In 2008 we can say exactly what will happen and the teams will have to follow," Mosley said. That is when the current Concorde Agreement, by which the sport is run, will expire. However, it is increasingly likely that many of the proposals will be implemented for 2006, some even earlier. The major sticking point is that two teams prefer the idea of staying with 3 litre V10 engines, reduced in power to last up to six or eight races. However, the FIA believe they would still have too much power (800plus bhp) compared to the 2.4 litre V8s which will produce around 720bhp. Teams and their engine partners will continue talks today specifically on that subject. There does not appear to be the level of opposition that was expected to the idea of a standard ECU.

"Most people I speak to are still enthusing about the motorcycle fight between Max Biaggi and Valentino Rossi in South Africa recently," Mosley said. "Most of them haven't got a clue what type of engine the Moto GP bikes run, or what an ECU is. They want to see the human element in races, not a computer-controlled spectacle.

"The manufacturers are coming to realise that. Some teams, including their engine manufacturer partners, need 1,000 people to put two cars on the grid, at a cost of €150 million [£101m]. They all know that is not sustainable, which is why they are prepared to talk. And cost savings will filter down to the smaller teams too, and they need to be kept in business."

Mosley accepts that redundancies within the sport will be inevitable, but believes that costs could be reduced to a 10th of current levels. Some changes, such as a new qualifying format, could be introduced as early as this season if there is majority agreement.

HOW MAJOR OVERHAUL WILL AFFECT FORMULA ONE

Engines reduced from 3.0 litre V10 to 2.4 litre V8.

Engines to last for two races each with penalty for unscheduled changes.

Standard electronic control unit (ECU).

Manual gearboxes and clutches.

Power steering banned.

Chassis weight limits reduced by at least 50 kg to eliminate need for ballast.

Front tyre width reduced and rear increased.

No spare car allowed during entire event.

Cars to be held under "parc ferme" conditions under FIA scrutiny

One tyre supplier only.

Drastic restriction of private testing, limited by mileage rather than number of days.

New qualifying system to be discussed.

No tyre changes during races, excepting punctures.

Constructors' points could be awarded to a maximum of four cars per constructor to encourage major teams to supply others with cars and information.

No restriction on the sale, loan, or exchange of chassis and components between teams and new entrants.

Changes subject to ratification

Suggested Topics
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn