The new engine rules: for and against

TIME is ticking away before the Formula 1 Commission meets to discuss the proposed changes to the FIA sporting regulations which could introduce a restriction on the number of engines allowed during a race weekend. A similar idea has been adopted this year in NASCAR racing.

The F1 Commission is the body which decides the rules of Grand Prix racing. Its decisions must be verified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council but that body can only accept or reject the decisions and cannot alter its rulings. In order for a motion to be carried, two-thirds of the Commission must support the proposal. There are 25 members of the Commission at the moment which means that 17 votes are needed. The 25 members are the 11 team owners, eight race promoters, plus representatives of two sponsors, one tire company and one engine manufacturer. The remaining two seats are taken by FIA President Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone. On the face of it, the smaller teams will vote in favor of the restriction with only Williams and McLaren having declared themselves to be opposed to the changes. Ferrari appears to be in favor of the regulation. To defeat the proposal is thus going to be very difficult for Williams and McLaren unless they can convince the race promoters to make a stand - which does not look likely to happen.

Dennis warned in Melbourne that the political goings-on were really only diversions to hide the real agenda but he would not say what he felt that agenda could be - which left most of the journalists confused.

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