APRIL 23, 2004
The FIA dropped a legislative bomb on Formula 1 at Imola with a list of preliminary proposals for its rules and regulations for 2008. These must be decided by the end of December 2005 and obviously there is going to be a lot of negotiating before the final package emerges. FIA President Max Mosley's proposals are, however, a fairly radical selection which include a switch to 2.4-litre four-valve V8 engines which must be used for two race weekends, a ban on variable geometry inlet and exhaust systems, a standard electronic control unit supplied to the teams by the FIA, a ban on direct injection and a limit on the stiffness of materials in the cars. The proposals include manual gearboxes with over-rev safeguard, a manual clutch, a ban on electronic differentials, powersteering and a return to standard brakes discs, pads and calipers. The FIA would like to see the weight limit reduced by at least 50kg in an effort to lessen the use of ballast and wants front tyres to be narrower.
Mosley is also proposing no spare cars, cars being held under parc ferme conditions throughout the entire meeting and only one tyre supplier. He also wants a "drastic reduction" in private testing and only two sets of tyres for qualifying and the race and no tyre change during the race unless there is a genuine puncture. Mosley is also suggesting Constructors' points for a maximum of four cars in order to encourage major teams to make cars available to new team. Mosley would like to see no restriction on the sale, loan or exchange of chassis and components and a maximum of 12 entries (of two cars each) to be accepted each year.
The document also calls for majority voting to change sporting and technical regulations.
The proposals are radical but in reality are only really the starting point in a long negotiating process. However it is a good sign that the FIA is willing to make such radical proposals. The teams will no doubt have opinions on all of this and we can look forward to a lot of reaction in the months ahead.
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