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JUNE 16, 2005

The FIA issues guidelines for 2008 rules

The FIA has issued a list of guidelines and justifications for them for F1 in 2008. The FIA says that F1 needs to cut costs and wants to reduce annual expenditure of the big teams from the current of $300m to around $30m. This is likely to cause much upset with the manufacturers. It will also mean that teams will have to have massive job cuts.

The FIA says that its objective is to keep performance in line with safety protection, establish clear rules although the FIA document said that these should be "sufficiently flexible to deal with unforeseen technical innovation". This appears to be something of a contradiction. Similarly the document says that everyone should be able to compete on the same basis (although apparently this does not extend to the commercial deals that the FIA has signed up to, which would give Ferrari a massive financial advantage).

The list of specific rule changes is similarly controversial as they include a level of standardisation of electronic control units, gear ratios, clutches and brakes. The aim is to eliminate expensive technology which is invisible to the public. The cars would be wider and would run on slick tyres, although warming devices would be banned. The tyres would be lower profile but on larger wheels. Another controversial element will be a specified lower limit for the center of gravity of the car.

There would be no spare cars, a testing limited of 30,000km per team between January 1 and December 31 (although this would be subject to a single tyre supplier).

Finally, teams would be free to buy complete cars or components from other teams.

In the finest tradition these proposals should not be taken too seriously as they are in effect a position from which the FIA will be willing to negotiate because the federation does not want to drive teams away to any rival series.

We expect that although the car manufacturers seem to be a fairly toothless bunch in F1 at the moment, this will stir up some reaction.