AUGUST 1, 2006
For those who are into the politics
One of the jobs of the "principal tasks" of the F1 Technical Working Group is "constantly to review and modify the FIA Formula 1 Technical Regulations in the light of technical developments, so as to keep the performance of the cars within reasonable limits taking safety into consideration". This body met at Hockenheim and agreed, apparently unanimously, that cuts in lap times next year should be achieved with tyre performance rather than any reductions in the size of wings or engine restrictions. In theory this proposal will now go on to the F1 Commission and the FIA World Council.
This proposal makes a lot of sense and could be used to negate the need for the FIA to force through an early adoption of the 2008 engine freeze, using procedures in the Concorde Agreement. Those who are against the early introduction of the 2008 engine freeze say that the use of the Concorde Agreement's Clause 7.5 procedure is not acceptable because there are restrictions on the use of the clause as the changes must be designed to reduce the performance of the cars (and that might not happen given the increase in cornering speeds that came with the switch from V10 to V8 power), they must cause the least prejudice to the competitors in the circumstances and they must always look at aerodynamics first.
Thus the TWG's proposal about tyres gives the FIA the opportunity to back away for the Clause 7.5 procedure if it is worried about a challenge in arbitration.
We will now have to see whether the FIA decides to give up on the Clause 7.5 procedure. The FIA may not be worried about arbitration. It has faced down such threats in the past in a robust fashion but if there is a move to go to arbitration, the federation will have failed to stop engine development because the teams will have to continue to work just in case the complaint is upheld.
And there is no point in arguing against something when it has already happened.
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